Immigration Minister of Canada, Ahmed Hussen, says the federal government’s multi-year immigration levels plan is on track and $440 million will be committed to ensure its success.

Last November, Canada put aside one-year immigration levels planning in favor of a three-year plan covering 2018 to 2020. The plan calls for a gradual increase in immigration levels over that time, from an overall admissions target of 310,000 in 2018 to 340,000 in 2020.

He also said that, sixty per cent of this growth is expected to come through Canada’s economic immigration programs, singling out the vital roles of the federal Express Entry system and Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs, or PNPs.

IRCC has set a target of 242,100 new admissions between 2018 and 2020 through the three economic immigration programs managed through the Express Entry  system, namely, the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class.

Express Entry target admissions



Target Increase





3,200 (4%)



6,700 (9%)

2020 85,800

4,400 (5%)

He also highlighted that as to the PNPs, which allow Canada’s provinces and territories to nominate a set number of immigrants each year for permanent residence, these programs were a key driver for the multi-year level plan.

Express Entry candidates with a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score, making them eligible to receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence from IRCC.

IRCC has set admission targets through PNPs that will increase by a total of 23 per cent over those three years.

Better planning

The multi-year approach will also allow the government and partner organizations to better prepare for increments to ensure they have the capacity to welcome and successfully integrate newcomers into Canadian society. The increased admission targets under the multi-year levels plan are projected to cost $440 million over the next three years.

The additional resources will be used to cater to the increased demands placed on IRCC’s global processing network and its settlement programs. The additional investment will also enable IRCC and its partners to process and screen more applications for permanent residency in a timely manner.

It is expected to see real progress in the reduction of processing times in family, caregiver and refugee programs. Faster processing also ensures that employers can more effectively get the talent they need.

The minister also announced that the government had met its promised 12-month deadline to reduce the backlog of Spousal Sponsorship applications by 80 per cent.

Immigration essential to Canada’s future

The Immigration Minister said the government’s immigration objectives are supported by independent studies by organizations like the Conference Board of Canada, which late last year reported that Canada will need to increase immigration levels to around one per cent of Canada’s population over the next two decades in order to sustain a healthy level of economic growth across the country.

Under the multi-year levels plan, immigration will represent 0.9 per cent of Canada’s population by 2020.

It is also observed that the Canadians have a vested interest in increased immigration levels. In 1971, there were 6.6 people of working age for each senior; by 2012, the worker to retiree ratio was 4.2: 1. Projections put the ratio at 2:1 by 2036 — less than 20 years from now. That’s when 5.5 million Canadians are expected to retire and almost 100 per cent of Canada’s net population growth will be through immigration.

Immigration already constitutes to 65 per cent of net population growth in Canada and immigrants now constitute 25 per cent of Canada’s workforce.

Canada’s demographic challenges makes it necessary to initiate enhanced efforts to attract immigrants with the skills Canada needs in order to grow the size of its labor force and Canada’s economy, and maintain national social programs.

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