Canada Immigration – 2020 Year In Review: Beyond COVID-19 Impact

Canadian Immigration

2020 will go down in the history as the year of economic lockdowns and health emergencies. 

The introduction of travel restrictions will impact Canada’s immigration system in the near future but it has not changed the rationale of Canada’s immigration policy. 

Canada continues to be committed to welcoming global talent – foreign workers, students, entrepreneurs/investors – along with their families to support a strong economy and society.

In fact, a recently released WES report noted that the interest in Canadian Immigration increased despite the pandemic. Click here to read a case study of Middle East immigrants moving to Canada.

Keeping that in mind, let us observe the top events in Canadian Immigration 2020 and chart a roadmap for the future of Canadian Immigration. 

Express Entry Crosses 100,000 ITAs for Canada PR

More than 60% of immigrants in Canada are welcomed as economic class skilled workers, and Express Entry is the main channel for Canada to manage their applications for Canada PR.

Applicants qualifying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) make up the lion’s share of successful Express Entry immigrants. However, with the announcement of travel restrictions on March 16, 2020, it was uncertain if the fortnightly Express Entry draws would continue.
Express Entry Actual ITAs vs Annual Targets

The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) improvised on their situation and scheduled the rare program-specific draws. For the next two-three months, IRCC invited Express Entry candidates who qualified only under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). 

Express Entry Draw 2020

Finally, on July 8, FSWP candidates were once again included in an Express Entry draw and IRCC has stuck to “all-program draws” since September 2nd.

The major highlight of Express Entry draw story of the year is the sheer magnitude of the draw sizes. Since its launch, 2020 has been the most number of invitations issued, surpassing 100,000 invitations for Canada PR. 

It spells good news for aspirants who want to apply for immigration to Canada as a skilled worker in 2021 and beyond!


Provincial Nominee Programs Fared Exceedingly Well

Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Canadian provinces still held nomination draws inviting immigration candidates to apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence. 

Many of these invitations were issued through so-called “enhanced” nomination streams. Such streams allow the participating 11 provinces/territories to nominate candidates already registered with the federal Express Entry system. 

Both PNPs from Ontario & British Columbia had already issued over 9,000 provincial nominations in 2020. Saskatchewan PNP introduced 10 new points available in the SINP ranking system for candidates who speak both French and English on November 24. 

Nominations from provinces such as Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, Alberta remained active throughout the year. In addition to these, upcoming programs from Prince Edward Island PNP and Yukon PNP promise great scope for foreigners in Canada. 

A visible portion of provincial nominations also went to Entrepreneurial candidates who are willing to settle and start a business in Canada. 

To boost immigration, British Columbia introduced a new regional pilot in addition to its base program for Entrepreneur immigration. Follow the embedded link for more details. 


Scope For International Students

IRCC made quick adjustments to accommodate existing international students affected by the travel restrictions by extending their eligibility for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). 

The PGWP enables international students to gain the work experience they need to be eligible for permanent residence, and eventually, make the transition to becoming the Canadian citizens of tomorrow. A recent report from Statistics Canada noted that over 50% of international students who completed a post-graduate course from any Canadian institution ended up attaining permanent residence status.  

Further, it released special guidelines in connection with the provincial governments to welcome new international students in the new academic year.  

Click here to know why international students thrive in Canada. 


Follow our daily Education blogs to know more about choosing the right study course in Canada.  


Take this free assessment online to determine your eligibility for immigration or study abroad. 


Immigration Levels Plan 2021 – 2023

Last year alone, Canada managed to welcome over 341,000 new immigrants to support its economy as well as society. The disruptions caused by the pandemic, challenges in confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) holders coming to Canada, and Canada’s coronavirus travel restrictions resulted in about welcoming 158,600 immigrants in the first 10 months of 2020. 


But in the coming years, Canada will welcome over 400,000 immigrants for permanent residence annually. A snapshot of target levels & program-wise breakdown is as below:


2021 2022 2023
Projected admissions-Targets 401,000 411,000 421,000
Federal economic, provincial/territorial nominees  208,500 213,900 217,500
Family Reunification  105,000 105,000 106,000

Canada CRS point

In the foreseeable future, IRCC will need time to process the backlog of applications caused by the pandemic and will need to modernize its systems so it can process applications more quickly after the pandemic is well behind us.


Being in the immigration & overseas education consultancy service for more than two decades, CanApprove strongly supports the findings of Remitly Study – noting Canada as the most popular immigration destination in recent years. 


There are 100+ economic & family immigration pathways to choose to immigrate to Canada.  


Book your free consultation with us today to kick-start your immigration plans! 

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