Canada has unveiled its Immigration Levels Plan for the years 2024-2026.
The immigration goals for Canada will remain consistent with the current objectives. For the year 2024, the nation aims to admit 485,000 new immigrants. In 2025 and 2026, Canada aspires to welcome 500,000 new immigrants annually.
These targets mirror those outlined in the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025. The latest release provides updated information on the 2026 target, along with revisions to the number of immigrants to be accepted under each class and program from 2024 to 2026.
Canada To Overhaul Its Immigration System
Canada is set to revamp its immigration system with the recent unveiling of the Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026. This development follows Immigration Minister Marc Miller’s acknowledgment of deficiencies in the existing system and a commitment to its overhaul.
Highlighting ongoing engagement with stakeholders and the public to shape a more robust immigration framework, Minister Miller stated, “IRCC has been actively working throughout the year to gather input for the future of a strengthened immigration system.”
Following Miller’s announcement, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) promptly released a strategic report outlining its intentions, focusing on realigning immigration with the labor market, modernizing application processes, elevating application processing standards, supporting smaller communities in attracting newcomers, and fostering French-speaking immigration across Canada.
The IRCC report identifies three key pillars and associated actions to uphold Canada’s standing as a preferred destination for newcomers:
- Create a more welcoming experience for newcomers.
- Align immigration with labor market needs.
- Develop a comprehensive and coordinated growth plan.
In 2022, Canada achieved a record-breaking 437,000 new immigrants, and the target for permanent resident admissions in 2023 is 465,000. The Canadian government is pursuing a new strategy to enhance the immigration system.
Earlier this year, to target economic immigrants best suited to address Canada’s labor force gap, the IRCC introduced category-based selection rounds of invitations for Express Entry candidates with work experience in high-demand sectors or the ability to promote the French language outside of Quebec.
Breakdown of Immigration Targets by Category
In 2024, Canada aims to embrace approximately 281,135 immigrants within the economic class, constituting 58% of the yearly target. By 2026, this figure will rise to 301,250 immigrants, representing 60% of the annual target.
The family class target for 2024 is set at 114,000 immigrants, making up 24% of total admissions. This number is projected to increase to 118,000 immigrants by 2026, maintaining its share at 24% of all entries.
Humanitarian admission targets for 2024 are expected to reach 89,865 immigrants, accounting for about 19% of all admissions. This category includes refugees, protected persons, and individuals admitted for humanitarian, compassionate, or other reasons. By 2026, the target is 80,832 immigrants, constituting 16% of admissions. It’s important to note that figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
Elevated Targets for Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
The Express Entry target is 110,700 permanent resident admissions in 2024, increasing to 117,500 immigrants in 2025 and 2026. The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) target is at 110,000 immigrants in 2024, escalating to 120,000 in 2025 and maintaining the same level in 2026.
For Spousal, Partner, and Children sponsorship, the target is 82,000 admissions in 2024, rising to 84,000 in 2025 and 2026. Concurrently, the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) target is set at 32,000 immigrants in 2024, followed by 34,000 immigrants in both 2025 and 2026.
Canadian Government’s Aim for Immigration Stability
Explaining the decision to retain unchanged targets, the Canadian government emphasizes the plan’s tailored approach to support economic growth while balancing pressures in housing, healthcare, and infrastructure. The plan charts a responsible course for sustainable and stable population growth.
Starting in 2026, the government aims to stabilize permanent resident levels at 500,000, allowing time for successful integration and simultaneously enhancing Canada’s labor market. Additionally, the government plans to take action in the coming year to recalibrate the number of temporary resident admissions, ensuring the sustainability of this aspect of the immigration system.
Under the 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 serves as a guideline for the number of new permanent residents admitted to Canada over the next three years across the economic, family, and humanitarian classes.
This plan aligns with the mission of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to bolster Canada’s economy, reunite families, and provide a haven for those fleeing oppression or humanitarian crises. In 2022, Canada achieved a record-breaking 437,000 new immigrants, with a target of 465,000 permanent resident admissions in 2023.
Canada Embarks on a New Approach to Enhance Immigration System
The Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026 was introduced just one day after Canada revealed a fresh strategy to improve its immigration system. On October 31, Immigration Minister Marc Miller acknowledged deficiencies in the current immigration system while delineating the pillars of a novel approach to modernizing the system.
The new strategy, titled “An Immigration System for Canada’s Future,” encompasses three primary objectives:
- Foster a more welcoming experience for newcomers.
- Align immigration with the needs of the labor market.
- Develop a comprehensive and coordinated growth plan.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is actively working towards providing a more pleasant and user-friendly experience for its clients. Additionally, IRCC aims to better synchronize Canada’s immigration policies with its skills and labor strategy.
Furthermore, IRCC seeks to establish an integrated plan across all three levels of government in Canada to ensure the nation can offer sufficient housing, healthcare, and infrastructure for its growing newcomer population.
Simultaneously, Quebec also unveiled its immigration levels plan for 2024 and 2025. As the only province in Canada with the authority to shape its annual permanent resident admissions targets due to its special status, Quebec aims to preserve its distinct francophone character. The province intended to welcome 50,000 new immigrants in 2024 and an additional 50,000 in 2025.
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