Last Updated on October 30, 2020

Canada is to dramatically increase immigration to boost its economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by welcoming more than 1.2 million newcomers between 2021 and 2023.

Under the immigration levels plan presented by Marco Mendicino on Friday, Ottawa will follow through on its promise to remain committed to immigration increases, welcoming 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, which has significantly reduced immigration during 2020, the previous plan set targets of 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022.

In a bid to ensure the new arrivals spur Canada’s recovery, 60 percent of the newcomers will be in the economic class, with the next largest group the family class, followed by refugees.

“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,” Mendicino said. 

“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.”

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Canada’s 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan

2021 2022 2023
Overall Planned Permanent Resident Admissions 401,000 411,000 421,000
Economic Federal High Skilled 108,500 110,500 113,750
Federal Business 1,000 1,000 1,000
Economic Pilots: Caregivers; Agri-Food Pilot; Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot 8,500 10,000 10,250
Atlantic Immigration Pilot 6,000 6,250 6,500
Provincial Nominee Program 80,800 81,500 83,000
Quebec Skilled Workers and Business See the Quebec immigration plan To be determined To be determined
Total Economic 232,500 241,500 249,500
Family Spouses, Partners and Children 80,000 80,000 81,000
Parents and Grandparents 23,500 23,500 23,500
Total Family 103,500 103,500 104,500
Refugees and Protected Persons Protected Persons in Canada and Dependents Abroad 23,500 24,500 25,000
Resettled Refugees – Government-Assisted 12,500 12,500 12,500
Resettled Refugees – Privately Sponsored 22,500 22,500 22,500
Resettled Refugees – Blended Visa Office-Referred 1,000 1,000 1,000
Total Refugees and Protected Persons 59,500 60,500 61,000
Humanitarian and Other Total Humanitarian and Other 5,500 5,500 6,000

Canada’s Economic Immigration Levels Plan

The majority of the newcomers will be welcomed through Canada’s Economic Class, which includes the popular and successful Express Entry system.

Within the stream, federal high skilled immigrants – those welcome through Express Entry – will number 108,500 in 2021, 110,500 in 2022 and 113,750 in 2023.

Significant increases will also be seen via the Provincial Nominee Program, with 80,800 newcomers planned for 2021, 81,500 in 2022 and 83,000 in 2023.

The lack of certainty surrounding the pandemic means all of these numbers are subject to change.

The stream also includes Quebec immigration, which this week announced its plan to welcome up to 47,500 immigrants in 2021, with 7,000 additional newcomers to help make up for reduced immigration in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Canada’s Family Class Immigration Levels Plan

Canada’s Family Class immigration intake is also set to grow over the next three years.

Under the targets revealed on Friday, the Family Class is projected to grow from 103,500 in 2021 to 104,500 by 2023.

The numbers will be dominated by spouses, partners and children, accounting for 80,000 newcomers, with parents and grandparents numbering 23,500.

Canada’s Refugee and Protected Persons Class Immigration Levels Plan

The Refugees and Protected Persons Class will also grow over the next three years.

The plan allows for 59,500 refugees in 2021, rising to 61,000 by 2023.

These numbers firmly establish Canada as one of the leading countries in the world for intake of Refugees and Protected Persons.

Canada Immigration in 2020

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, and the border with the U.S. closed, with numbers of new permanent residents dropping dramatically as a result.

Canada has planned to welcome 341,000 newcomers but will fall significantly short of that total with no sign of restrictions being lifted nor the border reopening.

In the eight months to August, Canada has recorded 128,430 permanent resident admissions. In the same period of 2019, 228,430 newcomers were welcomed.

It comes after Canada admitted a new modern-era record of more than 341,000 new permanent residents in 2019.

Permanent Resident Admissions to Canada

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