Posted on November 20, 2021

Canada Open to Ramping Up Record Immigration, New Minister Says

Shelly Hagan, Bloomberg, November 18, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new immigration minister plans to maintain, and even ramp up, Canada’s efforts to grow the nation’s labor force with foreign workers.

Sean Fraser, who was appointed to the post in October after Trudeau’s Liberals won re-election, said the government is on track to exceed its goal of offering permanent residency to 401,000 people this year. Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg, Fraser said he’s even prepared to increase immigrant targets — currently set at 411,000 for next year — if he deems additional newcomers are needed to fill labor shortages.


As flows slowed during the pandemic because of travel restrictions, the government adapted by turning more temporary foreign workers and students already in the country into permanent residents, giving them a path to citizenship. There are more than 1 million people in the country with neither citizenship or immigrant status.

The strategy worked. October data from Immigration Canada show 46,315 people were granted permanent residency, a monthly record that brought new immigrant numbers so far this year to 313,838. Canada needs to offer permanent residency to 44,000 newcomers in each of the final two months of 2021 to achieve its target.

 “We are more than on pace to hit our target of 401,000 for the year, which I think a lot of people doubted,” Fraser said.