Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025
by Michael Scott
On November 1, 2022, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, announced the projected immigration target for the next three years, An Immigration Plan to Grow the Economy. The news was good for those interested in immigrating to Canada and for a country desperate for an influx of skilled workers from abroad. Last year, Canada welcomed a record 405,000 arrivals and the projection for the next few years is to increase this number.
The country is facing a serious labour shortage that can be seen in the “Help Wanted” signs around the city. The first step in addressing the shortage issue is to set ambitious targets for landings for the near future. The targeted landings provide private sector employers and other interested parties with some idea of the number of expected arrivals and gives the immigration department processing goals to achieve in the next three years.
The Immigration Levels Plan for 2023 to 2015 projects 465,000 landings in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025. The plan is targeted at attracting skilled workers in health care, skilled trades, manufacturing and technology, to help the country meet the social and economic challenges of the day.
Some of the highlights of the levels plan include: a long-term focus on economic growth, with just over 60 per cent of admissions in the economic class by 2025; expanding the Express Entry system to include workers with required skills and qualifications in sectors facing acute labour shortages such as, health care, manufacturing, building trades and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) backgrounds; increasing regional programs to address local market needs through the Provincial Nominee Programs across the country; also reuniting families under Family Class immigration, and increasing the Francophone population a target of 4.4 per cent of new arrivals; and support for persons seeking a safe haven from persecution.
The immigration arrivals plan Express Entry landings for the following years: 82,880 in 2023; 109,020 in 2024; and 114,000 in 2025. The provincial nominee programs for economic classes will increase to 105,500 in 2023; 110,000 in 2024, and 117,500 in 2025. The immigration department also announced higher Parent Grandparents sponsorship admissions with 28,500 arrivals in 2023, followed by 34,000 in 2024 and 36,000 in 2025. The targeted numbers for sponsorship of spouses, partners and dependent children will rise to roughly 80,000 per year.
While the number of skilled workers will comprise 60 per cent of arrivals, and family sponsorship will be a significant number of arrivals, the sponsorship of humanitarian and compassionate classes will not accelerate at the same rates. At this time, Canada is bringing in 40,000 refugees from Afghanistan. The expected arrivals will be roughly 76,000 in 2023 and 2024 and drop to 72,750 in 2025. The same declining targets can be seen in humanitarian classes from 16,000 in 2023 to 8,000 in 2015. The economic classes remain the priority for the country and will help the Canadian economy recover from the pandemic.
Minister Fraser spoke positively about the Immigration Levels Plan. “Last year, we welcomed the most newcomers in a single year in our history. This year’s 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.”
His comments in support of skilled worker immigration were echoed by Sean Strickland, Executive Director of Canada’s Building Trades who said, “Canada’s Building Trade Unions are pleased with today’s announcement to increase immigration levels in Canada. Historically it has been through immigration that we have been able to build our workforce, fill our union halls and build Canada’s infrastructure. Increased economic immigration is an import 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.”
Immigration accounts for almost 100 per cent of Canada’s labour force growth and, by 2032, it’s projected to account for 100 per cent of Canada’s population growth.
Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Immigration Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with Immigration Connexion International Ltd. Contact him at 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.