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Can Canada achieve its 2021 immigration target?

Posted on February 24, 2021
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How will Canada achieve immigration target of 401,000 in 2021

In the Express Entry draw conducted on February 13, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited 27,332 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence.

It was the biggest Express Entry draw till date ever since the introduction of the Express Entry draw in 2015. The maximum invitations issued in Express Entry draws so far have not exceeded 5000. This draw is nearly six times bigger than the previous draws.

Another surprising fact in this draw was that candidates with a CRS score as low as 75 were invited to the draw. With such a low CRS score, this draw invited almost every candidate eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program.

This draw indicates that Canada is keen to meet its immigration target for 2021 which is set at 401,000.

Another surprising fact of this draw was that it was held on a Saturday whereas most draws are held on weekdays when government offices and immigration reps and lawyers are functioning and can help applicants.

The IRCC chose to invite only CEC candidates in this draw since most of them are already in Canada and it will be easy for them to complete their PR process compared to those candidates who are staying outside the country. After receiving an ITA the candidate has to complete several steps in the immigration process which include gathering and submitting the required documents, getting clearance certificates, submitting the biometrics etc.

Reasons behind this draw

The motive behind inviting only CEC candidates in this draw was that 90 percent of these candidates were residing in Canada and were more likely to complete the next steps after the ITA and obtain their permanent residency.

Earlier research by Statistics Canada and the IRCC reveal that the CEC candidates can be almost immediately employed and meet labor demands which is crucial to rebuild the economy.

Another reason to invite such a huge number of candidates in this draw is that the IRCC can process their applications in time so that they can arrive by the end of this year and can be counted as part of meeting the immigration targets set up for this year.

Is the 2021 immigration target achievable?

The 401,000-immigration target set for this year has plans to welcome 60 percent immigrants under the economic class and 25 percent through the family class and 15 percent under the refugee and humanitarian class.

Possible ways to achieve this target is to give permanent residency to immigrants already living in Canada and admitting skilled workers to the country who are exempt from travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic to meet the economic class migration target. As for the family class, immigrants are exempt from travel restrictions and many of them are in Canada after applying to the IRCC to process their applications.

Economy class targets: Canada has planned to welcome 108,500 immigrants through the Express Entry program. Till date the IRCC has issued 37,986 ITAs in 2021 compared to 10,300 in the same period in 2020. If the IRCC continues in the same pace and can issue 30,000 ITAs by the end of April then there is every possibility to achieve the immigration targets for this class.

Other ways to achieve the immigration targets for this class include:

  • Try and meet the immigration target through other immigration programs- 80,800 immigrants through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and 15,500 through programs such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP).
  • Increase the immigration allocations for programs like the PNP especially those aligned with Express Entry.
  • Relax eligibility criteria such as the period of Canadian work experience to enable immigrants already in Canada to apply for PR visa.

Family class targets: Under the family class Canada aims to welcome 103,500 immigrants. Achieving this target is relatively easy because the immediate family members of permanent residents in Canada are exempt from travel restrictions. Apart from this the IRCC can speed up the processing of spousal applications which make up a major percentage of family class immigration.

Overseas candidates continue to be in demand

If you have the required skills and wish to migrate to Canada, you must know that the IRCC and the provinces continue to process immigration application from abroad and are inviting skilled candidates from other countries. They are looking for such candidates because they are not available within Canada. They need skilled immigrants to rebuild their economy.

If you are a skilled worker looking to migrate to Canada then submit your immigration application now so that you will get a chance to enter Canada as soon as possible. The IRCC may decide to invite overseas candidates and you will not miss out on this chance if you make your application now.

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