Significant Jump in Immigration Target Numbers for the Next Three Years — to More than 400,000 per Year

On October 30, 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced plans to increase Canada’s immigration targets over the next three years. The new targets are as follows:

  • 401,000 permanent residents in 2021 (previously 351,000)
  • 411,000 permanent residents in 2022 (previously 361,000)
  • 421,000 permanent residents in 2023

Such a drastic increase in immigration targets to welcome more than 1.2 million newcomers in three years is part of the Canadian government’s plan to boost economic recovery and job creation, which suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus caused a sizeable slump in 2020 immigration numbers — and though files are being processed, the global travel restrictions and border closures led to a dramatic decrease in the number of new permanent residents — 128,430 between January and August. It is evident the target of 341,000 is not going to be reached by the end of this year. Reduced processing capacity also contributed to the slump. Thus, the increased numbers are meant to compensate for the shortfall.

As a part of the economic recovery plan, 60% of the new arrivals will be part of the economic class, the highest increase, followed by the family class and refugees. Increases are being implemented across the board, in Express Entry, PNPs, pilots and in Quebec (which sets its own immigration targets and plans to welcome 47,500 new immigrants in 2021.)

To adapt to a rapidly changing environment, IRCC has adopted a digital transformation approach to increase the capacity of Canada’s immigration system.

Another highlight is further development of innovative and community-driven initiatives to mitigate varied labour market and demographic needs across Canada. As part of this commitment, to spur the growth of French-speaking communities outside of Quebec, additional points for Francophone candidates in Express Entry are now granted.

Over the next two years Canada will accept up to 500 refugees through the new Economic Mobility Pathways Project, an innovative system allowing qualified refugees to apply for permanent residence through existing economic immigration pathways. This comes right after the recently announced pathway to permanent residency for eligible asylum claimants on the front lines of the pandemic providing patient care between March 13 and August 14, 2020 in health care institutions.

“Our plan will help to address some of our most acute labour shortages and to grow our population to keep Canada competitive on the world stage,” announced the Hon. Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada.

[2021-2023 Immigration Targets – Canada – table]

2021 2022 2023
Overall Planned Newcomer Admissions (PR) 401,000 411,000 421,000
Economic Federal High Skilled 108,500 110,500 113,750
Federal Business 1,000 1,000 1,000
Economic Pilots: Caregivers; Agri-Food Pilot; Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot 8,500 10,000 10,250
Atlantic Immigration Pilot 6,000 6,250 6,500
Provincial Nominee Program 80,800 81,500 83,000
Quebec Skilled Workers and Business 47,500 To be determined To be determined
Total Economic 232,500 241,500 249,500
Family Spouses, Partners and Children 80,000 81,000 81,000
Parents and Grandparents 23,500 23,500 23,500
Total Family 103,500 104,500 104,500
Refugees and Protected Persons Protected Persons in Canada and Dependents Abroad 23,500 24,500 25,000
Resettled Refugees – Government-Assisted 12,500 12,500 12,500
Resettled Refugees – Privately Sponsored 22,500 22,500 22,500
Resettled Refugees – Blended Visa Office-Referred 1,000 1,000 1,000
Total Refugees and Protected Persons 59,500 60,500 61,000
Humanitarian and Other Total Humanitarian and Other 5,500 5,500 6,000

Family Class immigration numbers will also increase, though not so drastically: to 103,500 in 2021 and 104,500 by 2023, with spouses, partners and children making up 80,000 of those immigrants in 2021, and parents and grandparents increasing to 23,500.

Last but not least, numbers of admitted Refugees and Protected Persons will also grow through the next three years. The plan is to admit 59,500 refugees in 2021, rising to 61,000 by 2023.

How does this change the immediate future of immigration? Will EE points drop?

We predicted that the points will not drop and facts have proven us right:

The number of new ITAs in EE have grown over the past months; however, the points remain high — the last all-program draw, on November 5, had a pass mark of 478, seven points higher than the previous draw. A subsequent FST draw had 436 as the lowest pass mark.

There are several reasons for stagnating profiles of out-of-Canada candidates with less than 470 points:

  • Additional points allocation to the Francophone candidates;
  • International students getting bonus points for Canadian education credentials graduate in high numbers and enter the job market, earning Canadian experience for extra points;
  • Language testing centres reopen all over the world, ushering in a wave of new test takers;
  • CERB is being doled out indiscriminately, leading to a short-term labour shortage in many low-wage NOC B occupations, where employers are forced to apply for LMIAs, thus boosting the score of their FN employees;
  • Restrictive policies on immigration in the US led to an influx of IT workers through the Global Talent Stream.

Milmantas Immigration specializes in strategic immigration planning, devising an individual tailored strategy leading to permanent residency for every interested candidate. Do not hesitate to contact us to start your first steps towards your immigration goals.