After holding three continuous draws, Canada has announced their immigration levels plan for the next three years, i.e, 2024 to 2026. Canada will keep the same immigration plans as of now. In 2024, they want 485,000 new immigrants to come. In 2025 and 2026, they aim to welcome 500,000 new immigrants each year. These goals are just like what they said in the Immigration Plan 2023-2025. The only new part is the 2026 goal and some changes in the number of immigrants in different categories from 2024 to 2026.
In 2024, Canada wants to welcome around 281,135 immigrants in the economic class, which is about 58% of their yearly goal. By 2026, this will increase to 301,250 immigrants, making up 60% of their annual target. For the family class, in 2024, the goal is 114,000 immigrants, making up 24% of all admissions. This number will increase to 118,000 immigrants by 2026, still accounting for 24% of all admissions.
The humanitarian admission targets aim for 89,865 immigrants in 2024, which is approximately 19% of all admissions. This includes refugees, protected persons, and those admitted for humanitarian, compassionate, or other reasons. By 2026, the target will be 80,832 immigrants, making up 16% of admissions. Please note that the percentages may not add up to exactly 100% due to rounding.
Express Entry and PNP targets tend to rise
The Express Entry program plans to welcome 110,700 permanent residents in 2024 and this number will increase to 117,500 immigrants in both 2025 and 2026. In the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), the goal is to admit 110,000 immigrants in 2024, which will go up to 120,000 in 2025 and remain the same in 2026.
For Spousal, Partner, and Children sponsorship, the target is 82,000 admissions in 2024, and this will increase to 84,000 in both 2025 and 2026. As for the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP), the target is 32,000 immigrants in 2024, and this will rise to 34,000 immigrants in both 2025 and 2026.
Federal Government will look to balance immigration levels
The Canadian Government stated, “This plan is designed to help the economy grow while also addressing challenges in areas like housing, healthcare, and infrastructure. It aims to achieve a balanced and sustainable increase in the population.
Starting in 2026, the government will maintain the number of permanent residents at 500,000. This will give time for new residents to integrate successfully into Canadian society while contributing to the labour market. Additionally, the government intends to adjust the number of temporary residents admitted in the coming year to ensure the sustainability of this part of our immigration system” while addressing why it is keeping its targets unchanged.
Under Canada’s main immigration law, Immigration and Refugees Protection Act (IRPA), the federal government must release its annual immigration plan by November 1 in non-election years. The Immigration Levels Plan sets the number of new permanent residents who will be allowed into Canada over the next three years, across three immigration categories: economic, family, and humanitarian.
This plan aligns with the mission of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to boost Canada’s economy, reunite families, and provide a safe haven for those escaping oppression or humanitarian crises. In 2022, Canada set a record with 437,000 new immigrants. The target for permanent resident admissions in 2023 is 465,000.
Canada’s new strategies to improve immigration system
The Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026 was revealed one day after Canada introduced a new strategy to enhance its immigration system. On October 31, Immigration Minister Marc Miller acknowledged certain issues in the country’s immigration system and discussed the key elements of a new approach to modernize it.
The new strategy, called “An Immigration System for Canada’s Future,” has three primary objectives:
- Develop a welcoming surroundings for new immigrants
- Align labour market with immigration as per the requirement
- Develop a comprehensive and coordinated growth plan
IRCC, which stands for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, aims to provide a more enjoyable and user-friendly experience for its clients. Furthermore, IRCC intends to make Canada’s immigration policies more in line with its skills and labor strategy. Thirdly, IRCC aims to create a coordinated plan involving all three levels of government in Canada to ensure the country can provide enough housing, healthcare, and infrastructure for its increasing number of newcomers.
In 2021, despite pandemic restrictions, Canada welcomed a record-breaking 405,000 new permanent residents. Currently, Canada is facing challenges related to affordability and a shortage of housing, which has led to decreased enthusiasm for immigration among some Canadians.
However, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) maintains high immigration targets because of a shortage of skilled labor due to a low birth rate and the approaching retirement of many Canadian workers. Statistics Canada’s most recent population estimate shows that newcomers contribute to 98% of Canada’s population growth.
Recent job vacancy data from July 2023 indicates 701,300 vacant jobs in Canada. Although this is a decrease compared to the previous year, it’s still significant. Due to this, IRCC has made changes to immigration programs like Express Entry to attract economic immigrants who can help bridge the labor force gap. They’ve introduced category-based selection rounds for Express Entry candidates with in-demand work experience or the ability to promote the French language outside of Quebec.
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