Canada targets 390,000 immigrants to be invited by 2022

IRCC – Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada unveiled the federal government’s 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan, targeting to welcome more than one million new permanent residents in the next three years.

With the new immigration level plans, Canada has continued to gradually increase its admission rate for skilled immigrants. Giving stakeholders time to plan to support a larger population. This gradual increase can be observed through the set target for skilled immigrants:

Year Admission Target
2018 320,000
2019 341,000
2020 341,000
2021 351,000
2022 390,000


It was in 2017 that Canada re-introduced multi-year immigration level plans after their first attempt between 1982-1984 that was disrupted by the recession. Multi-year plans allow the stakeholders such as urban planners time to plan the steps that are needed for the newcomers to integrate into the economy and society.

These higher levels will help the country to tackle the problem of the ageing population and low birth rate and alleviate economic and fiscal pressure. With more than 9 million Canadians to reach retirement age in the next decade, Canada will welcome even more skilled immigrants to maintain a healthy workforce and economy.

Economic Class – Key for Canada Immigration

Of the total targeted new admissions, 58 percent is set to arrive from the economic immigration programs like Express Entry, Provincial nomination, Quebec’s program and other federal streams such as Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP). Most of the new admissions are targeted from the economic immigration class as it is expected to raise nearly 10,000 immigrants each year.

The federal government has also increased its PNP admission target by 20 percent in 2022 when compared with 2019’s target. Immigration pilot programs are also slated to welcome more immigrants, to welcome 5,200 under pilots such as Agri-Food Immigration Pilot and Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. It can end up nearly doubling their intake by 2022.

Under Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), the federal government is keeping the admission targets stable at 5,000 during their plan.

Quebec’s immigration levels are yet to be determined for 2021 and 2022, as the federal government waits to consult Quebec as they are in the process of reforming their immigration system.

Also, 26 percent will be welcomed under the family class, while the remaining 16 percent will be admitted through humanitarian and compassionate grounds. There is no growth for new admissions under family class and humanitarian and compassionate purposes.

Canada’s Immigration Levels

The current immigration levels are the highest by the historical standards of Canada immigration. Canada has welcomed 300,000 immigrants or more just five times since its founding back in 1867. Looking at a per-capita basis, Canada is now welcoming 0.9 percent of its population in immigrants. In comparison to the United States, they welcome 0.3 percent of their population.

Canada’s increasing immigration levels is to support its high living standards. Aging of society will weaken labour force and economic growth as its fiscal costs in areas such as health care rise. To deliver health care to its aging population, it will become more expensive. This is where immigration will help to grow the size of the country’s labour force.

Immigration level announcement is a part of a broader trend that will likely see Canada boost immigration and eventually break the 400,000-newcomer admission threshold. The country is poised to welcome approximately 3.5 million immigrants in this decade, compared with 2.8 million for the year 2010-2019.

2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan

Immigration Program 2020 Target 2021 Target 2022 Target
Federal High Skilled 91,800 91,150 91,550
Federal Business 750 750 750
Economic Pilots 5,200 7,150 9,500
Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program 5,000 5,000 5,000
Provincial/ Territorial Nominee Program 67,800 71,300 73,000
Quebec Skilled Workers and Business 25,250 TBD TBD
Total Economic 195,800 203,050 212,050
Spouses, Partners and Children 70,000 70,000 70,000
Parents and Grandparents 21,000 21,000 21,000
Total Family 91,000 91,000 91,000
Protected Persons in Canada and Dependents Abroad 18,000 20,000 20,500
Resettled Refugees – Government-Assisted 10,700 10,950 11,450
Resettled Refugees-Privately Sponsored 20,000 20,000 20,000
Resettled Refugees-Blended Visa Office-Referred 1,000 1,000 1,000
Total Refugees and Protected Persons 49,700 51,950 52,950
Total Humanitarian & Compassionate and Other 4,500 5,000 5,000
Overall Planned Permanent Resident Admissions 341,000 351,000 361,000

With reference from

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