The Immigration Level Plan serves as a guide to the number of immigrants that Canada aims to welcome over the next three years.
Canada just released its Immigration Level Plan 2023-2025.
Canada will aim to welcome 465,000 new immigrants in 2023.
The target will increase to 485,000 new immigrants in 2024.
This will further increase to 500,000 new immigrants by 2025.
Canada broke its all-time immigration record by welcoming more than 405,000 immigrants in 2021 and is looking to welcome around 432,000 immigrants this year.
The Immigration Level Plan serves as a guide to the number of immigrants Canada aims to welcome each year. Canada’s immigration goals include growing the economy, reuniting families, and sheltering hard-fought refugees overseas.
Express Entry and PNP targets will increase
Most new permanent residents immigrate within economic class programs such as the express entry system or through provincial enrollment programs (PNP).
The targets for Express Entry Landing (Key Applicant, Spouse and Dependent) will increase as follows:
82,880 in 2023
109,020 in 2024
114,000 in 2025
The PNP will continue to be Canada’s premier entry program for economic class immigrants, with targets increasing as well:
105,500 in 2023
110,000 in 2024
117,500 in 2025
Higher PGP Admission
IRCC also has a mandate to reunite families. After economic class programs, family class sponsorship is the second largest permanent residence class determined by immigration level planning. Under the Family Class Immigration Program, applicants are sponsored by a spouse, partner, children or other family member for permanent residence.
Canada will continue to welcome approximately 80,000 new immigrants per year under the Spouse, Partner and Child Program.
Parents and grandparents program targets will increase to 28,500 in 2023, followed by 34,000 in 2024 and 36,000 in 2025.
Refugees and the goal of the fall of the humanitarian class
There is also an allocation of refugees and immigrants of the humanitarian class. Canada has a long-standing reputation for providing asylum to displaced persons fleeing unsafe conditions in their home countries.
Canada currently has high humanitarian class goals due to its ongoing efforts to meet several missions, such as welcoming approximately 40,000 refugees from Afghanistan.
The total refugee class will target more than 76,000 new landings in 2023 and 2024 each, dropping to 72,750 in 2025.
The same goes for the humanitarian category target which has come down from about 16,000 in 2023 to 8,000 in 2025.
Canada’s immigration strategy
Canada’s current immigration strategy began to take its present form in the 1980s. At the time, the government looked not too far into the future and often based immigration targets on the economy of the day.
In 1984, Canada welcomed less than 90,000 immigrants. Leading in the 1990s, the Canadian government under the Conservatives recognized the impending labor shortage and raised the immigration target to 250,000 new permanent residents within the span of eight years.
The following Liberal government built on these goals, but due to the economic downturn, newcomers began to place more emphasis on inviting more economic class immigrants and reducing Canadian family and humanitarian class shares.
Canada welcomed approximately 260,000 immigrants annually until the current Liberal government came to power in 2015. The target was raised to 300,000, followed by 340,000 in 2020 just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The closure of borders and other travel restrictions in 2020 made it difficult for the IRCC to process applications. Still, Canada exceeded its 2021 immigration target and broke the record for most permanent residents invited in a year at 405,000. These goals were achieved through the large allocation of spots through Canada’s Experience Group and the Provincial Enrollment Program (PNP).
Canada is currently in a unique period with nearly one million job vacancies as well as a labor shortage. Both factor in the country’s rising immigration targets.
Labor shortages are exacerbated by Canada’s low birth rate of 1.4 children per woman, one of the lowest globally. Due to the slow natural growth in population (the number of births still exceeds the number of deaths each year), immigration will soon be the only way Canada’s population and labor force will be able to grow. Newcomers are also required to maintain a strong tax base, a key factor in Canada’s efforts to provide essential services such as education and health care.
Canada has one of the oldest populations in the world. about nine million people, or about one in Canada’s population
A fourth will reach retirement age by 2030. This will create an immediate shortage of workers in all sectors of the economy.
The government must announce an immigration level plan by November 1 of each year in accordance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), which is Canada’s main immigration law. However, the 2022-2024 immigration level plan was announced second in 2022, the first in February following the most recent federal election on September 20, 2021, delaying the 2021 announcement.