Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Canada invited more number of immigrants in the month of April 2020 through Express Entry compared to the previous two months. The total number of Invitations to Apply for permanent residence issued by Canada through Express Entry in April was 117000. The number of Express Entry invites issued in March was 7800, while in February, the number of invites issued was 8000. Further, Canada continues to invite candidates through Provincial Nominee Programs.
Canada and immigration
For the past few decades, Canada has been increasingly relying on immigrants and temporary foreign workers for population growth, availability of labour and economic growth. Around 22 percent of the 38 million population of Canada are immigrants. Canada has been increasing its immigration levels steadily since the late 1980s. The country announced its Immigration Levels plan for 2020-2022 days before travel restrictions had to be imposed in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. As per the newly announced plan, Canada will be admitting 340,000 permanent residents in 2020. A total of 58 percent of new immigrants admitted by Canada will belong to economic class. Around 27 per cent will be welcomed under the family class and 15 percent on refugee and other humanitarian grounds.
Till 2016, the number of immigrants invited by Canada per year was 260000 on an average. Then the country increased its annual admission levels to 300000 on an average.
The population of Canada is aging fast and the country has low birth rates. So Canada needs immigrants to maintain a sustainable population growth. The population growth rate of Canada in 2018-19 was 1.4 percent. Around 82 per cent of Canada’s population growth can be attributed to permanent and temporary immigrants. Further, immigrants support the growth of labour force in the country, which in turn, boosts the country’s economic growth. The economic activities generated by the immigrants also promote the growth of the country’s economy. The immigrants contribute to economic growth in their roles as consumers, tax payers and workers.