The Honourable Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marco Mendicino, announced the 2021‒2023 Immigration Levels Plan on October 30, 2020 at Ottawa. The plan charts out a path for responsible increases to immigration targets to help the Canadian economy recover from the pandemic. It is also aimed to drive growth in the future and to create jobs for middle class Canadians.
It’s a fact that the pandemic has put the spotlight on the contribution of immigrants to the well-being of Canada’s communities and across all economic sectors. The Canadian healthcare system relies on immigrants to keep it active as do other industries like IT companies and the farming sector. The immigrant talents are utilised to maintain supply chains, expand their businesses and, in turn, create more jobs for Canadians.
The global travel restrictions and capacity constraints due to the pandemic have created a shortage in immigration to Canada admissions over the last several months even though Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continued to accept and process applications. The 2021 to 2023 levels plan aims to continue the intake of immigrants at a rate of about 1% of the population of Canada. This is to compensate for the shortfall and ensure Canada has enough workers needed to fill crucial labour market gaps and remain competitive. Canada aims to have 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023 which is higher than the previous plan set targets.
Canada has strengthened health screening as well as monitoring and enforcement at the borders. The advice of public health officials will be strictly followed while welcoming the immigrants.
Family reunification and & Canada’s global commitment to protect those most at risk through refugee resettlement are the high priorities of this multi-year plan of immigration to Canada.
Immigration plan – Highlights
- Increase in admissions over the next 3 years to compensate the shortfall in 2020
- About 60% of admissions to come from the Economic Class
- Innovative and community-driven approaches to tackle diverse Canadian labour and demographic needs.
- Capacity-building and digital transformation in Canada’s immigration system, to support operations and processing of applications in these pandemic times.
- Additional points to be given for French-speaking candidates under Express Entry. This is to promote the growth of Francophone communities outside of Quebec.
- A commitment to admit up to 500 refugees over the next 2 years through the Economic Mobility Pathways Project.
- A permanent residency pathway to be cleared for eligible asylum claimants who were providing direct care to patients in health-care institutions during the pandemic.
With this 2021–2023 Immigration Levels Plan Canada hopes to be amongst the world’s top destinations for talent leveraging on a strong foundation for economic growth. The plan also stands for reuniting family members with their loved ones and consummating humanitarian commitments of Canada.