ARCHIVED – 2024 consultations on immigration levels

Current status: Closed

May 8, 2024 to June 30, 2024

Every year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) engages with a wide range of stakeholders and partners from across the country to help us shape Canada’s next multi-year Immigration Levels Plan, which will be announced in the fall of 2024.

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What’s new in 2024

Traditionally, the Immigration Levels Plan has included a projection of how many permanent residents would be admitted to Canada in a given year, and set targets for overall admissions per immigration category. It built on ongoing work to strengthen our immigration system and spread the benefits of immigration to communities across the country.

In 2024, we are expanding the scope of the Immigration Levels Plan by including temporary resident arrivals in addition to permanent residents in an effort to better align our immigration system with the needs of the country.

As such, we’re seeking your views on the balance among different categories and programs, and how immigration can best support Canada from multiple perspectives.

We want to hear from you

If you’re interested in providing feedback to help inform the next 2025–2027 Immigration Levels Plan and the department’s ongoing work, we invite you to complete our online survey.

Our survey may not automatically save your draft responses, so you may wish to prepare your answers in advance. You can review the questions by downloading the online survey (PDF, 213 KB).

If you would like to include other perspectives from within your organization, we encourage you to consult with your colleagues and submit one response on behalf of your organization.

We kindly ask that you submit your responses by June 30, 2024.

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!

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. This multi-year plan details how many immigrants Canada will welcome as permanent residents under the economic, family, and refugee and humanitarian programs. It renews each year on a rolling 3-year time frame, setting 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.

This year, the Immigration Levels Plan will also include notional targets for temporary resident arrivals, in addition to permanent residence admissions.

The current 2023–2025 Immigration Levels Plan proposes to increase the number of permanent residents Canada welcomes annually to

We’re now looking at the next 2025–2027 Immigration Levels Plan, and we are seeking your input to

A number of considerations are taken into account when developing the Immigration Levels Plan, including:

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.

Since 2017, there have been steady increases in admissions that trend towards 1.25% of Canada’s population by 2025. The most recent plan stabilizes growth at that threshold in 2026.

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

This year, for the first time, we are also asking for your feedback on arrival targets for temporary residents. The inclusion of international students and temporary workers reflects our commitment to have a plan that reflects newcomers with both permanent and temporary resident status, taking into account the supports required to welcome them into our communities, while emphasizing a distinct whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to immigration.

How people come to Canada

There are 2 ways for people to come to Canada. They can come as either:

Temporary residents

Temporary residents can be visitors travelling to Canada for business or leisure, international students who come to study in Canada for more than 6 months, or foreign nationals who are authorized to work in Canada. Temporary foreign workers may come to work for a specific employer and fill current skills shortages through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, or via the International Mobility Program to support Canada’s broader economic, cultural, or other competitive interests. For the purposes of setting targets, visitors will not be included as part of immigration levels planning.

Permanent residents

Permanent residence grants many rights and responsibilities, including the right to live, work or study anywhere in Canada. It also grants social benefits, including health care coverage and access to settlement and integration services. If permanent residents meet the requirements set out in the Citizenship Act – including being physically present in Canada for a defined number of days, demonstrating their knowledge of Canada and one of its official languages, filing income tax returns, and not being subject to prohibitions (such as criminality) – they can also be granted citizenship and become naturalized Canadians.

There are a few different immigration classes and categories of permanent residents to Canada.

Economic immigration

Canada selects economic immigrants (including their immediate family members) for their ability to contribute to the country’s economy. Newcomers work every day to create jobs, care for our loved ones, and support local businesses. They enrich and better our communities, and allow us to overcome challenges in critical industries and sectors of the economy.

Economic immigrants can come through a variety of programs, including the

These 3 federal programs are managed through Express Entry, our online application system for skilled workers, such as those with work experience in managerial, professional, and technical or trades occupations.

Skilled workers who want to become permanent residents of Canada and live in Quebec apply through a different process, as the province of Quebec has its own rules for choosing immigrants by virtue of a special agreement on immigration with the Government of Canada.

In addition to the programs above, IRCC continues to invest in other economic immigration programs and pilots, such as the 

Given the success of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, which will be ending on August 31, 2024, IRCC recently announced the launch of two new pilots (the Rural Community Immigration Pilot and the Francophone Community Immigration Pilot) in the fall of 2024.

Those who provide care for children, the elderly, or people with medical needs are also eligible for certain pilot programs or may work temporarily as a caregiver. These initiatives are tailored to attract a broad range of talented people to the country, contribute to the development of communities, and fill specific labour market needs.

Canada also has 2 business immigration programs:

  • The Start-up Visa Program attracts immigrant entrepreneurs who have Canadian support to launch and build their start-up company in Canada (outside Quebec)
  • The Self-employed Persons Program provides a pathway to permanent residence for those with experience in cultural activities or athletics, though application intake for this program is currently paused

The province of Quebec also has its own rules for selecting business immigrants who wish to settle in Quebec.

Family reunification

Family reunification has been an important pillar of Canada’s immigration policy. Through the Family Reunification Program, Canadian citizens and permanent residents are able to sponsor certain categories of family members to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.

The program allows for the sponsorship of spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners, dependent children (biological or adopted), parents and grandparents, and other relatives in special circumstances, such as orphaned relatives under the age of 18 or a last remaining relative.

The program supports the reunification of separated, pre-existing families, and facilitates family formation. It also interacts with other immigration and refugee programs and complements them.

Refugees, protected persons, and persons in Canada on humanitarian grounds

Canada shows a strong commitment to its humanitarian goals by resettling refugees and recognizing those persons in need of protection by granting them asylum.

Each year, millions of people from around the world are forced to flee their homeland to escape persecution, war or severe human rights abuses. Canada helps those at risk through our resettlement and asylum programs. Learn more about Canada’s refugee system.

Canada’s Refugee Resettlement Program is a long-standing humanitarian tradition, grounded in the 1951 Refugee Convention and the IRPA, to provide protection to those at risk. Upon arrival in Canada, resettled refugees become permanent residents. Resettled refugees can be admitted to Canada via one of the following 3 resettlement programs

Protected persons in Canada are people who applied for refugee protection status while in Canada and whom the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada has determined to be a Convention refugee or in need of protection in Canada.

Some people may also qualify for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Applying for consideration under such grounds is an exceptional measure, and requires justification to grant an exemption to an individual who may not be eligible to apply for permanent residence from within Canada through other immigration classes.

Contact us

If you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to email the Consultations and Stakeholder and Partner Engagement team.

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