More than five months of a ban on direct flights from India does not appear to have dampened the enthusiasm of Indians seeking to settle in Canada, with new data showing that Indian immigration expected to set a new record this year.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a steep decline in Indians attaining permanent resident  status in Canada last year, but there has been a surge in those numbers in 2021 with 69,014 Indian nationals becoming permanent residents by the end of August this year.By comparison, the figure for all of 2020 was 37,125. And the trend for 2021 indicates that the intake numbers for the year will be higher than the previous all-time high of 84,114, which was set in 2019.

 Under that process, IRCC said it would accept 20,000 applications for temporary workers in the healthcare sector, 30,000 applications for temporary workers in other selected essential occupations, and 40,000 applications for international students who graduated from a Canadian institution.

One of the reason is that the government has been pushing for proving a pathway to permanent residence for those already in Canada since May this year, when Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced three streams to enable that process.

Toronto-based lawyer Ravi Jain, founder of the Canadian Immigration Lawyers’ Association, said part of the reason for the ongoing surge was the impact of the restrictions in the United States under the administration of former president Donald Trump, as well as other magnet countries like Australia closing their borders during the pandemic for a protracted period.

In 2020, Canada also set more ambitious immigration targets. The 2021‒2023 Immigration Levels Plan announced then was intended to compensate for the projected shortfall in 2020 due to the travel and other restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The majority of the admissions, 60%, will be in the economic class, which has been dominated by Indians in recent years. The  previous plan set targets of 351,000 PRs for 2021 and 361,000 for 2022, these were increased to 401,000 and 411,000. The figure for 2023 is even higher at 421,000.


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