Balancing Canada’s Immigration Goals for Sustainable Growth

Immigration drives Canada’s economy and fuels its future growth. With the ongoing challenges of an aging population and work permits in crucial sectors such as health care, transportation, and home building, newcomers play a vital role in stimulating innovation, and economic growth, and supporting local businesses and communities.

This week was officially introduced the 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan. This plan is designed to support economic growth while addressing challenges in public housing, health care, and infrastructure. It outlines a responsible path for sustainable and stable population growth.

The Government of Canada’s Levels Plan maintains its target of providing 485,000 permanent residences for 2024 and takes the final step towards reaching 500,000 in 2025. Starting in 2026, the government will stabilize permanent resident levels at 500,000, allowing time for successful integration, while continuing to augment Canada’s labor market through immigration programs. The government also plans to take action over the next year to recalibrate the number of temporary resident admissions to ensure this aspect of our immigration system also remains sustainable.

The Government of Canada will continue to work closely with the provinces and territories, federal governments, employers, stakeholders and Indigenous peoples to help Canada adapt to the realities of immigration-driven population growth. This approach is also guided by An Immigration System for Canada’s Futurea report that lays out a pathway to strengthen our immigration system for newcomers, foreign workers, businesses, and communities in the long term. Together, these measures will continue to put people at the heart of our immigration policy and ensure that newcomers have the resources they need, including express entry, settlement support and access to housing, to succeed in their new lives.

Highlights of the 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan include:
  • By 2025, over 60% of permanent resident admissions will be focused on the economic class, maintaining a long-term focus on economic growth.
  • A commitment to uphold the Government of Canada’s humanitarian tradition support effort by responding to humanitarian and geopolitical crises around the world, and being involved in refugee protection. 
  • New ambitious Francophone immigration targets to support Francophone communities outside of Quebec. The targets represent 6% of total immigration in 2024, 7% in 2025, and 8% in 2026. This is to strengthen Francophone communities outside of Quebec and ensure the economic prosperity of Francophone minority communities across Canada.

This new plan also is relevant progress that IRCC has made in the past year implementing new digital systems for submissions, and application status, and working on better client service, which have increased processing capacity and reduced application backlogs or technical issues.

Canada will use immigration to keep families together, attract skilled individuals for business growth, and uphold our humanitarian values, benefiting from the diversity newcomers bring to our communities. 

Some important facts about this topic:
  • The Levels Plan in Canada is a plan that predicts how many new permanent residents will come to the country in a year. It also sets goals for the number of people allowed in different immigration categories. According to the law, the Minister has to share this plan with the Parliament every year.
  • The Levels Plan divides the new permanent residents into four groups: those who come for work visas, family reunions, refugees and people who need protection, and those who come for compassionate reasons.
  • Canada’s immigration department, IRCC, is helping employers in different ways. For example, they are selecting people based on specific job categories and country of origin. As part of this effort, IRCC is inviting more people with work experience in healthcare, STEM fields, transportation, agriculture, trades, and those who know French. On August 3, 2023, they invited 1,500 people with experience in skilled trades like carpenters, contractors, and plumbers.
  • In the past five years, almost 38,000 skilled workers have become permanent residents in Canada through various programs.
  • Bringing in immigrants to fill job openings will also support Canada’s National Housing Strategy, a 10-year plan that invests over $82 billion to provide more Canadians with homes. You can find updates on this plan at www.placetocallhome.ca.
  • Canada is a leader in helping refugees settle in the country and allowing workers to move around. Last year, Canada gave a new home to more than 46,500 refugees from over 80 countries. In October 2023, Canada welcomed over 40,000 vulnerable Afghans, making it one of the world’s largest Afghan resettlement programs.
  • The Levels Plan was created after talking with people from different provinces and territories, doing surveys, and discussing with businesses, community groups, and schools.
  • The goal for 2024 is to bring in 485,000 new immigrants, which is about 1.2% of Canada’s current population.
  • People all over Canada can see how newcomers are helping their local communities through the Immigration Matters campaign by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
  • Quebec has its own immigration rules under the Canada-Quebec Accord.