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Exploring the 2023 Canadian Immigration Landscape

Canada exceeded the 2023 immigration targets by welcoming approximately 471,550 new permanent residents the previous year. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) fixed the target of admitting 465,000 new permanent residents in 2023. The number of new permanent residents grew by 33,950 as Canada welcomed 437,600 new immigrants in 2022.

 Continue reading to discover how the immigration landscape unfolded in 2023 with insights into the highest contributing source countries, an overview of Express Entry invitation rounds, and the most sought-after destination provinces.

Canada’s top source countries for immigration

The highest number of immigrants to Canada came from India, as Canada welcomed 139,715 Indian citizens as permanent residents in 2023. China was the second source country of Canadian immigrants in 2023, as 31,765 Canadian permanent residents were from the People’s Republic of China. There was a huge gap between the first and second top source countries.

The third highest source country for Canadian immigration in 2023 was the Philippines, with 26,950 permanent residents, followed by Afghanistan (20,165 new PR admissions), and Nigeria (17,445 new PR admissions). India continued to be a top source country for Canadian immigration for several years. It is also the top country contributing to Canada’s International Students Program.

2023 Express Entry Overview

Canada’s Express Entry application management system deals with the three main federal economic immigration pathways: 

Express Entry system is also responsible for managing Express Entry-aligned streams of Provincial Nominee Programs.

These are some details of the number of new immigrants through Express Entry draws in 2023:oro

  • Canadian Experience Class – 41,865 new PR arrivals
  • Federal Skilled Workers – 35,500 new PR arrivals 
  • Federal Skilled Workers – 110 new PR arrivals

Canada leverages Express Entry to enable international workers across diverse skilled occupations to become Canadian permanent residents and contribute to the labor market and economy. Express Entry helped welcome 120,770 new permanent residents in 2023. Provincial Nominee Programs welcomed 43,290 new immigrants and emerged as the topmost contributors to the total number of new immigrants in 2023.

Top cities and provinces welcoming new immigrants

Toronto was the topmost Canadian city, welcoming the highest number of permanent residents in 2023, as 135,865 new permanent residents landed in the capital city of Ontario. The following is the list of most sought-after Canadian cities by new immigrants in 2023, in descending order:

  • Toronto
  • Vancouver
  • Montreal
  • Calgary
  • Edmonton
  • Ottawa
  • Winnipeg
  • Kitchener
  • Saskatoon
  • Regina

The following provinces welcomed the highest number of new immigrants in 2023, starting with Ontario, breaking previous records by admitting 206,720 new permanent residents.

  • Ontario
  • British Columbia
  • Alberta
  • Quebec

British Columbia climbed up one position to become the second province to admit most new immigrants, while Alberta moved down from the second to the third position. Quebec slid down two ranks, ending in fourth position. Nova Scotia ranked first in welcoming the highest number of new immigrants in 2023 among four Atlantic provinces.

The takeaway

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is on track to meet the 2023 Immigration Levels Plan by overshooting its targets in 2023. IRCC plans to welcome over 500,000 new permanent residents in 2025 and 2026. Aspiring immigrants planning to migrate to Canada should explore the options of Provincial Immigration and Express Entry selection, as the IRCC does not cap the number of new permanent residents.

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