February 14, 2022—Ottawa—Our immigration system has helped shape Canada into the country it is today – one that is prosperous, diverse, and welcoming to those in need. Newcomers enrich and better our communities, and they work every day to create jobs, care for our loved ones, and support local businesses. Throughout the pandemic, they have been on the front lines, working in key sectors like health care, transportation, and manufacturing. Without them, Canada would not have been able to overcome challenges in critical industries and sectors of the economy over the past 2 years. Now, more than ever, immigrants are a key part of our country’s continued success.
Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, tabled the 2022‒2024 Immigration Levels Plan, which charts an ambitious but responsible path for immigration that will help the Canadian economy recover and will fuel post-pandemic growth, all while strengthening communities and industries across the country that rely on immigration.
The pandemic has highlighted the contributions of newcomers to the well-being of our communities and across all sectors of the economy. Last year, Canada welcomed more than 405,000 new permanent residents—the most immigrants in a single year in our history. Despite having regained many of the jobs lost during the pandemic, there are still hundreds of thousands of positions in all sectors waiting to be filled. Immigration already accounts for almost 100% of labour force growth, and with 5 million Canadians set to retire by the end of this decade, the worker to retiree ratio will drop down to only 3:1. This is a clear sign that we have a strong economic need for increased immigration.
To ensure Canada has the workers it needs to fill critical labour market gaps and support a strong economy into the future, the 2022–2024 Immigration Levels Plan aims to continue welcoming immigrants at a rate of about 1% of Canada’s population, including 431,645 permanent residents in 2022, 447,055 in 2023, and 451,000 in 2024. This plan builds on the previous levels plan, with an increased focus on supporting our economic resurgence and post-pandemic growth.
To support these increased levels, the Government of Canada recently announced a plan to modernize Canada’s immigration system to fuel economic recovery and improve client experience, which will help address key challenges faced by our clients, such as reducing inventories and creating the predictable processing times that our clients expect and deserve.
This plan will help increase the attraction and retention of newcomers in regions with acute economic, labour and demographic challenges. It will also increase Francophone immigration outside Quebec, while supporting the successful integration of French-speaking newcomers and strengthening Francophone communities across the country. As part of our Francophone Immigration Strategy, we’re working to reach a target of 4.4% of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec by 2023.
Highlights of the plan include:
- overall admissions amounting to 1.14% of the Canadian population by 2024.
- a long-term focus on economic growth, with nearly 60% of admissions in the Economic Class.
- help for vulnerable populations, like the special measures for granting permanent residence to refugee claimants working in health care during the pandemic.
- support for global crises by providing a safe haven through humanitarian immigration to those facing persecution.
- talent retention of those already in Canada by granting permanent status to temporary residents accepted through the time limited pathways for essential workers launched in spring 2021.
This plan also recognizes the importance of family reunification and helps maintain the 12 month processing standard for spouses and children.
Canada remains firm in its global humanitarian commitments, including the plan to resettle at least 40,000 Afghan nationals over the next 2 years. To date, more than 7,550 Afghan refugees now call Canada home as a result of these efforts. By working with partners in the region, we are using all avenues available to secure safe passage for those in Afghanistan.
The 2022–2024 Immigration Levels Plan will help cement Canada’s place among the world’s top destinations for talent, creating a strong foundation for post-pandemic economic growth while reuniting family members with their loved ones and fulfilling Canada’s humanitarian commitments.