Downtown St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador wants annual immigration numbers to increase to 1,700 new permanent residents per year, an increase of around 50 percent on current intake numbers.

The target was announced at the launch of a new strategy document last Friday in St. John's, the provincial capital and largest city. The plan is titled 'The Way Forward on Immigration in Newfoundland and Labrador.'

Speaking at the launch, provincial Labour Minister Gerry Byrne stated that, "Even in this economy — you could argue because of this economy — there are skill sets that are left unfulfilled and unanswered . . . The argument is actually made and effectively made, and effectively made, this is the best time to come to Newfoundland and Labrador."

Also included in the 26-page document are efforts to improve immigrant retention rates, as well as strategies to entice Newfoundlanders to return to their home province.

The plan is divided into two broad phases, with the first phase encompassing the year 2017, and the subsequent phase covering 2018 to 2022. Of the 39 initiatives outlined, 24 are scheduled to be rolled out in phase one.

Initiatives for 2017 include improved application processing procedures, working with third parties on settlement services, expanding and improving the provincial government's immigration websites, and the possibility of new categories within the Newfoundland And Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP), one of Canada's Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

By 2022, the province aims to have built on these initial efforts with further initiatives, including a new portal that would allow applicants and employers to track their progress in relation to the NLPNP.

Currently, there are a number of ways for newcomers to settle in Newfoundland and Labrador as permanent residents:

Other newcomers to Newfoundland may come through family sponsorship programs or as refugees.

Learn more about life and settlement in Newfoundland and Labrador.

To read the government of Newfoundland and Labrador's immigration plan in full, click here.

To learn more about your Canadian immigration options, please fill out a free online assessment today.