(Image: IRCC)

A multi-year immigration plan has been announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that sets out to welcome more immigrants in the coming years than Canada has seen in recent history.

Starting in 2018, there are an expected 310,000 permanent residents to immigrate to Canada. The following years 2019 and 2020 will bear even higher numbers, with 330,000 and 340,000 new immigrants, respectively. This increase means new immigrants will make up almost 1% of Canada’s population in 2020.

This historic plan is acting in response to the slowing Canadian labour force growth and ageing population. A unanimous call by provinces and territories earlier this fall made it clear that increased immigration levels is a necessity for economic growth, community sustainability, and keeping Canada globally competitive.

Immigration minister Ahmed Hussen says the approximate 60% growth in immigration will “benefit all Canadians because immigrants will contribute their talents to support our economic growth and innovation, helping to keep our country at the forefront of the global economy.”

What does this mean for Canadian families looking to sponsor spouses, children, parents, grandparents, and caregivers? Decreased processing times and reduced backlogs are what awaits them. And of course, a continued emphasis from Canada is put on providing assistance to recently arrived newcomers to integrate to their communities, learn English or French and find meaningful employment. The gradual increase in immigration will allow for those services to prepare be prepared to help.

New definition of age of dependants now in force

Other changes are coming into effect for Canadian immigration. The definition of dependant children has been changed from “under 19” to “under 22” to help keep more newcomer families together in their immigration journey. A public policy has been introduced to allow for sponsorship of some children if parents had existing applications in process on May 3, 2017, or who have applied since that time.

Use this online tool to find out if your child is classified as a dependant.