Canada commits to increasing immigration over three years

The Canadian government has announced a three-year plan to increase immigration. The plan sets out a goal for increased migration over the next three years in an effort to boost the economy.

Candian passports
On the 1st of November 2017, the Canadian government’s immigration department, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced its new immigration plan.

Three year immigration plan

The plan breaks with practice of previous years by laying out immigration targets for the next three years.The plan of 310,000 new permanent residents in 2018, growing to 330,000 in 2019 and 340,000 by 2020, will meet the government’s target of close to 1 per cent of the Canadian population. Over three years, this represents an increase of close to 15 per cent on the number welcomed in 2016 (296,000).For economic class immigrants, the total number will increase from 155,994 admitted in 2016 to a target of 195,800 by 2020 (an increase of 25 per cent).Within the total number of economic class immigrants, the number of highly skilled immigrants (under the Federal High Skills Programme) will increase from 60,000 admitted in 2016 to; 74,900 in 2018; 81,400 in 2019 and; 85,800 in 2020 (an eventual increase of 43 per cent).Craig Alexander, Senior vice president of the Conference Board of Canada, a Canadian not-for-profit think tank, said in a statement, “Canada's decision to increase immigration will help sustain long-term economic growth in light of its rapidly aging population and low birth rate.”“Introducing a multi-year levels plan will improve the ability of governments, employers, immigrant-serving organisations and other important stakeholders to successfully integrate newcomers into Canada’s economy and society.”
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Canadian immigration background

Canada has recently introduced several measures to encourage immigration:
  • In December 2016, the Canadian government cancelled a regulation that restricted most temporary foreign workers from staying in Canada for more than four years
  • From 28 April 2017, the Government of Canada removed the condition that applied to some sponsored spouses or partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to live with their sponsor for two years in order to keep their permanent resident status
  • From 12 June 2017, the Global Skills Strategy encompasses two new work permit exemptions for short-term work, and two-week work permit processing for certain highly-skilled occupations
  • Provisionally effective from 21 September 2017, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union includes several provisions for the entry of short-term business visitors and temporary foreign workers
  • From 11 October 2017, the residency requirement for citizenship eligibility was reduced from four to three out of five years. Credit is now given for time spent in Canada as a temporary resident (up to 365 days) prior to becoming a permanent resident, and only applicants between 18 and 54 years of age are now required to meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship. Previously, applicants between 14 and 64 years of age had to meet the language and knowledge requirements
  • From 24 October 2017, the Canadian government reset the age of dependency back to “under 22”, to allow dependent children aged 19, 20 and 21 to accompany foreign residents

Immigration changes and businesses

Employers looking to hire foreign nationals in Canada should contact their immigration specialist to understand how these changes may affect their plans.This immigration update was produced by Peregrine Immigration Management, the global immigration services company and prepared by using information provided by Newland Chase and the Canadian Employee Relocation Council.For related news and features, visit our Immigration section.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  

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