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Canada’s monthly immigration levels continued to recover in June, with more than 19,000 new permanent resident arrivals welcomed, according to the latest federal government figures.
The total is a 75 percent increase on the nearly 11,000 newcomers welcomed in May, but still significantly down on the more than 34,000 admissions in June 2019.
With international travel restrictions due to coronavirus still in place and the Canada-U.S. border still closed, only allowing new permanent residents who were approved before March 18, 2020 are allowed in.
Officials were able to process 5,000 virtual arrivals in a week in June, showing their ability to maintain numbers despite the crisis.
New ‘arrivals’ can either be candidates already in Canada transitioning from a temporary status, or those from overseas who were approved before March 18.
Figures for the first six months of the year show Canada has now fallen well behind its target of 341,000 new permanent resident arrivals in 2020.
Between January and June, Canada welcomed 103,420 new immigrants, down from 160,230 in the same period of 2019.
The drop off in numbers all came in the second quarter as coronavirus restrictions fully took hold, with 34,260 newcomers welcomed in 2020, compared to 94,275 in 2019.
Restrictions on international travel are in place until at least the end of August, as the federal government looks to guard against a disastrous second wave of COVID-19 infections.
The current closure of the Canada-U.S. border is in place until August 21. It has already been extended several times since it was initially imposed in March.
The restrictions bar entry to all except citizens and permanent residents, with some exemptions.
Canada currently has exemptions in place for:
- Seasonal agricultural workers, fish/seafood workers, caregivers and all other temporary foreign workers.
- International students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020.
- Permanent resident applicants who had been approved for permanent residence before the travel restrictions were announced on March 18, 2020, but who had not yet travelled to Canada.
Immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents are also exempt if entering to be with an immediate family member for at least 15 days.