What is the change? The Canadian government has announced plans to admit more new permanent residents in 2015 than in any year in recent history.

What does the change mean? The move toward accepting more permanent residents reflects the Canadian government’s goal of increasing the number of immigrants accepted into the country to boost Canada’s economy. Economic immigrants will make up an estimated 65 percent of all admissions in 2015.

  • Implementation timeframe: Jan. 1, 2015.
  • Who is affected: Applicants for permanent residence of Canada, particularly those working in jobs where labor is in demand.
  • Impact on processing times: The increase in the number of permanent resident applications being submitted is not expected to have an impact on processing times. However, Canada is planning to unveil a program called Express Entry in January 2015 to expedite permanent resident processing for skilled immigrants.
  • Business impact: The increase in permanent residence targets in the economic programs is designed in part to help Canadian companies meet their business needs by ensuring the availability of qualified foreign candidates who possess in-demand skills, training, and education to fill jobs in areas where there is a shortage of qualified Canadian candidates.
  • Next steps: The 2015 immigration plan takes effect Jan. 1.

Background: Every year, the Canadian government decides how many permanent residents it plans to admit to the country the following year. Canada expects that in 2015 it will admit as many as 285,000 new permanent residents, or 19,000 more than were planned for 2014. Nearly 65 percent of all immigrants admitted into Canada in 2015 will fall into the category of economic immigrants, with the rest consisting of family class immigrants (24 percent) or immigrants admitted through humanitarian programs (11 percent).

The plan “will help us attract skilled immigrants who are most likely to succeed,” Chris Alexander, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, said in a statement.

BAL Analysis: The Canadian government is placing increased focus on permanent residence as a means of recruiting those immigrants who are best suited to benefit the economy. The increase in the permanent residence targets for 2015 is welcome news for companies looking to recruit high-skilled employees to Canada.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Canada. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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