Canada is setting its immigration goals with an eye on stable and sustainable growth. As the country navigates challenges such as an aging population and a shortage of workers in essential fields like healthcare, transportation, and construction, immigrants are increasingly vital for innovation and economic prosperity.
On November 1, 2023, the Canadian government, led by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marc Miller, unveiled the Immigration Levels Plan for the years 2024 to 2026. The plan focuses on economic expansion while considering the strain on housing, healthcare, and infrastructure that comes with population increase. The plan proposes keeping the number of permanent residents consistent at 485,000 for 2024 and aims to reach 500,000 by 2025. Starting in 2026, this number will stabilize, allowing for the integration of new residents and bolstering the labor market.
The government is also looking at adjusting temporary resident numbers in the next year to maintain a balanced immigration system. Collaboration with provinces, territories, employers, and Indigenous groups will be key to managing the impact of immigration on the Canadian population.
Key points of the plan include:
- A focus on economic growth with over 60% of permanent resident admissions slated for the economic class by 2025.
- Continued commitment to humanitarian efforts worldwide, staying true to Canada’s humanitarian tradition.
- New goals for Francophone immigration to support French-speaking communities outside of Quebec, aiming for 6% of the total immigration in 2024, and increasing to 8% by 2026.
Improved digital processes and customer services have enabled the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to boost processing and cut down backlogs. This ensures families can stay united and businesses can access the skills they need, while Canada upholds its humanitarian values.
The plan also includes efforts to support employers by selecting candidates with essential work experience. For example, on August 3, 2023, 1,500 invitations went out to skilled tradespeople. Over the last five years, nearly 38,000 tradespeople have become permanent residents through various Canadian immigration programs.
Immigrants also play a crucial role in Canada’s National Housing Strategy, which aims to invest over $82 billion in a decade to provide Canadians with affordable homes. Canada’s commitment to resettling refugees remains strong, with over 46,500 refugees from more than 80 countries resettled last year alone, including meeting the goal of welcoming 40,000 Afghan refugees.
The targets for new immigrants reflect broad consultations with stakeholders and aim to benefit communities across Canada. With the target of welcoming 485,000 new immigrants in 2024, Canada continues its legacy as a welcoming nation with a strategic approach to immigration.