Canada Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025

Last updated: 1 November 2022

Under its Immigration Levels Plan, Canada is now looking to welcome over 460,000 new immigrants each year, which is the highest levels in its history.

Canada's immigration goals are to strengthen the economy, reunite families, and help refugees. This comprehensive CanadaVisa page outlines everything that you need to know about Canada's Immigration Levels Plan.

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Table of Contents


Summary of Canada's Immigration Levels Plan

Each year, the federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) releases a new Immigration Levels Plan which it uses to guide its operations.

In 2022, IRCC is well on track to welcome more than 430,000 immigrants to Canada. In 2023, this target will rise to 465,000 new permanent residents (PRs). In 2024, Canada will aim to welcome an additional 485,000 immigrants and in 2025 another 500,000. The following table summarizes Canada's immigration targets between 2023-2025 by immigration class:

Immigration Class
2023
2024
2025
Economic
266,210
281,135
301,250
Family
106,500
114,000
118,000
Refugee
76,305
76,115
72,750
Humanitarian
15,985
13,750
8,000
Total
465,000
485,000
500,000

Canada's Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025

Immigrant Category

2023

2024

2025

Target

Target

Target

Overall Planned Permanent Resident Admissions

465,000

485,000

500,000

Economic

Federal High Skilled

82,880

109,020

114,000

Federal Economic Public Policies
25,000
-
-

Federal Business

3,500

5,000

6,000

Economic Pilots: Caregivers

8,500

12,125

14,750

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

8,500

11,500

14,500

Provincial Nominee Program

105,500

110,000

117,500

Quebec Skilled Workers and Business

See the Quebec immigration plan

To be determined

To be determined

Total Economic

266,210

281,135

301,250

Family

Spouses, Partners and Children

78,000

80,000

82,000

Parents and Grandparents

28,500

34,000

36,000

Total Family

106,500

114,000

118,000

Refugees and Protected Persons

Protected Persons in Canada and Dependents Abroad

25,000

27,000

29,000

Resettled Refugees - Government-Assisted

23,550

21,115

15,250

Resettled Refugees - Privately Sponsored

27,505

27,750

28,250

Resettled Refugees - Blended Visa Office-Referred

250

250

250

Total Refugees and Protected Persons

76,305

76,115

72,750

Humanitarian and Other

Total Humanitarian & Compassionate and Other

15,985

13,750

8,000

2023 Francophone Immigration Strategy objective 

15,862

19,910


Why Canada Needs Immigrants

Canada welcomes high levels of immigration to keep its economy strong.

Canada has one of the world's oldest populations and also one of the world's lowest birth rates. This creates economic and fiscal pressures. Canada has a low rate of natural population growth which results in low rates of labour force and economic growth. Low economic growth makes it difficult for Canada to raise the taxes it needs to support social spending on services such as education, health care, and other important areas that provide high living standards in the country.

As a result, Canada has been increasing its immigration levels since the late 1980s to increase its rate of population, labour force, and economic growth. Canada now depends on immigration for the majority of its population and labour force growth and a larger share of its economic growth.

Consider that Canada will have 9 million baby boomers reach the retirement age of 65 by the year 2030. This means that Canada will have fewer workers at a time when its social spending on health care will rise. To alleviate this challenge, Canada has been proactive by gradually raising its immigration targets for over 30 years now.

As shown in the chart below, Canada has regularly welcomed over 200,000 immigrants per year since 1988. In recent years, it has decided to increase its levels to over 400,000 per year. Canada's immigration rate now stands at around 1.1 per cent. In other words, Canada welcomes three times more immigrants on a per capita basis than then the United States of America.

Based on its demographic realities and its immigration trends, it appears likely that Canada will continue to gradually increase its immigration levels over the foreseeable future. Immigration will remain critical to supporting a healthy economy and fiscal situation in the country.

Moreover, a strong argument can be made that immigration's importance has increased due to the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has weakened the Canadian economy in the short run and increased government spending on social services. In addition, Canada's birth rate fell to its lowest level ever of 1.47 children per woman in 2019. Given the low birth rate prior to the pandemic, and the chance the pandemic will reduce the birth rate even further due to economic uncertainty, Canada will become even more dependent on immigration for its population growth in the coming years. If Canada's birth rate remains low, then immigration will comprise an even larger share of labour force growth in the decades to come. Finally, Canada will need to strengthen its tax base through immigration to support government spending following COVID-19.

Canada Immigration Levels 1860-2019

Overview of Canada's Immigration Programs

Economic immigration, which is a major driver of Canada’s economic growth, accounts for more than half of planned admissions through the multi-year levels plan.

Nearly half of projected economic admissions will be through the federal Express Entry system programs:

Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) also plays an important role in terms of economic immigration. This program allows participating Canadian provinces and territories to nominate eligible immigration candidates who match local workforce needs for permanent residence.

The following are immigration programs included in Canada's Multi-Year Immigration Levels Plan:

Economic Programs

  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program:
    This Express Entry-managed program is for immigrants with the requisite education, work experience, proficiency in English and/or French and other skills need to establish themselves economically in Canada.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC):
    The Express Entry-managed Federal Skilled Trades Class is for foreign workers with qualifications in a skilled trade.
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC):
    The Canadian Experience Class is managed by the Express Entry system and welcomes expressions of interest from foreign workers with Canadian work experience or recent graduates of Canadian educational institutions working in Canada.
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP):
    The Atlantic Immigration Pilot allows designated Atlantic employers to recruit and hire foreign skilled workers or international graduates in the Atlantic Canada region (Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick).
  • Caregivers Program:
    Canada allows eligible foreigners caring for children and people with high medical needs the opportunity to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
  • Federal Business (Start-Up Visa Program and Self-Employed Person):
    Federal business class programs allow foreigners who meet eligibility requirements the chance to run new or pre-existing businesses in Canada.
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP):
    This program allows participating provinces and territories to nominate eligible economic immigration candidates for Canadian permanent residence.
  • Quebec Skilled Worker Program and Quebec Business:
    The province of Quebec runs its own immigration system outside the federal system. The Government of Quebec's planned levels for 2019 to 2021 have yet to be determined.

Family Class Programs

Refugees and Protected Persons, Humanitarian and other


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