Canada set a new immigration record last year with 471,550 new permanent residents up from 437,595 in 2022, the latest data shows.

The new record-breaking level of immigrants to Canada is 1.4 per cent greater than the goal of 465,000 new permanent residents outlined in Ottawa’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2023 – 2025.

“Following the trajectory of the 2023 – 2025 plan, Canada aims to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024, 500,000 in 2025 and plateau at 500,000 in 2026,” notes the IRCC on its website.

“This plan prioritizes economic growth, and supports family reunification, while responding to humanitarian crises and recognizing the rapid growth in immigration in recent years.”

The latest immigration levels plan would see a total of 1.485 million immigrants come to Canada over those three years.

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The country closed off 2023 with monthly immigration rebounding by 26.8 per cent in December to welcome 37,125 new permanent residents that month after a sluggish performance of only 29,430 new permanent residents the previous month.

Ontario, the country’s most populous province, was the most popular destination for newcomers last year with 206,720 of them choosing to immigrate there in 2023.

That made the central Canadian province the destination of choice for 43.8 per cent of all immigrants to Canada last year.

Economic programs, including the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), Agri-Food Immigration Pilot (AFIP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Caregiver programs, Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), Federal Skilled Trades (FST) and Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) programs, the Start-Up Visa (SUV) and Self-Employed Persons (SEP) programs, and the Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway accounted for just under half, 49.6 per cent, of all new permanent residents coming to Ontario in 2023.

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Those programs helped 102,445 new permanent residents arrive in Ontario last year.

Another 56,065 new permanent residents arrived in Ontario through family sponsorships and 39,205 came to that province through Canada’s refugee and protected persons programs in 2023.

Immigration Dipped In Quebec And Nova Scotia Last Year 

The other provinces and territories attracted the following number of new permanent residents during that period:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador – 5,485
  • Prince Edward Island – 3,615
  • Nova Scotia – 11,800
  • New Brunswick – 11,445
  • Quebec – 52,790
  • Manitoba – 24,895
  • Saskatchewan – 25,155
  • Alberta – 57,540
  • British Columbia – 70,790
  • Yukon – 890
  • Northwest Territories – 330
  • Nunavut – 55

Across the country, the big three winners in terms of immigration growth were Newfoundland and Labrador, which saw its level of immigration jump by 56.9 per cent last year compared to 2022, Prince Edward Island where immigration spiked by 35.4 per cent in 2023 over the previous year, and the territory of the Yukon were immigration exploded by 95.6 per cent to hit 890 per cent last year over 2022 levels.

Two Canadian provinces, Nova Scotia and Quebec, saw drops in immigration levels last year. In the Atlantic Canadian province of Nova Scotia, immigration dipped by 6.7 per cent in 2023 while the francophone province of Quebec saw a drop of 23.2 per cent in immigration.

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