Canadian Immigration Slows Further As Permanent Resident Applications Crater

Canada went from the immigration darling to supervillain over a span of just a few months. Government of Canada (GoC) IRCC data for December shows a drop in permanent resident applications. It follows a weak end to the year that saw much weaker growth than many had anticipated. The drop wasn’t exclusive to countries Canada has recently experienced tensions with either, but it appears to be a broad decline as the opportunities Canada offers go under the microscope. 

Canadian Permanent Resident Applications Drop 73%

Canadian applications for permanent residency have suddenly cratered. The IRCC saw a drop of 73% to just 16.4k applications in December. It was the third consecutive month to report an annual drop, with less extreme declines observed in November (-30%) and October (-25%). September (+6%) also managed to log very weak growth considering Canada’s targets and the growth that preceded. 

Shift In Applications Was Very Abrupt

Looking at annual growth highlights how abrupt the change in direction was over the past year. Canada managed to still grow by 10% to 317.4k permanent resident applications in 2023. However, it was expected to be a much larger year with year-over-year monthly growth surging as high as 96% in May. 

Canadian Permanent Resident Applications Are Slowing

The 12-month change for permanent resident applications Canada has received.  

Source: IRCC; Better Dwelling. 

Between January and August of last year, applications were a whopping 50% higher than the previous year. Over just four months, the drag was substantial enough to drop that rate by 40 points. If this momentum continues into the current year, the country may see a rare annual decline. 

Rising Tensions Aren’t The Only Reason Immigrants Aren’t Coming 

Canada’s eroding relationships with key sources of immigrants is certainly contributing to the issue. The largest source of permanent resident applications remains India, though applications declined 62% in December. It was followed by Nigeria (-32%), and China (-81%) to round out the top three. However, it’s important to note the decline wasn’t just those countries. 

The GoC saw declines in applications from all but six countries in December. The largest of those six being Kyrgyzstan, the source of a whopping 9 applications. With such few growth areas, the decline in applications is much more complicated than just rising tensions between Canada, China, and India. 

As previously discussed, immigration experienced a hiccup as far back as May. This is when the living conditions international students experienced became magnified in the public, after it was revealed dozens of students were the victims of scams. 

Study permits aren’t directly related to permanent resident applications. Though such a large public issue likely prompted potential immigrants to closely examine the conditions they’re moving into. 



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  • Jojo 2 months ago

    Expected, there’s no housing available. The cost of living has gone through the roof

  • DM 2 months ago

    All those domestic investors who are scapegoating immigrants as property hoarders will be begging for them to come back soon enough.

  • [email protected] 2 months ago


  • Mark Bayly 2 months ago

    Only low paying jobs available now in a ridiculously expensive country The word is out Canada is not the place to be

  • Luis 2 months ago

    More and more people are realizing that it’s better to be middle class, own a home and car, and be respected in your temperate or tropical climate home country…than to liquidate everything, spend it all in a few months, end up working dead-end jobs, pay overpriced rent like a serf, and be treated as a second class citizen in a freezing cold country.

