CIMM — 2022-2024 Multi-Year Levels Plan – February 15 & 17, 2022
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- The 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan, tabled on February 14, 2022, sets out a path for increases to immigration targets to help the Canadian economy recover and to fuel post-pandemic growth. Over half of all planned admissions are in the Economic Class category.
- The 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan will help cement Canada’s place among the world’s top destinations for talent, while reuniting family members with their loved ones, and fulfilling Canada’s humanitarian commitments.
- Despite the ongoing pandemic, in 2021, Canada welcomed a record number of permanent residents – 405,332 –and the 2022-2024 Levels Plan builds on this momentum.
- With an aging population and declining fertility rates, as well as labour shortages, Canada will rely even more on immigration over the long term.
- Canada is committed to supporting all newcomers so that they settle into communities across the country and enjoy long-term success.
- The 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan (Levels Plan) was tabled in Parliament on February 14, 2022, with the following permanent resident admission targets:
- 431,645 in 2022 (range: 360,000-445,000)
- 447,055 in 2023 (range: 380,000-465,000)
- 451,000 in 2024 (range: 390,000-475,000)
- The Levels Plan increased admissions to support a range of objectives: economic recovery and growth; responding to global crises (including the allied departure from Afghanistan) by providing safe haven through humanitarian immigration; and family reunification.
- As was done for the 2021-2023 plan, this Levels Plan features wider ranges in each year to provide flexibility for potential ongoing pandemic-related impacts like travel restrictions.
- The Multi-Year Levels Plan has three broad objectives: 1) achieving long-term benefits for Canada; 2) contributing to short-term economic growth and addressing labour market needs for different regions; and 3) ensuring a well-managed migration system that can maintain public confidence.
- Incremental funding for the 2022-2024 Levels Plan will be sought through Supplementary Estimates in the 2022-2023 fiscal year with remaining outer year funding to be sought through subsequent Main Estimates.
- While IRCC continues to face pandemic challenges, permanent resident admissions were just over 405,000 (405,332) – exceeding the target of 401,000 in 2021 – representing the highest permanent residency admissions in Canadian history.
- The Department continues to adapt and innovate as the pandemic context evolves. To support unprecedented levels, IRCC relied on different strategies, specifically the Department:
- created processing efficiencies, built capacity for agents to process applications remotely and digitized services where possible;
- focused on processing categories deemed critical (i.e. family reunification, the “Guardian Angels” public policy, Afghan refugees);
- reprioritized operations to process and invite new applicants already residing in Canada, maximizing for instance admissions under the Canadian Experience Class (over 130,000) and Protected Persons in Canada (over 39,000); and
- launched a series of innovative programs, including the temporary “TR to PR pathway” for temporary workers in health and essential sectors and student graduates (over 23,000 admissions achieved).
- Included in these objectives is the Government’s goal of achieving a target of 4.4% of French-speaking immigrants outside of Quebec by 2023. In October 2020, IRCC increased the points for French-speaking and bilingual candidates in Express Entry (EE) to support the vitality of Francophone minority communities. Pandemic-related travel restrictions during 2021 impacted French-speaking immigrant admissions as many come from overseas through EE. In 2022, momentum is expected to pick up again for overseas French-speaking immigrant admissions.
- Also included in the 2022-2024 Levels Plan is Canada’s ambitious commitment to resettle at least 40,000 Afghans by the end of 2024.
Supporting Facts and Figures
- As recently as March 2021, public polling has shown that support for immigration – including at the current levels – is holding, including views that new immigrants will have a positive impact on the economy. However, some Canadians, in particular in Toronto and Vancouver, have expressed concerns about their jurisdictions ability to absorb immigration.
- Generally, Canada’s integration outcomes are strong for first generation immigrants, and get even stronger in second and further generations.
- However, in previous periods of economic downturn, immigrants have taken longer than usual to converge with average Canadian earnings.
- Yet, as vaccination rates increase and COVID-19 restrictions ease, the employment rates for recent immigrants have surpassed pre-pandemic levels. In December 2021, the total number of very recent immigrants of core working age, who are most likely to participate in the labour market, was 0.6% (+5,000) higher than two years earlier (three-month moving average; not seasonally adjusted).
- A robust and relatively open immigration program demonstrates international leadership and can further international interests, trade connections, and Canada’s comparative advantage in terms of working-age populations and labour force supply.
- Mandate commitment: Delivering the 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan is a part of the December 2021 mandate commitment to “continue to bring newcomers to Canada to drive economic growth and recovery, as set out in the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan”.
- Levels planning: The Immigration Levels Plan is a statutory requirement. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act requires that a projection of permanent resident admissions for the coming year be tabled in Parliament by November 1 of the preceding year, or if the House is not in session, within 30 sitting days once the House resumes. By setting targets and planning ranges for each of the immigration categories, the Government establishes priorities among economic, social, and humanitarian objectives. Levels planning then enables the Department and its partners, including provinces and territories, to allocate processing, security, and settlement resources accordingly. The Department also has a statutory obligation to consult provinces and territories on its projections in the levels plan.
- Quebec: Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec has full responsibility for the selection of immigrants destined to the province (except Family Class and in-Canada refugee claimants). The Accord commits the federal government to take into consideration Quebec’s desired levels in all categories. Quebec’s immigration levels plan is established annually and incorporated in the federal levels plan.
- Multi-year planning: In fall 2017, Canada introduced its first Multi-Year Immigration Levels Plan in over a decade, and has continued with multi-year planning since that time. The current plan adds an additional year (2023), maintaining the three-year planning horizon set out in last year’s plan. Prior to the 2018-2020 levels plan, the most recent multi-year plan was in 2001-2002.
- A multi-year approach provides the means to set out a longer-term vision and make the decisions and investments needed to achieve it. It supports better planning by securing approvals and investments earlier, providing time for the Department and its partners to adjust their capacity to manage projected levels.
- The levels plan is a statement of public policy and is a key tool to communicate the Government’s immigration priorities to partners (including provinces and territories), stakeholders, and the public.
- Canada is recognized internationally (e.g. by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) for its approach to managed migration, including specifically its use of immigration levels plans for setting transparent priorities and targets. Canada is among very few countries, like Australia and New Zealand, which have also adopted this approach.
- Processing times: Processing times for applications for permanent residence can be affected by a number of factors including available levels space as well as processing capacity within IRCC and its partners.
- Currently, processing times have been affected by a focus on in-Canada clients as well as more straightforward applications which leaves more complex inventory in some lines of business.
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