November has started with excellent news for prospective permanent resident applicants to Canada. On November 1, the Canadian government released the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan. Every year, the Canadian government must release an Immigration Levels Plan by November 1, according to the rules in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

The annual Immigration Levels Plans project how many permanent residents Canada intends to admit over a year, for the next three years. There are targets and ranges that are set for different categories of permanent residents, as well as the total number of permanent residents that Canada aims to admit into the country. The new plan will supplant the previous 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan announced earlier this year and provide record numbers of immigration to Canada. 

Record numbers of total immigrants expected for the next three years

As expected, the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels plan accounts for increased immigration to Canada, with an even greater focus on economic immigration.  There are increases in the number of total immigrants targeted for projected admission each year. The targets for 2023 to 2025 are as follows:

  • 2023: 465,000
  • 2024: 485,000
  • 2025: 500,000

This represents an increase over the 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan in terms of the total target of projected admissions. The 2022-2024 plan accounted for 447,055 admissions in 2023 and 451,000 in 2024. 

Economic Immigration Main Focus of Projected Admissions

When broken down into categories for projected admissions, it is clear that the main focus is on economic immigration. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser confirmed that economic immigration is indeed the primary focus of the current Immigration Levels Plan in an announcement to the press on November 1:

“Make no mistake. This is a massive increase in economic migration to Canada, we have not seen such a focus on economic migration as we’ve seen in this immigration levels plan.”

Economic immigration will comprise more than 50% of the immigration for 2023, 2024, and 2025 according to the Immigration Levels Plan based on the ranges given as part of the plan. Economic immigration is split into different categories within the plan, with a target number allocated to each category. Within economic immigration, the categories heavily vary regarding the target number that each category has been assigned.

Increased Provincial Nominee Program Targets

The largest category, with a target of 105,500 immigrants in 2023, is the Provincial Nominee Program. The Provincial Nominee Program target numbers increase for all three years of the plan. The Provincial Nominee Program allows the provinces of Canada to invite permanent residence applicants to apply under various streams. Each province manages its own Provincial Nominee Program, so there may be different streams, requirements, and selection criteria across the country.

Federal High Skilled Category 

The new plan includes a target of 82,880 immigrants for the Federal High Skilled category in 2023. The Federal High Skilled category consists of the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class. These programs are part of Express Entry. The Express Entry programs require invitations, and the Canadian Experience Class requires work experience to apply for permanent residency. Applicants for these programs are judged on certain factors such as age, education, language, skilled work experience and job offers.

Federal Economic Public Policies Set to End by 2024

A part of the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels plan that does not follow the trend of an increasing target every year is the Federal Economic Public Policies category. There is a target of 25,000 immigrants for 2023 under this category, but no target for this category in both 2024 and 2025. The reason for not having a target for 2024 and 2025 is that the Federal Economic Public Policies are time-limited public policy programs that allow temporary residents in Canada to transition to permanent residency. As these policies were enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are set to terminate by the end of 2023.

Other Economic Categories

Other programs within the economic classification of the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan include Federal Business, Economic Pilot programs, Caregivers, and the Atlantic Immigration Program. These categories target immigration below 10,000 for 2023 but increase in number each year throughout the plan.

Family Immigration Second Largest Target Under 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan

Family immigration represents the second largest category under the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan, with a target of 106,500 total family immigrants for 2023. Further, the total number of family immigrants will increase yearly until 2025. Of the 106,500 total family immigrants targeted for 2023, 78,000 will be spouse, partner, and children sponsorships. Spouses, partners, and children can be sponsored for residence if the sponsor can financially support them upon arrival in Canada. The remaining 28,500 target immigrants for 2023 under the family immigration category are allocated to parent and grandparent sponsorships. 

Refugees and Protected Persons Targets Decline as Ukraine and Afghanistan Refugee Plans End in 2023

Refugees and Protected persons comprise the last major category under the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan. Overall, there is a target of 76,305 Refugees and Protected persons to be admitted as permanent residents in 2023. Unlike the family and economic categories, the number of refugees to be admitted as permanent residents will decline in 2024 and 2025. The likely reason for the decline in refugee numbers is that currently, Canada has made special dispensations for people affected by the situations in Ukraine and Afghanistan, and the current plans for allowing a large number of refugees into Canada from those countries end in 2023. It remains to be seen how the target number of refugees changes in the next Immigration Levels Plan, as world events that lead to refugees coming to Canada can be unpredictable.

Considering Immigrating to Canada? Contact Garson Immigration Law in Toronto

Garson Immigration Law is a firm exclusively dedicated to practicing immigration law. The knowledgeable immigration lawyers at our firm have a wealth of experience helping clients prepare applications for Express Entry, Provincial Nomination, and Family Sponsorships.  If you are considering applying to become a Canadian permanent resident, do not hesitate to contact us online or by calling 416-321-2860.

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