The Immigration Levels Plan acts as a guide for the number of immigrants that Canada intends to receive in the next three years.

Canada has just released its Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025.

Canada will aim to welcome 465,000 new immigrants in 2023.

The target will rise to 485,000 new immigrants in 2024.

It will further rise to 500,000 new immigrants 2025.

Canada broke its all-time immigration record by welcoming more than 405,000 immigrants in 2021 and expects to welcome almost 432,000 immigrants this year.

The Immigration Levels Plan acts as a guide for the number of immigrants that Canada intends to receive each year. Canada’s immigration goals include growing the economy, reuniting families and offering asylum to refugees fleeing hardship abroad.

Express Entry and PNP targets will rise

Most new permanent residents immigrate through economy class programs such as the Express Entry system or through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

The targets for Express Entry landings (principal applicants, spouses, and dependents) will rise as follows:

  • 82,880 in 2023
  • 109,020 in 2024
  • 114,000 in 2025

The PNP will remain Canada’s leading admissions program for economic class immigrants and targets will also increase to:

  • 105,500  in 2023
  • 110,000 in 2024
  • 117,500 in 2025

Higher PGP Admissions

IRCC also has a mandate to reunite families. After the economy class programs, the family class sponsorship is the second largest permanent residence class established by the Immigration Levels Plan. Under the family class immigration programs, applicants are sponsored for permanent residence by a spouse, partner, children, or other family member.Canada will continue to seek to welcome some 80,000 new immigrants per year under the Spouses, Partners and Children program.
The goals for the Parents and Grandparents Program will increase to 28,500 in 2023, followed by 34,000 in 2024 and 36,000 in 2025.

Refugee and Humanitarian Class Targets to Decline

Refugees and humanitarian class immigrants also have an allowance under the Immigration Tiers Scheme. Canada has a long-standing reputation for granting asylum to displaced people fleeing unsafe situations in their home countries.

Canada currently has high-class humanitarian goals due to its ongoing efforts to complete various campaigns, such as welcoming some 40,000 refugees from Afghanistan.

The overall target for the refugee class will be just over 76,000 new landings in 2023 and 2024, before falling to 72,750 in 2025.

The same goes for the humanitarian class target, which is declining from almost 16,000 in 2023 to 8,000 in 2025.

Canada’s Immigration Strategy

Canada’s current immigration strategy began to take its current form in the 1980s. At the time, the government did not look that far into the future and often based immigration goals on the economy of the day.

In 1984, Canada received fewer than 90,000 immigrants. Prior to the 1990s, the Canadian government under the Conservatives recognized the looming labor shortage and increased immigration targets to 250,000 new permanent residents in the space of eight years.

The next Liberal government built on these goals, but due to an economic downturn, it also began to place more emphasis on inviting newcomers to more economic class immigrants and reducing Canada’s humanitarian and family class proportions.

Canada received about 260,000 immigrants annually until the current Liberal government took power in 2015. The targets rose to 300,000, followed by 340,000 just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Border closures and other travel restrictions in 2020 made it difficult for IRCC to process applications. Still, Canada exceeded its 2021 immigration target and broke the record for the most permanent residents invited in a year, with 405,000. These goals were achieved through large allocations of places through the Canadian Experience Class and the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP).

Canada is currently in a unique period where there is a labor shortage along with almost a million job vacancies. Both are driving factors in the country’s growing immigration goals.

The labor shortage is further affected by Canada’s low birth rate of 1.4 children per woman, one of the lowest in the world. Due to the slow natural increase 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 workforce can grow. Newcomers are also needed to maintain a strong tax base, which is 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. Approximately nine million people, or almost a quarter of Canada’s population, will reach retirement age by 2030. This will create an urgent shortage of workers in all sectors of the economy.

The government must announce the Immigration Levels Plan each year by November 1 under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), which is Canada’s main immigration law. However, the 2022-2024 immigration levels plan was the second announced in 2022, the first occurring in February after the most recent federal election on September 20, 2021 caused the 2021 announcement to be delayed.

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