• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Canada set to reduce intake of temporary residents

Canada immigration minister Marc Miller

Canada currently hosts approximately 2.5 million temporary residents, making up roughly 6.2% of the total population. These individuals encompass students, asylum seekers, and temporary workers.

Statistics Canada reports that in 2021, the largest portion of temporary residents, approximately 40%, held work permits. Students comprised 22%, while asylum claimants made up 18%.

The remaining individuals held a combination of permits, including study and visa permits, or were family members of temporary residents.

Read also: Japa: 3 common myth about immigrating to Canada

Marc Miller immigration minister aims to decrease the percentage of temporary residents this fall, from 6.5% in 2023 to around 5% over the next three years, representing a reduction of approximately 20% from Canada’s 2.5 million temporary residents in 2023, due to the significant increase in the number of these temporary residents entering the country on visas with time limitations for the first time.

Miller announced the latest government initiative aimed at tackling a housing shortage and strained essential services.

Canada has witnessed a surge in international students of recent, foreign workers, and temporary residents on time-limited visas, driven by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s immigration-driven economic agenda.

However, the Liberal government faces criticism for exacerbating housing shortages, while provincial services, like education and healthcare, struggle to keep pace with population growth.

Read also: Nigerian family facing deportation from Canada receives temporary residence

In May, Miller will meet with provincial and territorial counterparts to finalize the plan.

“We need to ensure the number of temporary residents entering the country is at a sustainable level,” Miller told reporters in Ottawa.

“Starting this fall for the first time, we will expand the immigration levels plan to include both temporary resident arrivals and permanent resident arrivals,” he said.

The introduction of caps marks a notable policy change for Canada, which has traditionally depended on open immigration to fill job vacancies and address its aging workforce.

Advocates for temporary foreign workers criticized Thursday’s announcement, telling Canadian news outlet Global News that migrants face precarious working conditions and are unfairly blamed for the affordability and housing crisis.

Coinciding with Canada’s reinstatement of visa requirements for Mexican nationals with a surge in asylum seekers from Mexico.

Earlier this year, Mr. Miller imposed restrictions on the admission of international students to Canada for the next two years, aiming for a 35% reduction in approved study permits.

The number of foreign students in Canada surged to over 800,000 in 2022 from 214,000 a decade ago.

The decision has faced criticism, particularly from various post-secondary institutions nationwide, expressing concerns that it could dissuade students from choosing Canada as a study destination and encourage them to pursue education elsewhere.

Certain universities emphasized that implementing a cap would result in revenue loss for their institutions.

The Trudeau administration said in November these plans will halt the increase in permanent resident immigration starting in 2026.

Recall in January Canada unveiled a two-year limit on foreign student admissions and discontinued issuing work permits to certain graduates, aiming to control the influx of newcomers, Businessday reported.