Canada is about to release its most recent Immigration Levels Plan for 2023–2025 by November 1, 2022.
An Immigration Levels Plan is released annually by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and guides how many immigrants will be permitted to enter Canada annually.
It offers a breakdown of immigration from the next three years by economic class, family class, and humanitarian class programs. In addition, it will reveal projections for 2023, 2024, and 2025 this year.
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), Canada’s primary immigration law, requires the government to announce immigration levels by November 1 each year.
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Immigration Target for 2022
Canada has set a target of bringing in 431,645 new permanent residents overall through all immigration classes in 2022, according to the Immigration Levels Plan for 2022–2024. Moreover, this target will gradually increase to 451,000 new permanent residents in 2024.
Over 300,000 new permanent residents have already arrived in Canada in 2022, where most are from the economic class programs. This year’s target plan is to welcome 241,850 immigrants, or nearly 60% of all immigrants, for the economic class in 2022. In addition, the 2022 plan includes 8250 refugees and 105,000 family class immigrants.
However, these targets are subject to change once the new Immigration Levels Plan for 2023–2025 is made public. Then, these levels will no longer remain the basis for IRCC immigration targets.
Projections for New Target 2023-2025
The Immigration Levels Plan typically brings new increases from the current highest level. For instance, in 2016, the total target was 250,000 immigrants. However, despite uncertainty during the pandemic, IRCC invited over 405,000 applicants for permanent residence, breaking the record for the largest number of permanent resident invitations in history.
According to information from the IRCC, as of August 31, 513, 923 applications for permanent residency were awaiting processing. In addition, IRCC recently disclosed that it was making investments to update the outdated technology that the department relies on, adding over thousand new employees to enhance customer service and reduce processing times.
The overall target for 2023 is 447,055, slightly increasing to 451,000 in 2024. However, we believe the targets will be increased for 2023 and 2024 from the current set numbers. Consensus of immigration pundits believe that IRCC is already on track to welcome nearly 470,000 immigrants in 2022.
So, the revised target for 2023 could be around this or even higher. IRCC minister will also be discussing with his cabinet to increase the target to accommodate motion 44 as per Randeep Sarai. Given this, 2023 target of 500,000 will also not be surprising.
IRCC collaborates with numerous other governmental agencies and stakeholders to develop an immigration levels plan. It aims to balance the number of permanent residence spots in each class and program.
However, the current plan received criticism from some provincial immigration ministers for not allocating enough spots to Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs). Provinces have been demanding more control over immigration according to their needs.
These ministers believe PNPs are better suited to target the skilled immigrants needed to strengthen the workforce in the province and make up for the labour shortages.
As a result, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said he would consult with the provinces to understand their labour market needs better. Further, he also says that immigration levels targets could go as high as 500,000 new permanent residents annually, but he did not say by when.
The current Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024