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Canada Immigration Levels Plan

Under the Canada Immigration Levels Plan, Canada is currently aiming to receive approximately 460,000 new immigrants per year, the greatest level in its history.

Canada’s immigration aims are to enhance the economy, reunite families, and assist refugees. This detailed CanadaVisa website explains all you need to know about Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan.

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Why Canada Needs Immigrants

Canada has one of the oldest populations in the world, as well as one of the lowest birth rates. This puts economic and fiscal strains on the government. Canada has a low natural population growth rate, which leads in poor labor force and economic growth rates. Low economic growth makes it difficult for Canada to raise the taxes required to sustain social expenditure on services such as education, health care, and other critical sectors that contribute to the country’s high living standards.

As a result, Canada has increased its immigration numbers since the late 1980s in order to boost its population, labor force, and economic growth rates. Immigration currently accounts for the bulk of Canada’s population and labor force growth, as well as a growing part of its economic growth.

Consider that 9 million baby boomers will reach the retirement age of 65 in Canada by 2030. This means that Canada will employ fewer people at a time when its social spending on health care is increasing. To address this issue, Canada has been proactive in steadily increasing its immigration objectives for over 30 years.

Since 1988, Canada has consistently received over 200,000 immigrants every year, as indicated in the chart below. It has now resolved to boost its levels to above 400,000 every year. The immigration rate in Canada is at about 1.1%. In other words, Canada accepts three times the number of immigrants as the United States of America.

Based on demographic realities and immigration trends, Canada is likely to continue progressively increasing its immigration numbers in the foreseeable future. Immigration will continue to be vital to the country’s strong economic and budgetary status.

Furthermore, there is a compelling case to be made that the coronavirus epidemic has enhanced the relevance of immigration. COVID-19 has temporarily harmed the Canadian economy while increasing government spending on social services. Furthermore, Canada’s birth rate plummeted to its lowest level ever in 2019, at 1.47 children per woman. Given the low birth rate previous to the pandemic and the possibility that the epidemic may further depress birth rates owing to economic instability, Canada will become even more reliant on immigration for population expansion in the future years.

If Canada’s birth rate continues low, immigration will account for an increasingly bigger percentage of labor-force growth in the coming decades. Finally, in order to fund government expenditure beyond COVID-19, Canada will need to grow its revenue base through immigration.

Overview of Canada's Immigration Programs

Economic immigration, which is a major driver of Canada’s economic growth, accounts for more than half of planned admissions through the multi-year levels plan.

Nearly half of projected economic admissions will be through the federal Express Entry system programs:

  • the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program
  • the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC); and
  • the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) also plays an important role in terms of economic immigration. This program allows participating Canadian provinces and territories to nominate eligible immigration candidates who match local workforce needs for permanent residence.

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