Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said more than one-third of one million foreign students were allowed to remain in Canada as permanent residents in the past three years, according to Blacklock’s Reporter. “In the past three years, over 627,000 former temporary residents became permanent residents,” said IRCC in a submission to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee. “This includes over 355,000 former international students.”The number coincided with the highest immigration quotas in Canadian history. It covered the period from 2021 to 2023. IRCC disclosed it stepped up processing of permanent residency claims by foreigners in Canada when immigration fell during lockdowns. The number of new immigrants allowed into Canada was 184,370 in 2020— less than half the current quota. “Due to COVID-related travel restrictions and border closures, the department shifted to focus on workers already in Canada to support immigration in 2021, resulting in former temporary residents representing roughly 66% of admissions,” said IRCC. “After 2021, the transition rate of temporary residents was 40% in 2022 and 45% in 2023.”The Canadian government’s immigration plan sets quotas at 485,000 people in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025. IRCC found in in-house research Canadians believe current quotas are too high. It said in a report participants think their communities “need to plan for accommodating more immigration and more permanent residents.” These participants pointed to a variety of concepts around them today that they felt were not working well and need to be addressed. Most participants said new immigrants make their community a better place to live, expressing an appreciation for cultural diversity, learning from and about new cultures and this being the Canadian way.However, they questioned the feasibility of housing another 500,000 immigrants. “Gaps identified included more support finding housing,” it said. One participant said it was too much too fast. Another one acknowledged Canada is in a housing crisis. A third participant said people were living on the streets because there is no housing. “We need to get our own house in order before we welcome anybody else in,” said the participant. Records published on Monday show Immigration Minister Marc Miller allowed 807,000 foreign students to work unlimited hours in Canada without any research on how it would affect Canadian jobseekers. READ MORE: Immigration minister made up jobs claim about foreign students“I don’t think students are taking jobs away from other people given the labour shortages that are happening in Canada,” said Miller. Employment and Social Development Canada said the information did not exist. IRCC said it had no response on the information it was requesting. Findings were based on 18 focus groups nationwide. IRCC paid Quorus Consulting Group $119,723 for the research.