Number of Immigration visas drops by 26% in March 2020
According to the IRCC data, the COVID-19 pandemic affected Canada’s immigration system. Canada issued 26 percent less PR (permanent resident) visas in March 2020 compared to the previous months.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada revealed that the coronavirus crisis made an impact on Canada’s immigration system.
Canada’s provinces and territories only began to go into lockdown from the second half of March. However, even this 2 week time was enough to cause a plunge in new PR visas issued.
In 2019, Canada increased its PR intake by 33 percent, which was significantly higher than in February 2019.
March changes by province
During one month period, between February and March 2020, Canadian provinces saw a roughly 30 percent drop in their immigration levels.
The most affected pathway was economic class immigration. Family sponsorship and refugee class immigration also fluctuated, however, this was not a significant drop.
Alberta lost nearly 9 percent of its new economic class immigrants, also 8 percent in the family class, and 5 percent in refugee class respectively.
Loss in economic class immigration was also seen in New Brunswick, by 9 percent.
The opposite trend, however, was recorded in Newfoundland and Labrador, where family class immigration increased by 67 percent in March.
The province was the most affected territory in economic class immigration, losing nearly 53 percent of its new newcomers.
Saskatchewan increased its refugee class immigration level by 67 percent. Like other provinces, it also saw a decline in economic class immigration, losing 35 percent.
Why PR numbers should increase later in 2020?
Although the COVID-19 measures are still continuing, Canada keeps processing new immigration applications for permanent and as well as a temporary residence.
In addition, provinces also continue to hold regular PNP draws, while Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta sending ITA to eligible candidates.
Restrictions do not seem to affect Family class immigration levels. Family members of Canadian permanent residents may come to Canada for essential reasons.
Although the coronavirus crisis has affected Canada’s immigration system, it will likely to recover soon. This was also emphasized by Canada’s immigration minister – Marco Mendicino – stating that the federal government of Canada committed to accepting new immigrants to support the country’s economy.
The Express Entry rounds are held more frequently since the beginning of the pandemic. Canada invited 11,700 Express Entry candidates only in April, which is 8,000 more than prior to the pandemic.
Therefore, we are expecting to see some recovery in issued PR numbers in the second half of 2020 thanks to more Express Entry invitations are issued.