How the pandemic will affect immigration

Dear Mr Brown,

Considering that the Canadian border is still closed to travel, do you foresee a negative impact on immigration due to COVID-19?



Dear TM,

According to a recent report by Statistics Canada, the country is experiencing the lowest population growth rate since 1916 due to the pandemic, which lowered rates of international migration and increased the death rate.

International migration trends are the root cause of Canada’s lower numbers in population growth last year, including border and travel restrictions.

Approximately 341,000 individuals immigrated to Canada prior to the pandemic. Last year, Canada had just under 187,000 individuals immigrate. Canada hit a record high in the number of deaths recorded in a single year 300,000 in 2020. COVID-19 accounted for approximately one death out of every 20 deaths in Canada last year.

This trend will have long-term negative implications for Canada in terms of demographics and associated socio-economic development.



Canadians are older, with fewer children and less affinity for marriage. Couples without children are outpacing couples with a child or children. Overall, the shift has been from families with children to empty nest couples or younger people deciding not to have children. Same-sex relationships are increasing. There is an increasing trend of multiple generations living under the same roof. There is also an all-time high of adults living alone.

Canada has a population of approximately 35 million people. There are more senior citizens than children under the age of 14. The seniors are living longer and are more likely to be widowed. There is also an increasing trend of separation and divorce. Higher rates of the participation of women in the workforce have led to a lower birth rate with greater economic independence.

The percentage of childless couples has grown. Couples with at least one child comprise 51.1 per cent of the population. One in three Canadians aged 20-34 lives with at least one parent. Economic and pragmatic factors perpetuate this trend which tends to result in a lower birth rate as well.

The Canadian Government will have to increase immigration levels to compensate for the effects of the pandemic. Otherwise, the social and economic ramifications would be significant. Based on these trends, it is inevitable that immigration levels will increase for the foreseeable future.

Please visit JAMAICA2CANADA.COM for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programmes, including Express Entry, the Study & Work programme, visas or appeals, etc.


— Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA. COM — a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to documents.jamaica2canada@gmail.com

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