Canada aims for 1.2 million permanent residents in 2021 to 2023
October 30, 2020
The government of Canada has announced dramatic increases to Canada’s immigration levels for 2021 to 2023, to boost its economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Canada aims to welcome more than 1.2 million newcomers between 2021 and 2023: 401,000 newcomers in 2021, another 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023.
The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, tabled the 2021‒2023 Immigration Levels Plan today, October 30, 2020, which sets out a path for responsible increases to immigration targets to help the Canadian economy recover from COVID-19, drive future growth and create jobs for middle class Canadians.
The 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan comes after a turbulent 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis. International travel has been severely restricted since March 2020, and the border with the U.S. closed, resulting in severe drops in the levels of new Canadian permanent residents.
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In March 2020, Canada unveiled a plan to increase immigration over the next three years — targeting 341,000 permanent residents in 2020, 351,000 in 2021, and 361,000 in 2022. Although Canada had aimed to welcome 341,000 new immigrants this year, only 128,186 new permanent residents arrived between January and August as the pandemic wreaked havoc on immigration and travel plans.
Canada’s immigration levels for 2021-2023 represent an immigration solution bailout for the economic impact of the pandemic:
The pandemic has highlighted the contribution of immigrants to the well-being of our communities and across all sectors of the economy. Our health-care system relies on immigrants to keep Canadians safe and healthy. Other industries, such as information technology companies and our farmers and producers, also rely on the talent of newcomers to maintain supply chains, expand their businesses and, in turn, create more jobs for Canadians.
To compensate for the huge shortfall in immigration in 2020 due to the pandemic, Canada is targeting the most ambitious immigration levels plan in its history. The only time Canada welcomed over 400,000 immigrants in a year was in 1913, when it admitted 401,000 newcomers. It has never come close to this figure again.
Canada’s immigration levels plan for 2021–2023 sets out a path for responsible increases to the number of immigrants to help the Canadian economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic and lay the foundation for future growth. Highlights of the plan include:
A focus on how immigration can help our economy, with approximately 60 per cent of immigrants to be chosen under economic immigration programs
A continued focus on innovative approaches where communities and businesses are encouraged to work together to welcome immigrants in communities across the country to help meet worker shortages
A renewed commitment to improve the processing of immigration applications, including spousal applications, by maximizing digital solutions
An increase in admissions over the three years of the plan to make up the shortfall in 2020
Additional points for French-speaking candidates under Express Entry, to promote the growth of Francophone communities outside of Quebec
A commitment to admit up to 500 refugees over the next 2 years through the Economic Mobility Pathways Project, an innovative approach that helps qualified refugees apply for permanent residence through existing economic immigration pathways
A pathway to permanent residency for eligible asylum claimants who were working on the front lines of the pandemic between March 13 and August 14, 2020, providing direct care to patients in health-care institutions.
Immigration is essential to getting us through the pandemic, but also to our short-term economic recovery and our long-term economic growth. Canadians have seen how newcomers are playing an outsized role in our hospitals and care homes, and helping us to keep food on the table. As we look to recovery, newcomers create jobs not just by giving our businesses the skills they need to thrive, but also by starting businesses themselves. Our plan will help to address some of our most acute labour shortages and to grow our population to keep Canada competitive on the world stage.
– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Immigrants account for 33% of all business owners with paid staff, and 25% of workers in our health sector are immigrants.
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act requires the levels plan be tabled in Parliament each year.
The levels plan is a projection of how many permanent residents will be admitted to Canada, setting targets and ranges for overall admissions, as well as for each immigration category.
The levels plan takes into account extensive engagement with provincial and territorial representatives, as well as public opinion research and stakeholder consultations.
Canadians across the country can see how newcomers are benefiting local communities through IRCC’s Immigration Matters campaign.
Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec establishes its own immigration levels.