Posted on February 18, 2021

Immigration to Canada Falls by Half on Pandemic Disruptions

Shelly Hagan and Kait Bolongaro, Bloomberg, February 12, 2021

Immigration into Canada fell by almost half last year, hitting its lowest level in more than two decades as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted travel across borders.

Final government data released Thursday show Canada added 184,370 permanent residents in 2020, down from 341,175 a year earlier. That appears to be the lowest intake since the late 1990s, according to Statistics Canada data. It’s also well short of the 341,000 newcomers Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government had targeted in 2020.


Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino in October announced he’ll try to make up the losses in 2020 by ramping up targets over the next three years, in part by converting more temporary residents like foreign workers and international students to permanent residency. The goal is to attract 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021.