The government of Canada has set an ambitious target in its 2016 Immigration Levels Plan, aiming to welcome up to 305,000 new permanent residents over the course of this year across a range of economic, family, and refugee/humanitarian immigration categories.
This is the first time in many years where a Canadian government has set a target of 300,000 or greater.
While Canada is opening its doors even wider to immigrants, with plans for more refugees and improved family reunification times, the overall target number for economic immigration categories has seen a slight decrease from the 2015 plan. However, economic immigration remains by far the largest category in terms of the number of newcomers targeted.
“We will be able to welcome more people to Canada,” said Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum, on Tuesday morning.
McCallum said a bill tabled in Parliament calls for between 280,000 and 305,000 permanent residents to be allowed into Canada in 2016, including more refugees from war-torn Syria. Calling it the country’s highest targeted number of new immigrants to Canada in modern times, McCallum said the government’s goal is to “bring in immigrants who wish to build a better Canada."
The plan supports family reunification, reductions in application processing times, responds to economic needs, and allows the government to meet humanitarian objectives. The plan is supposed to be tabled each November, but the one for 2016 was delayed by the general election and change of government around that time last year.
Canada's 2016 Immigration Levels Plan
|Category||Immigration Program||2016 Admission Range||2016 Admission Target||2015 Admission Range||Percentage change, 2015 to 2016**|
|Federal Economic - High Skilled*||54,000–59,000||58,400||See note below*||See note below*|
|Federal Economic - Caregivers||20,000–22,000||22,000||26,000–30,000||-26.67%|
|Federal Economic - Business||500–900||800||1,000–1,700||-47.06%|
|Provincial Nominee Program||46,000–48,000||47,800||46,000–48,000||No change|
|Quebec Skilled Worker Program||25,500–27,000||26,200||26,000–27,000||No change|
|Quebec Business||5,200–5,500||5,400||5,000–5,500||No change|
|Total Admission Range for 2016 Economic Programs: 151,200–162,400|
|Percentage of overall: 53.24%|
Family Class Programs
|Spouses, Partners and Dependent Children||57,000–62,000||60,000||45,000–48,000||+29.17|
|Parents and Grandparents||18,000–20,000||20,000||18,000–20,000||No change|
|Total Admission Range for 2016 Family Class Programs: 75,000–82,000|
|Percentage of overall: 26.88%|
Refugees, Protected Persons, Humanitarian
|Blended Visa Office Referred||2,000–3,000||2,400||700–1,000||+200%|
|Protected Persons in Canada and Dependents Abroad||10,000–11,000||11,000||10,000–11,000||No change|
|Humanitarian and Other||2,800–3,600||3,600||3,000–4,000||-10%|
|Total Admission Range for 2016 Refugees, Protected Persons, and Humanitarian Programs: 53,800–60,600|
|Percentage of overall: 19.87%|
|Total Admission Range for all immigration categories in 2016 Immigration Levels Plan: 280,000–305,000|
*The 2016 plan did not provide a distinct figure for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), as the 2015 plan did. Further, the 2015 plan also included the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) under the banner of Federal Skilled Worker (FSW). At the time of writing, it is believed that the above figure includes FSW, CEC and FSTC. In that event, between the three programs there is a decrease of 20.27% from 2015 to 2016.
**All calculations were made using the higher number provided within the admission range for both 2015 and 2016.