Canada has welcomed a total of 10,180 new immigrants from Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, in the first half of 2023, according to recent data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The figure indicates a marginal increase of 0.74 percent compared to the same period in 2022 when 10,105 Nigerians were granted Permanent Resident (PR) status in Canada.
The IRCC data highlights that Canada’s open immigration policy is driven by its need to address skill shortages in various sectors. Unlike some other countries, Canada allows immigrants in the PR process to visit the country while their applications are being processed.
Permanent Resident status in Canada provides individuals who are not Canadian citizens with the right to live and work in the country indefinitely. It offers access to social and healthcare benefits similar to those of Canadian citizens, along with legal protections.
Nigeria ranked fourth among the top source countries for new immigrants to Canada, trailing behind the Philippines (14,450), China (18,760), and India (84,425) in the total of 263,180 new immigrants in the list. Canada’s aging population and declining birth rate have prompted the country to actively attract younger immigrants to sustain its workforce through immigration-friendly policies.
Canada’s commitment to welcoming immigrants is evident in its target of receiving 500,000 immigrants annually by 2025, with nearly 1.5 million newcomers anticipated over the next three years. In 2022, Canada admitted 437,120 PRs, marking an approximately eight percent increase from the previous year.
Aside from Permanent Residents, Canada also saw significant numbers of international students from India (175,021), Nigeria (43,482), the Philippines (21,902), China (14,975), and Nepal (12,776) studying in the country, according to IRCC data.
With the recent challenges faced by Nigeria, including high inflation, unemployment, and fragile economic growth, emigration has become a major consideration for its citizens seeking better opportunities abroad. Canada’s efforts to attract skilled immigrants align with its goal to address labor shortages and boost economic growth through a diverse and talented workforce.