1 million immigrants to Canada by 2020
Nearly one million new immigrants will settle in Canada between 2018 and 2020, under what Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen has labeled “the most ambitious immigration levels in recent Canadian history.”
Economic migrants will make up the majority of new permanent residents admitted to Canada, with most economic newcomers set to immigrate through the Express Entry immigration selection system.
Under the plan, 310,000 new permanent residents will settle in Canada in 2018. This target will be increased to 330,000 newcomers in 2019, with a further 340,000 to settle in 2020.
Of all these newcomers, around 565,000 will be admitted through the economic programs, with close to a quarter million to arrive through one of the federal economic programs managed under Express Entry. Throughout 2017, IRCC has made it increasingly clear that Express Entry is now the main driver of economic immigration, with more Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued so far this year than over the two previous years together.
The increased target intake for Express Entry candidates in 2017 was a contributory factor towards a decrease in Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off thresholds this year, as an increased intake places downward pressure on CRS cut-off thresholds. Whereas the lowest score drawn in 2016 was 450, the lowest score drawn so far this year for Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates was 413, with even lower record low thresholds for Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) candidates (most recently a threshold of 241 in a draw that took place just hours before IRCC tabled its multi-year plan).
An even higher target intake for 2018 and beyond may contribute towards even lower CRS cut-off thresholds
Growing the economy
Among the other economic programs, the province of Quebec will welcome 94,000 skilled workers and business immigrants over the next three years, and Canada will continue to welcome business immigrants through its federal programs, with more than 2,000 federal business immigrants persons and their family members to be admitted by the end of 2020.
Family reunification and refugee settlement remain important
Other key highlights from Canada’s multi-year Immigration Levels Plan include a target to reunite around 265,000 spouses, common-law partners, dependent children, parents, and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents through the Family Class programs, with a slight increase in the overall Family Class targets year-on-year.
Canada’s long-standing tradition of resettling international refugees will also continue, with a target to approve around 43,000 refugees for permanent residence in 2018. A further 45,650 refugees may be settled in 2019, with a target for 48,700 more in 2020.
A look at 2018
The overall economic picture shows that Express Entry is set to be the main source of economic admissions in 2018. Family Class admissions will increase slightly compared with last year, from 84,000 to 86,000, as will the number of refugees resettled in Canada, from 40,000 to 43,000.
A further 3,500 individuals are set to obtain permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds in 2018.