ARCHIVED – 2023 consultations on immigration levels
Every year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) engages with a wide range of stakeholders from across the country to help us shape Canada’s next Immigration Levels Plan, which will be announced in the fall of 2023.
The Immigration Levels Plan is a projection of how many permanent residents will be admitted to Canada in a given year, and sets targets for overall admissions per immigration category. It builds on ongoing work to strengthen our immigration system and spread the benefits of immigration to communities across the country.
We’re seeking your views on the balance among different categories and programs, and how immigration can best support Canada from multiple perspectives.
- preparing the next phase for category-based selection in Express Entry
- fostering growth through regional economic immigration programs
- supporting the vitality of Francophone and official language minority communities outside Québec
- facilitating access to opportunities for refugees and persons in need of protection.
Planning Canada’s immigration levels
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) requires the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to table a projection of permanent resident admissions (the Immigration Levels Plan) in Parliament every year. The plan details how many immigrants Canada will welcome as permanent residents under the economic, family, and refugee and humanitarian programs.
This multi-year Immigration Levels Plan renews each year on a rolling 3-year time frame. It sets out firm targets and ranges for the first year, and notional targets for the second and third years to provide flexibility to adjust to any developments or changes in reality.
The current 2023–2025 Immigration Levels Plan proposes to increase the number of permanent residents Canada welcomes annually to 465,000 in 2023, 485,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in 2025.
We’re now looking at the next 2024–2026 Immigration Levels Plan, and we want your input on whether admission targets for 2024 and 2025 should be adjusted, and to inform new targets for 2026.
A number of considerations are taken into account when developing the Immigration Levels Plan, including:
- Government priorities and objectives for immigration, as set out in the IRPA
- Economic and regional needs across Canada, including the economic needs of various sectors in the context of a loosening labour market and rising inflation
- International obligations with respect to refugees and offering protection to those in need
- The ability of IRCC and its partner departments to screen and process applications in a timely manner
- The capacity to settle, integrate, and retain newcomers (settlement services, housing accessibility and affordability, public infrastructure, etc.)
The plan is designed to contribute to an immigration system that supports diversity and helps build vibrant, dynamic, and inclusive communities, while ensuring the safety and security of Canadians.
The current plan outlines a steady increase in admissions that trends towards 1.25 percent of Canada’s population by 2025.
In addition to seeking feedback on how many people to welcome, we’re interested in hearing your thoughts on the appropriate mix (or distribution) of permanent residents across the main immigration classes. In the current Immigration Levels Plan, for 2025
- the economic classes account for just over 60 percent of total admissions
- the family classes represent almost 24 percent
- the refugee and humanitarian classes account for just over 16 percent
For reference, you’ll find below the full list of immigration classes and categories.
Preparing the next phase for category-based selection in Express Entry
Canada’s immigration system is critical to supporting our economic growth and building a stronger Canada for all. With this in mind, the federal government is looking at ways to make our immigration system more responsive to economic and labour market needs. This includes enhancing Express Entry – the online system that IRCC uses to manage immigration applications from skilled workers – and building on the high human capital approach that has been a hallmark of Canada’s successful economic immigration system.
Express Entry has been an important innovation in managing application intake to Canada’s Federal High-Skilled programs (Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Trades Program). It has a track record of bringing in skilled immigrants who integrate and contribute to Canada’s economy, as well as transitioning skilled workers who have Canadian work experience. These newcomers help fill current job vacancies, while adapting to the Canadian labour market and supporting innovation.
On May 31, 2023, IRCC announced the launch of category-based selection, an enhancement that allows for more targeted selection of top-ranking candidates from the Express Entry pool. IRCC can now select immigrants with particular qualifications, such as education, work experience, or language skills, to support identified economic needs and priorities.
We’ve developed categories for 2023 to help address chronic labour market shortages, and support economic growth through Francophone immigration. This work was informed by consultations with partners and stakeholders, along with labour market information and analysis. This year, invitations will focus on candidates who have strong French language proficiency, or work experience in one of the following sectors:
- healthcare occupations
- science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations
- trades occupations
- transport occupations
- agriculture and agri-food occupations
This year’s consultations on immigration levels are another opportunity to provide your perspectives on enhancing Canada’s Express Entry system. As a new way of selecting the workers Canada needs, category-based selection could further be used to invite individuals who can address economic challenges particular to certain regions in Canada. Such a focus would complement existing federal, provincial and territorial programs, like the Atlantic Immigration Program, the Provincial Nominee Program, and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. We want to work with partners and stakeholders to find out how this innovation could allow us to share the benefits of economic immigration across Canada.
Immigration classes and categories
- Federal High-Skilled (Federal Skilled Workers Class, Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class)
- Federal economic public policies
- Federal business
- Economic pilots:
- Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
- Agri-Food Pilot
- Economic Mobility Pathways Project
- Atlantic Immigration Program
- Provincial Nominee Program
- Quebec skilled workers and business
- Spouses, partners, and children
- Parents and grandparents
Refugees and protected persons
- Protected persons in Canada and dependents abroad
- Resettled refugees:
- Government-assisted refugees
- Blended visa office-referred refugees
- Privately sponsored refugees
Humanitarian and others
We want to hear from you
If you’re interested in providing feedback to help inform the next 2024–2026 Immigration Levels Plan and the Department’s ongoing work, we’d like to invite you to complete our online survey.
Our online questionnaire may not automatically save your draft responses, so you may want to prepare your answers in advance. You can review the questions by downloading the online survey (PDF, 693 KB).
If you would like to include other feedback from within your organization, we encourage you to consult with them and submit one response on behalf of your organization.
We kindly ask that you submit your responses by August 4, 2023.
If you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at IRCC.COMMConsultations-ConsultationsCOMM.IRCC@cic.gc.ca.
Your advice will inform immigration levels planning for the coming years, and help us deliver better policies, programs and services. We appreciate your time and input in this engagement process, and we thank you in advance for sharing your views with us!
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