Last Updated on March 20, 2018
November 1, 2017 – Ottawa plans to welcome 980,000 new immigrants over the next three years under an ambitious three-year immigration plan announced by the federal government on Nov. 1. Annual immigration levels could rise to as high as 360,000 by 2020 under the multi-year plan. This would be first time in more than a century that our immigration rate is 1% of our population.
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen described the announcement as ‘historic’, as the government outlines its plan for the next three years, featuring managed increases across all categories.
In 2018, the immigration target will rise to 310,000, from the current 300,000 set for 2017. This target could rise to as much as 330,000 under the latest announcement. In 2019, the target will be 330,000, with an upper limit of 350,000 new immigrants. In 2020, the target figure will be 340,000, and the upper limit 360,000.
The latest plan will drive up immigration numbers to historic levels as the government pushes the annual number of newcomers towards 1 per cent of Canada’s population a target first used by the Liberals in the early 1990’s. The current levels of 300,000 correspond into an immigration rate near .82 per cent.
Watch Our Latest Video “Canada’s 2018 – 2020 Annual Immigration Levels”:
The managed increases are designed to allow Canada’s integration capacity to grow with the number of new immigrants being welcomed.
|Immigration category||Category||2018 – Target||2019 – Target||2020 – Target|
|Economic||Federal High Skilled||74,900||81,400||85,800|
|Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program||1,000||2,000||4,000|
|Provincial Nominee Program||55,000||61,000||67,800|
|Quebec Skilled Workers and Business||28,900||32,500||32,500|
|Family||Spouses, Partners, and Children||66,000||68,000||70,000|
|Parents and Grandparents||20,000||20,500||21,000|
|Refugees and Protected Persons||Protected Persons in Canada & Dependents Abroad||16,000||16,500||17,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Government Assisted||7,500||8,500||10,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Blended Visa Office Referred||1,500||1,650||1,700|
|Resettled Refugees – Privately Sponsored||18,000||19,000||20,000|
|Total Refugees and Protected Persons||43,000||45,650||48,700|
|Humanitarian and Other||Total Humanitarian & Other||3,500||4,250||4,500|
|Overall Planned Permanent Admissions||310,000||330,000||340,000|
Canada Immigration Plan: Upper Limits
|Immigration category||Category||2018 – High||2019 – High||2020 – High|
|Economic||Federal High Skilled||78,200||83,000||88,000|
|Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program||2,000||4,000||4,000|
|Provincial Nominee Program||57,400||63,500||68,500|
|Quebec Skilled Workers and Business||29,900||33,500||33,500|
|Family||Spouses, Partners, and Children||68,000||70,000||74,000|
|Parents and Grandparents||21,000||21,000||22,000|
|Refugees and Protected Persons||Protected Persons in Canada & Dependents Abroad||17,000||20,000||20,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Government Assisted||8,000||9,000||10,500|
|Resettled Refugees – Blended Visa Office Referred||3,000||3,000||3,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Privately Sponsored||20,000||21,000||23,000|
|Total Refugees and Protected Persons||48,000||53,000||56,500|
|Humanitarian and Other||Total Humanitarian & Other||4,500||5,000||5,000|
|Overall Planned Permanent Admissions||330,000||350,000||360,000|
Canada Immigration Plan: Lower Limits
|Immigration category||Category||2018 – Low||2019 – Low||2020 – Low|
|Economic||Federal High Skilled||72,700||76,000||81,000|
|Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program||500||1,000||2,000|
|Provincial Nominee Program||53,000||57,000||62,000|
|Quebec Skilled Workers and Business||27,900||31,500||31,500|
|Family||Spouses, Partners, and Children||64,000||64,000||64,000|
|Parents and Grandparents||17,000||18,000||18,000|
|Refugees and Protected Persons||Protected Persons in Canada & Dependents Abroad||13,500||14,000||16,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Government Assisted||6,000||7,000||8,500|
|Resettled Refugees – Blended Visa Office Referred||1,000||1,000||1,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Privately Sponsored||16,000||17,000||18,000|
|Total Refugees and Protected Persons||36,500||39,000||43,500|
|Humanitarian and Other||Total Humanitarian & Other||2,900||3,500||3,500|
|Overall Planned Permanent Admissions||290,000||300,000||310,000|
When the Liberal government came to power in 2015, annual immigration levels were in the region of 260,000. In 2016, they increased the annual level to 300,000, including an influx of Syrian refugees as part of a campaign promise. In 2017, the government established 300,000 as the new normal for annual immigration numbers, a figure they now plan to build upon over the next three years.
