Immigration to Canada: 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan

Immigration to Canada will increase significantly in 2021. On October 30, 2020, the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published a new three-year plan for immigration to Canada. In the document “2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan” the government named the number of immigrants that the country expects to receive in the next three years.

How many immigrants Canada will accept in 2021-2023

According to the previous immigration plan, Canada expected to welcome 341,000 new immigrants in 2020, 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022. However, in 2020 there is a coronavirus pandemic, and the country lacked a large number of immigrants, which in turn hit hard on the country’s economic potential. That is why, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino, presenting the plan, said:

“Immigration is essential to getting us through the pandemic, but also to our short-term economic recovery and our long-term economic growth. Canadians have seen how newcomers are playing an outsized role in our hospitals and care homes, and helping us to keep food on the table. As we look to recovery, newcomers create jobs not just by giving our businesses the skills they need to thrive, but also by starting businesses themselves. 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.”

Under the new plan, Canada will boost its immigration goals unprecedentedly. Thus, in 2021, Canada seeks to accept 401,000 immigrants, in 2022 this figure will increase to 411,000, and in 2023 it will reach 421,000 immigrants! In total, the Ministry of Immigration has announced goals to admit 1,233,000 people in three years!

Categories of immigrants to Canada

There are 4 categories of immigrants, according to Canadian immigration law:

  • Economic Class
  • Family Class
  • Refugees and Protected Persons
  • Humanitarian Class and Other Persons

Immigration to Canada: Economic Class

The government said that in this three-year cycle, the focus will be on economic growth, and therefore about 60% of immigrants in the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan will be from the economic class. Economic immigrants are divided into those who immigrate through federal programs (mainly through Express Entry), provincial programs (united under the Provincial Nominee Program), Quebec immigrants, as well as business immigrants and various national or regional immigration pilots – programs that are created to help in a specific sector of the economy or region of the country.

Immigration to Canada

Express Entry Immigrants

The Federal High Skilled Worker Economic Class includes immigrants who are processed under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. All of these programs are part of the Express Entry system. In 2021, the government allocated 108,500 spots for this subset of immigrants.

Start-Up immigrants and self-employed persons

The Federal Business subcategory includes only two programs: the Self-Employed Persons Program, which allows outstanding foreign artists and professional athletes to immigrate to Canada, and the Start-Up Visa Program, which is designed to attract foreign entrepreneurs with an innovative business idea that can be implemented in Canada. In 2021, Canada has allocated 1,000 spots for this subcategory of business immigrants.

Immigrants to Quebec

According to the Quebec-Canada Accords, the province of Quebec has broad autonomy in the area of ​​immigration. This, in turn, allows the provincial government to select Francophone immigrants. Quebec has the following immigration programs: Quebec Skilled Worker Program, Quebec Experience Program, Quebec Investor Program, Quebec Entrepreneur Program, and Quebec Self-Employed Program. The Quebec government sets its own immigration quotas, and for 2021, the province plans to accept 19,400-22400 skilled workers, 1,500-2,300 business immigrants and 400-600 immigrants under other economic programs.

Provincial Nominee Program

Through bilateral agreements with provincial governments, Canada operates the Provincial Nominee Program, which includes eleven provincial and territorial programs. Under these programs, as of the end of 2020, there are 84 immigration streams. Applying for permanent residence through these programs gives provincial governments the opportunity to invite immigrants who can bring the greatest benefit to the local labour market. According to the Plan, Canada will allow Provinces to invite 80,800 immigrants!

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

Although the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is still an economic pilot, IRCC intends to make it a permanent program. In 2017-2019, immigration goals in this program were counted within the framework of economic pilots. However, the government now sets out targets for this program separately. Four Atlantic provinces can elect candidates under a simplified procedure, giving them the opportunity to obtain permanent residence in one year. For 2021, Ottawa has allowed New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador to invite 6,000 people.

Pilot Immigration Programs

Pilot immigration programs are test programs that allow the government to distribute immigrants more evenly to remote and less popular regions, as well as to attract immigrants in certain occupations in which there is a shortage of specialists. Currently, Canada has the following pilot programs: Home Child-Care Provider Pilot, Home Support Worker Pilot, Agri-Food Immigration Pilot, and Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. According to Canadian law, the pilot program cannot accept more than 2,750 candidates per year. In total, Canada has allocated 8,500 places for all four programs in 2021.

In total, accoerding to the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, the government expects to accept 232,500 economic immigrants in 2021!

Family Class

The Immigrant Family Class allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to reunite with their relatives. The two main subcategories of the family class are spouses and common-law partners of Canadians, and parents and grandparents. In addition, children and some other relatives can be sponsored. In 2021, the Department of Immigration plans to allow permanent residence for 80,000 spouses and children of Canadians, as well as 23,500 parents and grandparents.

2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan

Refugees and Protected Persons Class

Canada is one of the countries that receive the most refugees and protected persons. The Immigration Department plans in advance the number of different types of refugees Canada is willing to accept. In this class of immigrants, Canada has different programs and quotas for refugees: persons in need of protection (23,500 people in 2021), government-sponsored refugees (12,500 people, including a new stream for 250 human rights defenders, journalists and humanitarian workers at risk), privately sponsored refugees (22,500 people), and blended co-sponsored refugees (1,000 people). Canada will accept 59,500 refugees in total in 2021.

Humanitarian Class and Other Persons

The humanitarian immigrant class has been designed for all immigration cases that do not fit any other immigrant class. According to immigration law, such people are generally inadmissible to immigrate to Canada, therefore a mechanism has been created to address specific individual cases to overcome inadmissibility for immigration, for humanitarian and compassionate purposes. In 2021, Canada plans to give permanent residence to 5,500 humanitarian immigrants.

Immigration to Canada. 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan

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