The Conference Board of Canadian Immigration , an influential non-government organization that studies the country’s economy, published a thorough study on international students’ pathways to permanent residency (PR). They suggest that the current system makes it hard for students to estimate their odds of obtaining PR, and recommend that the government create “purpose-built immigration programs for international students.” The board also says governments and universities need to provide more settlement supports to help students in their first days and weeks in the country.
Canada issued more than 437,000 permanent residency permits last year, breaking the record it had just set one year earlier in 2021. This nearly half-million boom comes just after a very busy five-year period, where the country welcomed 1.3 million permanent residents from 2016-2021. Thanks to such huge numbers, immigrants now account for almost 100% of the country’s new jobs and 75% of its overall population growth.
…and the federal government isn’t going to stop there. Late last year, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced that Ottawa planned to increase the annual number of new permanent residents to 500,000 within just a few years. While that announcement was met with some criticism, it is in line with recent trends: Canada passed the 300,000 mark in 2018, and 400,000 just three years later.
Getting off to a fast start, the federal government has already held two Express Entry draws so far this year. Express Entry is a program designed to fast-track skilled workers to permanent residency, including one stream for people with work experience in Canada.
If you’re looking to stay in Canada long-term and don’t want to be in a big city, you’re in luck. 11 cities across the country are part of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), where a newcomer’s application for permanent residency can be shortened from 18 months to just 2 months. In this article, representatives from some small towns in Ontario say the program has been a success – and they’re hoping to attract even more immigrants in the coming years.