Today, Canada announced its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan. Canada will aim for the highest level of immigration in its history.
Over the next three years, Canada will aim to welcome the following level of new permanent residents:
Canada had accepted more than 400,000 immigrants in one year only in 1913 when it admitted 401,000 newcomers. They never came close to that number.
The Immigration Levels Plan is the most important immigration announcement made by the Government of Canada each year. It describes the number of new permanent residents that Canada intends to welcome in the coming years and the categories into which Canada intends to admit them. Canada welcomes immigrants in the following categories: economic; family; refugee; and humanitarian grounds.
Earlier this year, on March 12, the federal government announced that Canada would aim to welcome over one million new permanent residents between 2020 and 2022. Days later, Canada had to close its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, Canada will likely be well below the target of 341,000 immigrants it set for this year, but has held Express Entry draws throughout the pandemic, which will allow Canada to beat its Express Entry record this year. Also, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) raffles are continuing.
To make up for the drop in immigration this year, Canada has established the most ambitious immigration plan in its history.
Why does Canada need to target a high number of immigrants?
Canada maintains high immigration levels to offset the negative economic and fiscal impacts of its aging population and low birth rate.
Canada has one of the oldest populations in the world, with almost 18% of its population aged 65 and over. It also has one of the lowest birth rates in the world with 1.47 births per woman. As such, Canada will face challenges to grow its economy and support government spending in the future. These challenges can be mitigated by welcoming more immigrants to support the workforce and economic growth.
Since its founding in 1867, Canada has welcomed at least 300,000 immigrants in just one year five times. It currently receives 0.9% of its immigrant population, which is three times the number of newcomers per capita in the United States.
At the same time, Canada has experienced a higher per capita intake in the past, welcoming 1% or more of its population as newcomers, something it has consistently achieved in the decades leading up to World War I.
Canada’s immigration record was set in 1913 when it welcomed 401,000 immigrants or more than 5% of its population newcomers. Today, welcoming 5 percent of newcomers would bring 2 million new immigrants to Canada.
How COVID-19 impacted Canada’s immigration?
As admission targets increase, Canada is seeing a decline in the number of new permanent residents arriving in the country in 2020. There were 64% fewer new permanent residents admitted in August compared to August 2019. This is in part due to the number of people who were approved for permanent residence but were unable to travel to Canada before their immigration documents expired due to travel restrictions related to coronavirus and other disturbances.
Public support for immigration to Canada has increased during the pandemic, according to a study by the Environics Institute. Canadians report that immigration makes Canada a better country, and they are more likely to say that is because it creates a more diverse and multicultural place to live – by five to five margin. The Association for Canadian Studies found in a survey that Canadians generally view immigration as a positive factor in long-term economic recovery, but they want their family members to be the priority when it comes to immigration.
Reference is taken from CIC News
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