Canadian Government Launches Plan to Increase Immigration Targets

On October 30, 2020, the Government of Canada announced a plan to welcome 1.2 million permanent residents by 2023 to account for the shortfall of immigrants due to the pandemic and Canada’s ongoing low birthrate. The mandate aims to welcome immigrants at a rate of about 1% of the population of Canada to include 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023. Highlights of the new plan include:

  • Focus on economic growth, with about 60% of admissions to come from the Economic Class;

  • Continued focus on innovative and community-driven approaches to address diverse labor and demographic needs across Canada;

  • Renewed commitment to capacity-building and digital transformation in Canada’s immigration system, to support operations and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the processing of applications;

  • Additional points for French-speaking candidates under Express Entry, to promote the growth of Francophone communities outside of Quebec;

  • Commitment to admit up to 500 refugees over the next 2 years through the Economic Mobility Pathways Project, an innovative approach that helps qualified refugees apply for permanent residence through existing economic immigration pathways; and

  • Pathway to permanent residency for eligible asylum claimants who were working on the front lines of the pandemic between March 13 and August 14, 2020, providing direct care to patients in health-care institutions.

What This Means for Our Clients

Canada is open for business, even with the ongoing pandemic. We anticipate greater facilitation of permanent residency applications for qualified individuals with Canadian education and work experience. Although the Government of Canada has not yet indicated specific reforms to the permanent residency process, we may see modifications to Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) -- Canada’s point-based system for seeking permanent residency -- to provide more points for Canadian education and experience as well as the launch of new pilot programs to target skill sets that align with economic goals.

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