#COVID-19 Immigration Effects: November Update

Key trends from November IRCC operational data: 

Minister Fraser announced just before Christmas that the government had met it 2021 target of 401,000, with November numbers being the highest monthly numbers to date, 47,340. 

One consequence of the government’s fixation on meeting the target has been the inevitable increase in backlogs: 548,000 permanent residence applications, 776,000 temporary residence applications, and 468,000 Canadian citizenship applications. 

Transition from temporary residents to permanent residents accounts for about three quarters of all permanent resident admissions, as can be seen also in Express Entry Invitation to Apply and Admissions data. The economic class forms a slightly increasing percentage (from 57% in 2019 to 62.1% in 2021 YTD), reflecting in part a significant increase in the latter half of 2021. 

Meanwhile, applications continue to decline slightly along with web interest given increased two-step immigration from international students and those on work permits and their family members. 

Temporary Residents – IMP remained stable compared to the previous month but declined with respect to November 2020 and 2019. 

Temporary Residents – TFWP small decline, largely due to agriculture workers and those with a LMIA. 

Students: Seasonal decline of study permits but a November increase in applications year-over-year (and compared to 2019), suggesting greater awareness and interest in two-step immigration. 

Asylum Claimants: Significant increase in the number of asylum claimants, given reduced travel restrictions. Significant increase also for Irregular arrivals (Roxham Road etc), with close to one thousand in November. 

Citizenship: Program continues to recover to normal levels and starting to make a small dent in the backlog 

Visitor Visas: While numbers have increased given reduced travel restrictions, still remain slightly more than half of traditional levels (2019).

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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