What is the change? The Canadian government plans to increase immigration levels in 2016 by 7.4 percent over those of 2015, with a target of admitting 300,000 new permanent residents this year.

What does the change mean? The increased admissions will be in the family reunification and refugee categories, while economic-based admissions will decrease by 11 percent.

Background: The new Liberal Party government’s immigration projections indicate a shift toward family reunification and refugee admissions.

Immigration Class 2015 Target Levels 2016 Target Levels
Economic 181,300 160,600
Family 68,000 80,000
Refugee 24,800 55,800
Humanitarian 5,100 3,600
TOTAL 279,200 300,000

BAL Analysis: Within the economic category, admissions through the Federal Economic High-Skilled Programs, which includes the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and Canadian Experience Class, have a 2016 target of 58,400, a drop from the 2015 combined target range of 68,000 to 74,000 for the three programs.

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