CIMM - Economic Immigration Pathways - Mar 10, 2021
The 2021‒2023 Immigration Levels Plan sets out a path for responsible increases to immigration targets to help the Canadian economy recover from COVID-19, with about 60% of admissions to come from the economic class.
This roadmap for the next three years is focused on Canada’s short-term recovery and long-term prosperity, recognizing the unique circumstances in which we’re currently operating.
Even amid the economic uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada still faces demographic and labour force growth challenges due to our aging population that immigration helps address.
The health and safety of Canadians remains our top priority, and we will implement our plan in a safe, responsible manner that follows the guidance of public health.
My Department is continuing to process permanent resident applications and is employing various measures to stay on track to meet this year’s admissions levels.
The vast majority of economic immigrants are selected through federal economic immigration programs, which are managed through Express Entry, Canada’s flagship application management system, and the Provincial Nominee Program.
Canada’s economic immigration programs are generally premised on the selection of candidates with high human capital on the basis of factors such as Canadian work experience, education and official language proficiency. The presence of these factors increases the likelihood that permanent residents will be able to economically establish and adapt to changing labour market conditions over time, which is particularly significant given the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the federal suite of economic programs, Canada also has two smaller, niche business programs that attract high-value foreign entrepreneurs to help spur economic growth. The Start-Up Visa program aims to attract innovative entrepreneurs with the potential to build high-growth start-ups that can compete on a global scale, while the Self-Employed Program aims to attract individuals who have the intention and ability to be self-employed in the cultural or athletic fields.
The Global Skills Strategy has been instrumental in attracting highly-skilled talent. Its tailored services to high-growth companies and faster work permit processing mean that Canadian employers have access to global talent they need to succeed. Workers who wish to do so, can then pursue permanent immigration and grow their careers here.
Taken together, these programs allow for the selection of immigrants, across a range of occupations and skill levels, who help meet Canada’s labour market and economic needs, at national and provincial/territorial levels.
Express Entry invitations
Given ongoing border closures, invitation rounds within Express Entry have continued to focus on those already in Canada with Canadian work experience, or those nominated by provinces/territories. In 2020, 107,350 invitations were issued.
Recognizing the challenges that applicants face in gathering the required documentation, individuals invited to apply now have 90 days to submit their application (previously 60 days).
To increase the number of French-speaking and bilingual candidates coming to Canada outside of Quebec, my Department increased points for French-speaking and bilingual candidates under the Express Entry system in October 2020.
While travel restrictions remain in place to protect the health and safety of Canadians, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is exploring new ways for those who have already been hard at work in Canada to immigrate here permanently.
To this end, on February 13, 2021, IRCC issued all candidates in the Express Entry pool (approximately 27k) who are eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
All successful CEC candidates have Canadian work experience and have already proven that they can contribute to Canadian economy. Moreover, the vast majority of CEC candidates are already living in Canada.
Permanent resident processing
While my department continues to accept and process permanent resident applications, processing centres overseas and offices in Canada have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
Due to ongoing travel restrictions in place in Canada, and in many countries around the world, my Department is shifting its focus on inviting, processing and landing in-Canada applicants.
Although we cannot approve many overseas clients for international travel and landing in Canada, my Department continues to process overseas files in preparation for the lifting of border restrictions.
Pathways to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers
Temporary workers in Canada have made significant contributions to keeping our country’s economy running throughout the pandemic, and have multiple pathways to permanent residence, including through our federal economic immigration programs and the Provincial Nominee Program.
Through the Provincial Nominee Program in particular, additional allocations have been dedicated to transition temporary foreign workers employed in intermediate skilled jobs.
My Department is looking closely at existing pathways for temporary residents to transition to permanent residence, and whether more can be done to support those with the skills and experience needed in our economy to become permanent residents.
Supporting facts and figures
While Canadians remain concerned about public health and job security, overall public support for immigration in Canada has remained stable and relatively strong.
Recently, immigration has accounted for as much as 90% of all labour force growth in Canada, and approximately 75% of population growth.
In 2020, 106,425 permanent residents were admitted in the Economic Class out of 184,370 total admissions, accounting for roughly 58% of overall admissions.
Economic immigration will be a key driver in supporting Canada’s economic recovery and growth in the coming years.
Economic outcomes of high-skilled immigrants increase with time spent in Canada and surpass the Canadian average. According to a recent Departmental evaluation of the Express Entry system, candidates selected through that system had particularly strong outcomes: 95% were employed a year after admission; income was about 20% higher than immigrants admitted prior to Express Entry; and 83% reported working in their primary occupation.
Economic Immigration Programs
Canada’s federal economic immigration programs, the Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program, and Federal Skilled Trades Program, traditionally represent the largest economic immigration category, with a target of 108,500 admissions for 2021. Through these core programs, candidates are selected on the basis of their ability to succeed in the Canadian economy and society over the long-term (based on factors such as work experience, education, and official language proficiency).This selection approach allows Canada to benefit from a regular and predictable flow of skilled immigrants that employers can hire to meet their labour needs, and to grow and scale up their businesses.
Canada’s federal business immigration programs, the Start-Up Visa program and Self-employed program, help spur economic growth by attracting foreign entrepreneurs to become permanent residents.
Complementary to the federal economic immigration programs, the Provincial Nominee Program enables provinces and territories to create immigration streams to nominate immigrants at all skill levels who meet local labour market and economic needs, and who are likely to reside and economically establish in their region. Currently, 11 jurisdictions have provincial nominee agreements in place with over 70 different immigration streams targeting workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs. In recent years, the Provincial Nominee Program continues to be the second largest economic immigration program, with a target of 80,800 admissions for 2021.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Thank you for your help!
You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.