Canada will open its borders to more than 1.2 million new permanent immigrants in the next three years, the Canadian federal government has announced.
The itinerary was presented in the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, which was tabled by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Marco Mendicino.
According to the plan, Canada will admit 1,233,000 new permanent residents over the next three years, with 401,000 immigrants arriving in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.
These numbers are an increase of 60,000 for each year compared to the last three-year plan for welcoming new immigrants with permanent residency, under which Canada’s government sought to bring in 341,000 immigrants in 2020, 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022.
With the new Immigration Levels Plan, the Canadian government is aiming to attract skilled workers to provinces which are facing labour shortages, with 60 per cent of all new admissions coming from the economic class.
The breakdown of the plan for 2021 includes:
- 232,000 immigrants in the economic class;
- 103,500 immigrants in the family class;
- 59,500 immigrants as refugees and protected persons;
- 5,500 immigrants on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
The number of new immigrants set to be welcomed by the Canadian government represents about one per cent of the population of Canada and is designed to compensate for the shortfall of newcomers due to the pandemic.
In addition, the increase in admissions is also set to fill the crucial labour market gaps in Canada, which has been a long-standing problem due to the country’s twin labour market problem – an aging population and a low birth rate.
Nearly 18 per cent of Canada’s population is aged 65 years or older, with more than 9 million Canadians expected to retire in the next decade.
This has created an urgent need for introducing fresh faces to the Canadian workforce in order to enable the country to maintain a healthy economy.
If the new plan meets its target, it will be the highest level of immigration in the history of Canada. The last time Canada welcomed more than 400,000 immigrants in a single year was in 1913, when 401,000 newcomers were admitted to the country.