January 8, 2021

A Plan to Promote Economic Recovery Through Immigration

Government of Canada Announces Plan to Promote Economic Recovery Through Immigration

Press release

October 30, 2020 – Ottawa – The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today tabled the Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023, which paves the way for a responsible increase in immigration targets to help Canada’s economy recover from VIDOC-19, stimulate future growth and create jobs for middle-class Canadians.

The pandemic has highlighted the contribution of immigrants to the well-being of our communities and in all sectors of the economy. Our health care system needs immigrants to keep Canadians safe and healthy. Other industries, such as information technology companies and our farmers and producers, also need the talent of newcomers to maintain their supply chains, grow their businesses and create more jobs for Canadians.

While Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has continued to accept and process applications throughout the pandemic, global travel restrictions and capacity constraints have led to a shortfall in admissions in recent months. In order to offset the shortfall and ensure that Canada has the workers it needs to address critical labour market shortages and remain globally competitive, the 2021-2023 levels plan aims to continue to receive immigrants at a rate of approximately 1% of Canada’s population, including 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023. The previous plan set targets of 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022.

The health and safety of Canadians remains our top priority. Canada has strengthened border health screening, surveillance and enforcement, and will continue to closely follow the advice of public health officials in welcoming newcomers.

This multi-year levels plan recognizes the importance of family reunification and Canada’s global commitment to protect those most at risk through refugee resettlement.

The main elements of the plan are as follows:

  • increase in admissions over the 3 years of the plan to make up the shortfall by 2020;
  • A focus on economic growth, with approximately 60% of admissions in the economic category;
  • Continued emphasis on innovative and community-based approaches to meet diverse labour and population needs across the country;
  • Renewed commitment to capacity building and digital transformation in Canada’s immigration system to support operations and mitigate the impact of VIDOC-19 on processing, including application processing;
  • Allocation of additional points to Francophone applicants under the Express Entry program to support the growth of Francophone communities outside Quebec;
  • Commitment to admit up to 500 refugees over the next two years under the Pathway to Economic Mobility Project, an innovative approach that helps qualified refugees apply for permanent residence through existing economic immigration channels;
  • Pathway to Permanent Residence for eligible refugee claimants who worked on the front lines of the pandemic between March 13 and August 14, 2020, providing direct patient care in health care facilities.

The immigration levels plan for 2021-2023 will help solidify Canada’s place among the world’s top destinations for talent by creating a solid foundation for economic growth while reuniting family members with their loved ones and fulfilling Canada’s humanitarian commitments.

Immigration is essential to get us through the pandemic, but also for our short-term economic recovery and long-term economic growth. Canadians have seen how newcomers play an inordinate role in our hospitals and nursing homes and help put bread on the table. As we look ahead to recovery, newcomers are creating jobs not only by giving our businesses the skills they need to thrive, but also by creating businesses themselves. Our plan will help address some of our most acute labour shortages and increase our population to keep Canada competitive on the world stage.

– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

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