In the next three years, Canada will welcome more than one million new permanent residents. This was presented today in the Immigration Levels Plan 2020-2022 of the federal government.
Canada continues to increase the level of immigration gradually. This will probably give stakeholders time to plan to support a wider population adequately. With 320,000 newcomers in 2018 and 341,000 immigrants in 2019, Canada is again targeting the entry of 341,000 in 2020. It aims to welcome 351.000 more in 2021, and 361.000 more in 2022. The plan allows Canada to accommodate up to 400,000 immigrants by 2022.
The most significant revelation of the announcement is Canada’s 2022 target since this information has become available to the public for the first time today.
In 2017, Canada reintroduced multi-year plans following its first attempt to disrupt a recession between 1982-1984. The return to multi-year plans is designed to help stakeholders such as urban planners forecast the necessary steps to support the newcomers’ economic and social inclusion.
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The higher levels are intended to alleviate the financial and economic pressures facing Canada due to its aging population and low birth rate. In the next decade, more than 9 million Canadians will reach retirement age which means that Canada will rely still more on immigrants to maintain a healthy workforce and economy.
Economic class to lead the way
Canada will continue to recognize the balance of its economic class newcomers with 58 percent expected to arrive via Express Entry programs, a Nominee Provincial, a Quebec program, and other federal streams such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP). Most growth will come from the economic class, with the target of almost 10,000 immigrants annually.
Compared with 2019, the government is 20 percent higher than its 2022 PNP admission target. Canada is also expected to accommodate more immigrants under different pilots. It aims to accommodate 5,200 pilots such as the Agri-Food Pilot Immigration and the Northern and Rural Pilot Immigration. It could end up almost doubling its consumption by 2022 under these pilots.
While the AIP is set to become a permanent program, the federal government maintains its AIP goals at 5,000 throughout the plan.
The levels of Quebec for 2021 and 2022 are yet to be set, as the federal government is waiting for consultations with Quebec in the light of key reforms currently being implemented by the province to its immigration system.
In addition, 26% of the family members are welcomed, while the remaining 16% are admitted for humanitarian and compassionate reasons. Under the family class, there will be no growth. Over the next three years, the government has set the same target for family immigration for 91,000 newcomers. Those admitted for humanitarian and compassionate purposes will have minimal growth.
Canada’s immigration levels: Past, present, and future
The current levels of immigration in Canada are high according to historical standards. Since its foundation in 1867, the country has welcomed 300,000 or more immigrants five times. Canada is also high on a per capita basis, as it now welcomes 0.9 percent of its population in immigrants. In comparison, in recent times the United States has welcomed an average of one million immigrants a year. However, this figure accounts for only 0.3% of the population.
The present per capita intake of Canada, on the other hand, is by no means the highest in its history. Canada has regularly welcomed at least one percent of its population in immigrants in the decades preceding the First World War. Canada received 401,000 immigrants at its peak or 5.3 percent of its inhabitants. Modernly, the intake of 5.3% would welcome two million immigrants to Canada.
Canada continues to increase its level of immigration to support its high standard of living. The aging of the company will weaken employment and economic growth as its fiscal costs increase in areas such as health care. Quality health care will be even more expensive for the aging population. Immigration will help Canada’s labor force grow to provide Canada with a steady supply of people, as workers, consumers, and taxpayers, to contribute to its economy.
The announcement today is part of a broader trend, in which Canada will likely continue to boost immigration and eventually break the threshold of 400,000 new entrants. In this decade, the country will be welcoming some 3.5 million immigrants, compared to 2.8 million in 2010-2019.
However, demographic and economic circumstances are only one of six factors that shape the future of Canada’s level of immigration.
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