  • Stephen C. 2 months ago

    This shouldn’t be a surprise, when BD just released the numbers showing that there aren’t enough jobs currently in the Canadian economy for the current quotas of immigrants, much less native born Canadians!
    And, as a natural born Canadian, I think that it’s asinine to not keep the quotas for adding immigrants concurrent to the available opportunities in the Canadian labour market, and, if we can’t even barely provide jobs to everyone who wants one, whether they are natural Canadians or immigrants we already have here, what insanity has possessed the Liberals to keep adding immigrants, if there aren’t enough jobs for them when they arrive?
    And, that, coupled with a massive cost increase in basic staples, and in other basic needs, a lack of affordable/sustainable housing, and the fact that immigrants are leaving in droves due to the fact that they think they would be doing better back where they immigrated from then in Canada, has contributed to these lower numbers, and, unless the Canadian economy rapidly heats up, enough to absorb these immigrants, and provide enough jobs, and the BoC gets a handle on inflation to push costs down to pre-pandemic levels(highly unlikely, even without rampant inflation, costs never decrease, they increase, just ask any property owner), alot of current immigrants and prospective ones are finding that the grass really isn’t greener in Canada, and after decades of net positive immigration, and the right kind of economy, and enough public infrastructure, these trends have reversed precipitiously, and the mass migration has began.
    Just imagine how bad things would have to be for people leaving worse situations to believe that the ‘land of opportunity’, Canada in this regard, has lost the majority of it’s opportunity, yet that is what the statistics are saying!
    This does not bode well for naturally born Canadians, much less immigrants, and, in fact this isn’t just my opinion or stats that have been skewed, the United Nation’s own economic agency’s outlook for Canada’s economy for the next 40 years, has Canada’s economic output as lower than any other G20 nation.
    Adding more immigration indiscriminantely to this mix, is foolhardy at best, and insanity at worst, and, if anything if we keep adding people who won’t have jobs, or are able to afford the cost of basic goods, the societal damage going forward, could be immense, in terms of unrest, increases in crime, etc.
    But just like down south, we know what unfettered imigration looks like, and, that could be goal all along up here too, and, if you don’t believe me, just look online for a recent interview that the former head of border security in the States did, where he basically said that his department’s officials and staff under Biden’s administration would not only not allow them to enforce the current laws on the books, but, they were also restrained from completing and enabling the border control equipment that US taxpayers had already funded, and, it has gotten so bad down there, that he said that the US taxpayer is being forced to pay US contractors to the tune of 5 million dollars a day, not to install the border control panels, and survellience equipment already purchased!
    5 million to keep contractors from doing the work they were awarded contracts to do, if I was an American, I would be pissed!
    But, this is just a small taste of what is headed our way, if we have officials in either country, in either government, who play politics with legal, lawful boundaries between countries, and, the only ones who benefit from this, is the people who have been fomenting this garbage from the start of the war in Syria.
    Just look at how some European countries are reacting now, versus then, and we get a glimpse of what’s in store for us, if these shenanigans continue.
    I am 43, and I don’t have any children yet, but if I did, I would be very concerned about their future, and even my own future, if this pendelum swings mightly in the opposite direction, the direction no one wants what the WEF types.
    They are saying, that for the first time since the baby boomers, that their progeny, and every generation after them, may have to significantly downgrade their outlook for the potential of their future, that they will be the first generation in around 70 years that will do worse, not better than the generation of the baby boomers.
    ‘American dream’? More like American scream.

  • A Grant 2 months ago

    You would have to be out of your mind to move here. This is not surprising.

  • Saransh Sharma 2 months ago

    I think the issue is that while Canada has been eager to accept anyone (and I mean literally anyone who wants to come to Canada), they have invested very very little in the country’s infrastructure, industries, healthcare or education. As a result, we have a vast majority of the country’s landmass that is less developed than Afghanistan, crumbling healthcare system that would make Cuba look like a dream, no jobs (400+ applicants in some cases for 2 vacancies) and extreme wealth inequality. Additionally, Canada seems to be one of the few countries that has pointless bureaucracies everywhere BUT a lack of oversight where it is actually needed (look at monopolies in telecom, banking and grocery sectors). Companies don’t want to train future employees and just want to pick the ones that they believe SHOULD know the job. After all, if person 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 won’t know and need to be trained…why hire when there are literally thousands applying for one vacancy?

    Canada has been managed extremely poorly with no thought or ambition. It needs rapid radical reform or else it will experience a decade long recession. Talent is leaving Canada or looking to leave. The talent Canada has is not being utilized because there are NO jobs. The productivity keeps going down while the cost of real estate keeps going up (all propped up artificially to keep the boomer generation happy). All industries have been sidelines in favor of just real estate.

    There really seems to be no future here.

  • Jason Blum 2 months ago

    Thank God.

  • Sagar 2 months ago

    Too expensive even for a person with decent job. How can people start a new life Canada with these expenses.

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