What is the change? The government of Canada released its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, announcing plans for the biggest increase in Canadian history over the next three years.

What does the change mean? Canada plans to welcome more than 1.2 million new permanent residents over the next three years, with some 723,500 economic migrants making up the bulk of that total.

  • Implementation time frame: 2021-2023.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent residence permits.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals interested in Canadian permanent residence.
  • Impact on processing times: The processing of permanent residence permits has been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Delays could continue into 2021 although IRCC is committed to meeting these targets through enhanced program delivery.
  • Business impact: This increase would widen the labor pool, as many of these applicants would be high-skilled workers.

Background: The Immigration Levels Plan outlines the number of new permanent residents Canada will accept over the next three years.

Year New Permanent Residents
2021 401,000
2022 411,000
2023 421,000

It also details how many immigrants in each of Canada’s different immigration categories would be welcomed:

Category 2021 2022 2023
Economic 232,500 241,500 249,500
Family 103,500 103,500 104,500
Refugee 59,500 60,500 61,000
Humanitarian/Compassionate 5,500 5,500 6,000

 Officials also have set an additional target to increase Francophone immigration to 4.4% of the total number of immigration outside of Quebec. For a more detailed breakdown of Canada’s projections of the different immigration categories, visit this website.

Analysis & Comments: The move to increase the number of permanent residents is a leading indicator of Canada’s commitment that immigration is an essential component of its economic and cultural diversity strategies.

This alert was prepared by de Lint LLP, an independent immigration law firm, allied with Deloitte LLP in Canada.