Canada’s immigration goals are to strengthen the economy, reunite families, and help refugees. This comprehensive Canada Visa page outlines everything that you need to know about Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan.
Summary of Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan
Each year, the federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) releases a new Immigration Levels Plan which it uses to guide its operations.
In 2022, this target will rise to 431,645 new permanent residents (PRs). In 2023, Canada will aim to welcome an additional 447,055 immigrants and in 2024 another 451,000. The following table summarizes Canada’s immigration targets between 2022-2024 by immigration class:
Why Canada Needs Immigrants
Canada welcomes high levels of immigration to keep its economy strong.
Canada has one of the world’s oldest populations and also one of the world’s lowest birth rates. This creates economic and fiscal pressures. Canada has a low rate of natural population growth which results in low rates of labour force and economic growth. Low economic growth makes it difficult for Canada to raise the taxes it needs to support social spending on services such as education, health care, and other important areas that provide high living standards in the country.
As a result, Canada has been increasing its immigration levels since the late 1980s to increase its rate of population, labour force, and economic growth. Canada now depends on immigration for the majority of its population and labour force growth and a larger share of its economic growth.
Consider that Canada will have 9 million baby boomers reach the retirement age of 65 by the year 2030. This means that Canada will have fewer workers at a time when its social spending on health care will rise. To alleviate this challenge, Canada has been proactive by gradually raising its immigration targets for over 30 years now.
As shown in the chart below, Canada has regularly welcomed over 200,000 immigrants per year since 1988. In recent years, it has decided to increase its levels to over 400,000 per year. Canada’s immigration rate now stands at around 1.1 per cent. In other words, Canada welcomes three times more immigrants on a per capita basis than then the United States of America.
Based on its demographic realities and its immigration trends, it appears likely that Canada will continue to gradually increase its immigration levels over the foreseeable future. Immigration will remain critical to supporting a healthy economy and fiscal situation in the country.
Moreover, a strong argument can be made that immigration’s importance has increased due to the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has weakened the Canadian economy in the short run and increased government spending on social services. In addition, Canada’s birth rate fell to its lowest level ever of 1.47 children per woman in 2019. Given the low birth rate prior to the pandemic, and the chance the pandemic will reduce the birth rate even further due to economic uncertainty, Canada will become even more dependent on immigration for its population growth in the coming years. If Canada’s birth rate remains low, then immigration will comprise an even larger share of labour force growth in the decades to come.
Overview of Canada’s Immigration Programs
Economic immigration, which is a major driver of Canada’s economic growth, accounts for more than half of planned admissions through the multi-year levels plan.
Nearly half of projected economic admissions will be through the federal Express Entry system programs:
- the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program
- the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC); and
- the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) also plays an important role in terms of economic immigration. This program allows participating Canadian provinces and territories to nominate eligible immigration candidates who match local workforce needs for permanent residence.
The following are immigration programs included in Canada’s Multi-Year Immigration Levels Plan:
- Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program:
This Express Entry-managed program is for immigrants with the requisite education, work experience, proficiency in English and/or French and other skills need to establish themselves economically in Canada.
- Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC):
The Express Entry-managed Federal Skilled Trades Class is for foreign workers with qualifications in a skilled trade.
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC):
The Canadian Experience Class is managed by the Express Entry system and welcomes expressions of interest from foreign workers with Canadian work experience or recent graduates of Canadian educational institutions working in Canada.
- Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP):
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot allows designated Atlantic employers to recruit and hire foreign skilled workers or international graduates in the Atlantic Canada region (Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick).
- Caregivers Program:
Canada allows eligible foreigners caring for children and people with high medical needs the opportunity to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
- Federal Business (Start-Up Visa Program and Self-Employed Person):
Federal business class programs allow foreigners who meet eligibility requirements the chance to run new or pre-existing businesses in Canada.
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP):
This program allows participating provinces and territories to nominate eligible economic immigration candidates for Canadian permanent residence.
- Quebec Skilled Worker Program and Quebec Business:
The province of Quebec runs its own immigration system outside the federal system.
The 2022-23 Migration Program has been designed to boost Australia’s economic recovery and drive social cohesion outcomes in the post-pandemic environment. The 2022-23 Migration Program will have a planning level of 160,000 places with the following composition:
- Skill (109,900 places) – this stream is designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market, including those in regional Australia.
- Family (50,000 places) – this stream is predominantly made up of Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas and provide them with pathways to citizenship.
- From 2022-23, Partner visas will be granted on a demand driven basis to facilitate family reunification. This will help reduce the Partner visa pipeline and processing times for many applicants.
- 40,500 Partner visas are estimated for 2022-23 for planning purposes, noting this estimate is not subject to a ceiling.
- 3000 Child visas are estimated for 2022-23 for planning purposes, noting this category is demand driven and not subject to a ceiling.
- Special Eligibility (100 places) – this stream covers visas for those in special circumstances, including permanent residents returning to Australia after a period overseas.
The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs can redistribute places between Skill stream visa categories on an ongoing basis to respond to changing economic conditions as they occur.
Emigrantz Global Consultancy registered and partnered with ICCRC (ICCRC – R407847) has more than a decade’s experience in the immigration industry. We have been fulfilling the needs of Permanent residency, student visa, business visa and work permit aspirants for Canada along with other countries.
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