March 4, Toronto. Canada’s recent move to offer permanent residency to more foreigners living and working in the country is a short-term solution to the economic problems spurred by a pandemic-related immigration slowdown, analysts say, while critics argue the strategy excludes too many vulnerable people.
With travel restrictions in place, visa offices closed and immigration applications stalled, the Canadian government finds itself on the back foot as it attempts to reach its target of attracting a record 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021.
The country, which admitted 184,370 people in that category last year, the lowest number since 1998, is turning its attention to the more than 1 million temporary residents within its borders to boost the numbers, inviting some to apply for permanent residency.
In January, Canada welcomed 26,600 new permanent residents, most of whom were already in the country. That was 10% more than in the same period a year ago. Last month, the Canadian government invited 27,000 temporary workers who met certain conditions to apply for permanent residency.