Over 1 Million Immigrants Expected in Canada in Next Three Years

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Canada, Marco Mendicino, announced last week new plans for immigration that will make up for all entries lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new targets aim to help stimulate Canada’s economic recovery and will bring skilled workers, family members, and refugees into the country. 

The 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan tabled last week is said to drive future growth and create jobs for middle class Canadians. The government said they recognized through the pandemic the invaluable contribution immigrants make across all communities in Canada. Our healthcare system, information technology sector, farmers and producers all rely on newcomer talent to fulfill jobs. Immigrants account for 33% of all business owners with paid staff, and 25% of workers in our health sector are immigrants. 

Although Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continued to accept and process applications throughout the pandemic, the global travel restrictions and capacity constraints led to a shortfall in admissions over the last several months. The government plans to bring in 401,000 immigrants in 2021, 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023. That’s 50,000 more people per year than originally planned and it’s intended to make up the loss from this past year.  

The highlights of the 2020-2023 Immigration Levels Plan include:

  • a focus on economic growth, with about 60% of admissions to come from the Economic Class 
  • a continued focus on innovative and community-driven approaches to address diverse labour and demographic needs across the country
  • a renewed commitment to capacity-building and digital transformation in Canada’s immigration system, to support operations and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the processing of applications
  • 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

The multi-year immigration plan recognizes the importance of family reunification and Canada’s global commitment to protecting those most at risk through refugee resettlement. 

The government says the health, safety and security of Canadians remain their top priorities. Canada has strengthened health screening at the border as well as monitoring and enforcement, and they continue to closely follow the advice of public health officials as they welcome newcomers.

For extra information on the levels plan read the Supplementary Information on Immigration Levels Plan 2020-2023 from the Government of Canada website.