Although Canada has long been a popular destination for immigrants, the number of permanent residents seeking citizenship has been declining recently. Every year, thousands of Indians leave for Canada, with the Punjabi community comprising one of the largest diasporas in the nation. However, some of these immigrants are now opting to go back home.
In comparison to the same period last year, fewer applications for immigration to Canada were submitted in the first quarter of this year, which may portend a decline in the number of new arrivals in the future.
According to the most recent data available from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the number of applications for immigration fell by 12% in the first quarter of this year, reaching just 73,358, as opposed to 83,691 in the same period in 2022. The remarkable decrease of 39.3% in the monthly average number of applications from 40,312 in the last quarter of last year to just 24,453 in the first three months of this year is even more pronounced.
Significant declines in the quantity of applications from foreign nationals in certain nations are contributing to the overall decline in applications. Compared to 6,988 applications during the same period last year, the number of applications from the Philippines fell by 28% to just 5,040 in the first quarter of this year.
A total of 40 percent fewer immigration petitions from Iran—1,398—than from Iran during that period, and an additional 11 percent less from China—4,641 to 4,150.
applications from Nigeria dropped by 46% to 2,571 from 4,722, applications from Somalia dropped by 83% to just 210 from 1,268 and applications from Columbia plummeted by 37% to 716 from 1,139 in the first quarter of last year.
In the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2022, those six nations alone accounted for 7,001 fewer applications, or 67.7% of the total decline in applications. A decrease in immigration applications can be a predictor of future decreases in immigration to Canada.
In March, the rate of immigration to Canada slowed for the second consecutive month after reaching a record high in January. Immigration to Canada began strong this year, with 50,905 new permanent residents in January, the highest monthly number since at least 2015.
The monthly rate of immigration to Canada slowed for the second consecutive month in March. Since then, the monthly influx of new permanent residents has slowly decreased. In February, Canada welcomed 49,645, or 2.5 percent fewer new permanent residents than in January. Then, in March, the rate of immigration plummeted even lower, to 44,780 new permanent residents, a 9.8% decrease.
However, Canada is still positioned to welcome far more new permanent residents than the IRCC's aim. Canada received 145,330 new permanent residents in the first three months of this year, putting the country on course to establish a new immigration record of 581,320 this year if the current trend continues through the rest of 2023.
Ottawa's 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan calls for 465,000 new permanent residents this year, 485,000 in 2024, and a further 500,000 in 2025.
The estimated rate of immigration this year would be 25% more than the IRCC's aim for the year, and 16.2% higher than the greatest level of immigration set out in the current Immigration Levels Plan, which is the target for 2025.
By the end of March this year, Canada had received 27.7 percent more new permanent residents than in the same three months last year, when 113,800 newcomers arrived.
Canada is a country in North America. Its 10 provinces and three territories stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, making it the world's second-largest country by total area, with the world's longest coastline.
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