On February 14, 2022, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, tabled the 2022‒2024 Immigration Levels Plan, which charts an ambitious but responsible path for immigration that will help the Canadian economy recover and will fuel post-pandemic growth, all while strengthening communities and industries across the country that rely on immigration.
Throughout the pandemic, newcomers have been on the front lines, working in key sectors like health care, transportation, and manufacturing. Without them, Canada would not have been able to overcome challenges in critical industries and sectors of the economy over the past two years. Now, more than ever, immigrants are a key part of our country’s continued success.
“Immigration has helped shape Canada into the country it is today. From farming and fishing to manufacturing, healthcare and the transportation sector, Canada relies on immigrants. We are focused on economic recovery, and immigration is the key to getting there. Setting bold new immigration targets, as outlined in the 2022-2024 Levels Plan, will further help bring the immeasurable contribution of immigrants to our communities and across all sectors of the economy,” said Minister Fraser.
The pandemic has highlighted the contributions of newcomers to the well-being of our communities and across all sectors of the economy. Last year, Canada welcomed more than 405,000 new permanent residents — the most immigrants in a single year in our history. Despite having regained many of the jobs lost during the pandemic, there are still hundreds of thousands of positions in all sectors waiting to be filled. Immigration already accounts for almost 100% of labour force growth, and with 5 million Canadians set to retire by the end of this decade, the worker to retiree ratio will drop down to only 3:1. This is a clear sign that we have a strong economic need for increased immigration.
To ensure Canada has the workers it needs to fill critical labour market gaps and support a strong economy into the future, the 2022–2024 Immigration Levels Plan aims to continue welcoming immigrants at a rate of about 1% of Canada’s population, including 431,645 permanent residents in 2022, 447,055 in 2023, and 451,000 in 2024. This plan builds on the previous levels plan, with an increased focus on supporting our economic resurgence and post-pandemic growth.
To support these increased levels, the Government of Canada recently announced a plan to modernize Canada’s immigration system to fuel economic recovery and improve client experience, which will help address key challenges faced by our clients, such as reducing inventories and creating the predictable processing times that our clients expect and deserve.
Highlights of the plan include:
- overall admissions amounting to 1.14% of the Canadian population by 2024.
- a long-term focus on economic growth, with nearly 60% of admissions in the Economic Class.
- help for vulnerable populations, like the special measures for granting permanent residence to refugee claimants working in health care during the pandemic.
- support for global crises by providing a safe haven through humanitarian immigration to those facing persecution.
- talent retention of those already in Canada by granting permanent status to temporary residents accepted through the time limited pathways for essential workers launched in spring 2021.
This plan also recognizes the importance of family reunification and helps maintain the 12 month processing standard for spouses and children.