Canada currently has 2.2 million non-permanent residents (temporary foreign workers, international students and asylum seekers) out of a population of 40.1 million people. This means that around one in 20 Canadians comes from temporary immigration. People without papers are not included.
Figures released Wednesday by Statistics Canada show a 46% annual increase in the number of non-permanent residents (NPR) from July 1, 2022 to July 1, 2023.
This is the largest increase observed since comparable data became available (1971-1972), the federal agency notes.
The estimated population of 2.2 million non-permanent residents has now surpassed that of the 1.8 million Indigenous people counted in the 2021 census, Statistics Canada notes.
For comparison, the number of RNPs in Canada was estimated at 1.5 million people as of July 1, 2022 and 1.3 million people as of July 1, 2021.
The increase in temporary immigration to Canada follows the logic of recent months and years, both in Quebec and at the federal level, where administrative procedures have been simplified to attract workers from abroad.
Statistics Canada further explains the increase in RNP numbers by the emergency travel authorization between Canada and Ukraine introduced in March 2022 due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has so far helped 175,000 Ukrainians settle in the country.
For all these reasons, temporary immigration has exploded in the last year, particularly in Quebec. The number of non-permanent residents who have settled in the province of La Belle now exceeds 470,000 people, whereas until recently it was estimated to have fluctuated between 300,000 and 350,000 people.
As a result, new data from Statistics Canada risks affecting Quebec’s immigration planning for 2024-2027, which has been the subject of public hearings since parliamentary work resumed in the National Assembly two weeks ago.
Because the phenomenon will not disappear, at least as far as asylum applications are concerned. From January to August 2023, as many as 80,000 applications were submitted in Canada, compared to 91,000 applications in all of 2022.
With information from Romain Schué