Canada’s federal government plans to increase annual immigration levels to 350,000 in 2021, according to the latest figures announced on Wednesday, October 31.
The new immigration levels plan sets out a target of more than 1 million immigrants over the next three years.
Should Canada deliver on this plan, immigration levels will move closer to 1% of its population, a goal initially advocated by the Liberal Party of Canada in 1993.
In 2019, Canada will welcome 330,800 newcomers, in 2020 it will welcome 341,000 and 2021 will see it hit the 350,000 mark. In total, the plan targets 1,021,800 new immigrants.
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said the new levels plan builds on the foundations of 2017, when the federal government announce a three-year plan for the first time.
The main gains seen between now and 2021 are in the Economic Class, which will welcome 202,300 immigrants on its own in 2021.
The Federal High Skilled category will increase to 88,800 in 2021, according to the plan, accounting for the immigrants come to Canada through the Express Entry system.
Elsewhere, the Provincial Nominee Program allocation will also increase, to 71,300 in 2021. This marks an increase of more than 10,000 immigrants between 2019 and 2021 for the Provincial Nominee Programs.
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot, Caregivers and Quebec Skilled Worker and Business programs are all marked ‘to be determined’ in the 2021 plan. However, there is ample room left in the Economic class to provide these allocations at a later date.
The Family Class will see the smallest increases.
In 2019, the levels plan allows for 88,500 newcomers in the Family Class, compared to 86,000 under the 2018 plan.
This will increase to 91,000 in 2020, and remain the same in 2021.
More than 90,000 family reunification places still represent a significant commitment to the category from the federal government, although it is clear the increases are focused in the Economic Class.
Refugees and Protected Persons
Staged increases will also happen in the Refugees and Protected Persons class, from 46,450 in 2019 to 51,700 in 2021.
Through its welcoming of Syrian refugees in 2015 and 2016, the federal government has established itself as open to genuine refugee claimants.
It has also had to deal with a surge of irregular border crossers streaming in from the U.S.
However, the federal government has still chosen to increase the allocation for refugees to continue Canada’s reputation as one of the most welcoming countries in the world.