Where Have Canada’s New Immigrants Come From So Far In 2020?


Last Updated on August 14, 2020

The first half of 2020 was a difficult period for Canada, immigration, as coronavirus travel restrictions dramatically reduced the number of permanent resident admissions.

Canada welcomed 103,420 newcomers in the first six months of the year, dramatically down on the 160,230 that arrived 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.

Numbers began to recover in May and June, with 11,000 and 19,000 newcomers welcomed respectively.

Only new permanent residents approved before March 18 – when international travel restrictions were put in place – are allowed into Canada under the federal government’s list of exemptions.

Otherwise, the focus for new permanent residents has been on candidates already in Canada as temporary residents – be that on a work or study permit, or visitor visa.

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Despite the differences, the top three nationalities of new permanent residents are the same as 2019, with India dominating in the number one spot accounting for more than a quarter of new arrivals.

China and the Philippines occupy the next two spots, although their combined total still falls well short of the number of Indians welcomed.

The U.S. jumps from the sixth most popular source country of newcomers in 2019, up to fourth in the first half of 2020. The 3,870 Americans arriving so far in 2020 represents 3.7 percent of the total, compared to 3.2 percent in 2019.

Other countries to enter the top 10 in 2020 are Brazil, France and the U.K., with Eritrea, South Korea, Iran dropping out.

Canada Permanent Resident Arrivals so Far in 2020

1 India 26,610
2 China 10,150
3 Philippines 6,930
4 United States 3,870
5 Nigeria 3,350
6 Pakistan 3,305
7 Brazil 2,255
8 France 2,240
9 Syria 2,145
10 United Kingdom 2,140

Canada Permanent Resident Arrivals in 2019

1 India 85,590
2 China 30,245
3 Philippines 27,820
4 Nigeria 12,600
5 Pakistan 10,795
6 United States 10,780
7 Syria 10,120
8 Eritrea 7,030
9 South Korea 6,105
10 Iran 6,055

Canada’s monthly immigration levels continued to recover in June, with more than 19,000 new permanent resident arrivals welcomed.

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.

New Permanent Resident Admissions to Canada by Month

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.

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