Canada’s 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan: 500,000+ permanent residents per year by 2025
Canada has released its 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan and has set its targets high to grow the economy. The goal is to exponentially increase the number of immigrants, and welcome 465,000 permanent residents in the year 2023, 485,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in 2025. The plan also focuses on filling labour shortages in key sectors and increasing regional immigration.
Last year, the country welcomed more than 405,000 newcomers – the most we’ve ever welcomed in a single year. Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has shared the approach for the next three years. “This immigration levels plan will help businesses find the workers they need, set Canada on a path that will contribute to our long-term success, and allow us to make good on key commitments to vulnerable people fleeing violence, war and persecution,” he says.
Highlights of the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan include:
- a long-term focus on economic growth, with just over 60% of admissions in the economic class by 2025
- using new features in the Express Entry system to welcome newcomers with the required skills and qualifications in sectors facing acute labour shortages such as health care, manufacturing, building trades and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
- increases in regional programs to address targeted local labour market needs, through the Provincial Nominee Program, the Atlantic Immigration Program, and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
- reuniting more families faster
- ensuring that at least 4.4% of new permanent residents outside Quebec are Francophone
- support for global crises by providing a safe haven to those facing persecution, including by expanding the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot
Plans to strengthen immigration and fill labour shortages in key sectors
Immigration accounts for almost 100% of Canada’s labour force growth, and, by 2032, it’s projected to account for 100% of Canada’s population growth. With the Canadian economy currently facing critical labour market shortages, the 2023–2025 Immigration Levels Plan embraces immigration as a strategy to help businesses find workers. The focus is also on attracting the skills required in key sectors—including health care, skilled trades, manufacturing and technology—to manage the social and economic challenges Canada will face in the decades ahead.
Focus on supporting regional immigration
Attracting newcomers to different regions of the country, including small towns and rural communities ranks high in Canada’s plan. This year’s plan aims for increases in regional and provincial immigrational programs; outlines year-over-year growth to support provinces and territories in attracting the skilled newcomers they need to address the labour shortage and demographic challenges in their regions.
Sean Strickland, Executive Director of Canada’s Building Trades Union, praises the 2023–2025 Immigration Levels Plan. “Historically it has been through immigration that we have been able to grow our workforce, fill our union halls and build Canada’s infrastructure. Increased economic immigration is an important step to addressing labour availability across the country and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Minister Fraser and the federal government to find the solutions we need going forward,” says Strickland.
From 2016 to 2021, more than 1.3 million new immigrants settled permanently in Canada
This 1.3 million+ figure is the highest number of recent immigrants recorded in a Canadian census. To support new Permanent Residency (PR) applicants, expedite processing, and reduce the pandemic-led immigration backlog, the government is continuing to streamline and digitize the immigration system. Improvements to address key challenges were made over the last year.
Note: The Immigration Levels Plan is a projection of how many permanent residents will be admitted to Canada in a given year and sets targets for overall admissions per immigration category. Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec establishes its own immigration levels.
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