Canada’s plan to welcome 980,000 new immigrants over the next three years, is groundbreaking. In doing so, by the end of his first term, the Liberals will cement themselves as the first in modernity to implement annual immigration levels near 350,000, representing one per cent of our population.
The Winner: Economic Immigration
Economic immigrants will make up the vast majority of newcomers under the government’s plan. These include Federal High Skilled immigrants accepted under the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class.
Other categories include the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, Caregivers, the Federal Business class, Provincial Nominees and Quebec Skilled Worker and Business classes.
The government plan will see a target of 177,500 new immigrants arriving in 2018, with an upper limit of 188,500. In 2019, the target will rise to 191,500, but numbers could go as high as 201,000. The government’s target for 2020 is 195,800 new economic immigrants, with an upper limit of 202,500.
Considering the overall target was 260,000 in 2015, the significance of the proposed increase is clear.
The Liberals promised to increase family reunification through immigration, and the new immigration plan could see up to 96,000 spouses, partners, children, parents and grandparents admitted by 2020.
The target for 2018 is 86,000, with an upper limit of 89,000. In 2019, the government plans to welcome 88,500 family class immigrants, with an upper limit of 91,000. In 2020, meanwhile, the target will rise to 91,000, and the upper limit 96,000. For comparison purposes, the target under the family category was 60,000 in 2015.
Canada prides itself on helping those most in needs, as it has done so recently with Syrians affected by the country’s civil war and Yazidis from Iraq who faced persecution at the hands of extremists.
The new immigration plan features room for a possible 56,500 refugees under all categories by 2020. This includes a possible 23,000 privately-sponsored refugees, under a program Canada has exported all over the world.
The 2018 refugee target is 43,000, with an upper limit of 48,000. In 2019, the plan is to welcome 45,650 new refugees, with an upper target of 53,000. In 2020, the target number rises to 48,700, with an upper limit of 56,500.
While there were calls from certain interest groups for the immigration target to rise to an much as 450,000, the government has been wise to keep the increases manageable and targeted.
The minister emphasized the need to expand efforts to integrate increased numbers of new immigrants, and said there was a critical need to ensure the Canadian economy was able to absorb the number of immigrants welcomed.
Canada stands out among all welcoming countries that invest in robust immigration programs by allocating significant amounts of expenditure on settlement services. The numbers are being increased to record modern-era levels that allows Canada’s integration capacity to grow alongside the numbers of new immigrants.
Long term growth fueled by increasing number of temporary residents
The latest policy initiatives to a large extent, are supported by the growing number of temporary residents currently residing in Canada. Close to 1 Million individuals reside temporarily in Canada under a study or work visa. This pool represents a growing number of potential immigrants who have the strongest ties to Canada, and who in-turn, have the highest chances to successfully integrate. This raises the likelihood of positive economic outcomes from Canada’s planned immigration policies.
The projected annual levels announcement is not without disappointment. Most noteworthy is the continued low projections for business immigrants. The current government appears to have no appetite for improving federal business immigration streams. Existing pathways to Canada for business investors primarily include the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, which remains the largest driver of business immigrants to Canada, provincial entrepreneur programs and federal programs including the startup visa program. The latter program continues to receive lower levels of interest.
Another disappointment, although not unexpected, is the precipitous decline in the number of caregivers who will receive permanent residence. The program, which previously gave a conditional pathway to permanent residence for caregivers, was abolished in 2015. The large inventory of pending applicants awaiting completion of their applications is gradually declining. This explains the drop in annual levels under the three-year plan. It is clear that caregivers are no longer a priority for the Liberals the way they were under the previous Conservative government.
Comparison: 2016 and 2017 Immigration Targets
|Immigration Category||Category||2016 target||2017 target|
|Economic||Federal Economic- High Skilled||58,400||73,700|
|Federal Economic- Caregivers||22,000||18,000|
|Federal Economic- Business||800||500|
|Provincial Nominee Program||47,800||51,000|
|Quebec Skilled Worker||26,200||29,300|
|Family||Spouses, Partners & Children||60,000||64,000|
|Parents & Grandparents||20,000||20,000|
|Refugees & Protected Persons||Protected Persons in Canada & dependants in abroad||10,000||15,000|
|Blended Visa Office-Referred||2,400||1,500|
|Privately Sponsored Refugees||17,800||16,000|
|Refugees & Protected Persons Total||55,800||40,000|
|Humanitarian and Other||Humanitarian and Other||3,600||3,500|
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