Here’s how many South Africans are moving to Canada each year

 ·1 Nov 2022

The Canadian government has updated its Immigration Levels Plan for 2023-2025, showing that the country is desperate to draw skilled workers from other countries to its shores.

Canada made an announcement in October 2020 that it would seek to welcome over 400,000 new immigrants per year moving forward, or about 40,000 more per year than its previous targets.

The revised outlook for 2022-2024 showed that the country expected to draw 430,000 new immigrants each year. In the 2023-2025 update delivered on Tuesday (1 November), this target has been pushed to 500,000 new immigrants by 2025.

It expects to welcome 435,000 immigrants in 2022.

According to Canada’s central stats body, at the end of the third quarter of 2022, the country was well on its way to meeting this target, with 309,240 foreigners gaining permanent residency.

This includes 1,285 South Africans who made the jump in 2022 so far.

Over the last seven years (2015 – 2022Q3), 2.4 million foreigners have made Canada their home. Of this, 11,210 South Africans made the move.

Year South Africans granted permanent residency
2015 945
2016 1 070
2017 1 555
2018 1 820
2019 1 790
2020 1 125
2021 1 620
2022 (to Q3) 1 285
Total 11 210

According to Statistics Canada, over 5,000 South Africans enter the country’s immigration system every year.

In a shift for immigration, Canada is expecting to welcome more immigrants under its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) than its Express Entry-managed programs for 2022 and 2023.

Express Entry is an online system that the country uses to manage immigration applications from skilled workers.

Skilled South Africans have historically scored highly in the point rankings thanks to strong language skills, the probability of having obtained skilled work experience, and the higher education that they may have completed earlier in life.

The bulk of the immigrants will be on economic visas (242,000), followed by family visas (105,000) and refugee (76,550) or humanitarian grounds (8,250).

Canadian immigration experts said that the country welcomes high levels of immigration to keep its economy strong.

“Canada has one of the world’s oldest populations and also one of the world’s lowest birth rates. This creates economic and fiscal pressures,” said Canadian law firm, Cohen Immigration.

“Canada has a low rate of natural population growth, which results in low rates of labour force and economic growth. Low economic growth makes it difficult for Canada to raise the taxes it needs to support social spending on services such as education, health care, and other important areas that provide high living standards in the country.”

The group said that Canada now depends on immigration for the majority of its population and labour force growth and a larger share of its economic growth – and based on its demographic realities and its immigration trends, it is ikely that Canada will continue to gradually increase its immigration levels over the foreseeable future.

“Immigration will remain critical to supporting a healthy economy and fiscal situation in the country,” it said.

Read: Surprising trend for South Africans moving to Canada

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