November 1, 2022
By Shelby Thevenot
Canada is expecting to admit more than 1.4 million new permanent residents over the next three years.
The Canadian government is once again increasing its immigration targets, according to the newly-released Immigration Levels Plan for 2023-2025. By the year 2025, Canada will aim to admit half a million new permanent residents in a single year.
The plan, tabled by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser on November 1, 2022, says Canada is aiming to welcome a total of 1.45 million new permanent residents over three years across all immigration categories.
As seen in previous immigration levels plans, Canada is aiming for higher targets each year. In 2023, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is aiming to admit 465,000 newcomers, going up to 485,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in 2025.
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Canada Immigration Levels Plan: 2023-2025
The following table offers the finer details from the Canada Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025. Below, the annual targets are broken down by immigration program.
|Immigration category||Category||2023 Range||2023 Target||2024 Range||2024 Target||2025 Range||2025 Target|
|Economic Programs||FSW, FST, CEC (Express Entry)||67,750-88,000||82,880||89,500-115,750||109,020||93,500-121,000||114,000|
|Federal Economic Public Policies||19,500-32,750||25,000||-||-||-||-|
|Economic pilots: Caregivers; Agri-Food; Rural and Northern||4,650-10,800||8,500||6,750-16,125||12,125||9,000-19,750||14,750|
|Quebec (Skilled Worker & Business)||See the Quebec immigration plan||See the Quebec immigration plan||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Family Class||Spouses, Partners, and Dependent Children||72,000-84,000||78,000||75,000-86,000||80,000||77,000-88,000||82,000|
|Parents and Grandparents||25,000-38,000||28,500||29,000-45,000||34,000||30,750-48,000||36,000|
|All Family Class Programs||100,000-118,000||106,500||105,000-130,000||114,000||107,000-135,000||118,000|
|Refugees and Protected Persons||Protected Persons in Canada & Dependents Abroad||22,000-35,000||25,000||24,000-38,000||27,000||26,000-35,000||29,000|
|Blended Visa Office Referred||0-400||250||0-400||250||0-400||250|
|Total Refugees and Protected Persons||66,000-93,000||76,305||66,000-93,000||76,115||64,000-80,000||72,750|
|Humanitarian and Other||Total Humanitarian & Other||11,000-16,750||15,985||9,000-14,500||13,750||6,500-9,000||8,000|
|Overall Planned Permanent Admissions||410,000-505,000||465,000||430,000-542,500||485,000||442,500-550,000||500,000|
Policymakers have long known that one of the ways to combat Canada’s demographic challenges is through welcoming high numbers of immigrants. Canada has an aging workforce, and the natural birth rate is not enough to grow the population on its own. As a result, Canada needs immigrants to help sustain and grow the workforce.
Family class immigration is the second biggest category on the plan, demonstrating Canada’s commitment to reuniting families. Refugees typically make up the smallest share of expected immigrants, but even so numbers remain above 70,000 annually over the next three years.
Key takeaways: Canada Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025
The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) will admit the highest proportion of new permanent residents each year according to the 2023-2025 levels plan.
The government says in its media release, that it’s increasing regional immigration programs, like PNP, because they are increasingly important to the growth of the country.
This is quite different from what we’ve seen in previous years. Normally the Federal High Skilled category—which includes programs managed by the Express Entry system—brings in the most newcomers.
Previously, in the 2022 immigration targets, IRCC aimed to admit 83,500 new permanent residents through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) and only 55,900 through Express Entry. This was the first time since IRCC implemented the Express Entry system in 2015 that the department called for more immigrants under PNPs than Express Entry.
IRCC is expecting to break a new record in 2023. If they do, it will be the third year in a row that Canada surpasses its 1913 record of 400,000 new permanent residents. In 2021, Canada welcomed about 405,000 new permanent residents through all immigration programs. This year, Canada is on track to break that record again as IRCC aims to welcome 431,645 newcomers. As of August, IRCC has admitted 309,240 new permanent residents so far this year.
Canada continues to show a strong commitment to family reunification. Over the next three years, IRCC aims to admit a high number of family class immigrants under all three categories for spouses and common-law partners, parents and grandparents, as well as children and other dependents.
Regional immigration programs will become of increasing importance. The Canadian government has long been discussing ways to attract more immigrants to rural communities. The Atlantic Immigration Program and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot are two programs that are meant to support areas of the country where immigration has been historically low. Minister Fraser indicated that in 2023 Express Entry will begin to use targeted draws to attract newcomers to regions in need of immigrants.
IRCC is also aiming for 4.4% of all immigrants outside Quebec to be French-speaking by 2023. Although Canada has welcomed more than 5,000 immigrants who fit this category per year since 2019, it has yet to reach the 4.4% mark.
IRCC is also looking to expand the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot to welcome 2,000 skilled refugees to fill labour shortages in high-demand sectors, such as healthcare. This pilot was introduced in 2021 to address Canadian labour shortages while at the same time providing solutions for refugees with in-demand skills.
Wait a second—isn’t this the second Immigration Levels Plan this year?
Yes. Every year, the immigration minister has to table the levels plan on or before November 1, unless the House is not in session—a fancy way of saying that the politicians are not working. In September 2021, Canada held a federal election, and as such the House was not in session. In that case, the immigration minister must table the levels plan within 30 days from when the House resumes, which is why Fraser released the previous Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-2024 in February.
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