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What is Canada's Immigration Plan for 2019-2021?

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What is Canada's Immigration Plan for 2019-2021?

Jade Calver

Canada has benefitted from immigrants and temporary residents for decades. Through immigration, Canada has been able to sustain its population while reaping social and economic benefits. “Immigrants continue to make important positive contributions to Canada’s economy and the vibrancy of communities across the country. The Government of Canada is gradually increasing Canada’s annual admissions to nearly one percent of the population by 2020.” At the end of 2017, the Government of Canada released a multi-year immigration plan effective from 2018 to 2020. The plan outlined Canada’s goal to welcome 310,000 permanent residents in 2018, followed by 330,000 in 2019, and 340,000 in 2020.

On October 31st 2018, the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration was released. This report contains a new immigration plan for the years 2019-2021. The plan is designed to “strengthen the Canadian middle class through economic growth.” It aims to support “diversity and help build vibrant, dynamic, and inclusive communities, while maintaining border integrity to preserve the safety and security of Canadians.”

The New Immigration Plan 

  • 2019: Both the Government-assisted Refugee target and the overall levels target have been adjusted upwards by 800 admissions to align with their commitment to resettle an additional 1,000 vulnerable women and girls as refugees (since 200 of these admissions are expected in 2018).

  • 2020: The target in the Protected Persons and Dependents Abroad category is increased by 1,000 admissions to help address growing demand, and the overall target is increased by the same amount, from 340,000 to 341,000. An additional adjustment is made by exchanging 700 spaces from the Blended Visa Office Referred Program to the Government-assisted Refugee Program, with no net change to the number of resettled refugees Canada intends to accept. This is an opportunity to better plan for meeting resettlement objectives in light of challenges in meeting the Blended Visa Office Referred Program target.

  • 2021: The plan increases by an additional 9,000 admissions, with 6,500 allocated to the Economic Class and 2,500 to humanitarian streams to address demand pressures in these categories.

Canadian Immigration Goals

Canada aims to welcome talented workers with skills and expertise that will support the country’s economic needs. The plan also aims to lead to the reunification of more family members in addition to the accommodation of refugees seeking a fresh start. With this plan, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will be able to better plan for projected permanent resident admissions and provide key support services as needed.

Admissions of Permanent Residents in Canada 

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Key Programs

According to the new immigration plan, almost a quarter of those coming to Canada will do so through one of the three economic immigration classes managed by the Express Entry system. Economic immigration is one of the largest targets as a whole. As such, some key streams of entry are through the Provincial Nominee Program and include the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class, and the Business Stream.

It is important to note that the new Canadian immigration plan does not include the number of people expected to arrive in Canada with a work permit or as an international student.