Posted on - Nov 07, 2017

By Matthew Morawski

Matthew Morawski

By 2020, annual intake will rise to 1% of population

Canada’s reputation as a welcoming country for immigration was strengthened on November 1, 2017. Canada’s 2017 Annual Report on Immigration sends a strong message that immigration is an integral part of Canada’s future. The Canadian government did two important things to demonstrate its commitment to immigration.

First, Canada announced a 3-year levels plan for the number of permanent residents that Canada plans to welcome in 2018, 2019, and 2020 (previous plans only provided annual targets). By employing a multi-year plan Canada is demonstrating it is committed to growing immigration over the long term. This multi-year planning helps governments, employers, immigrant organizations and other stakeholders to adapt to this growth and successfully integrate newcomers into Canada.

Second, Canada’s numbers show a steady increasing trend of welcoming permanent residents each year (310,000 in 2018, 330,000 in 2019, and 340,000 in 2020). By 2020 Canadian immigration will move towards one percent of Canada’s population and the highest number it has been since the First World War. This increasing immigration trend is anticipated to continue in the long term as the government’s advisory council of economic growth has projected that a target of 450,000 annual permanent residents is necessary to address the impact of Canada’s demographics (aging population and decreased fertility) and to help support the economy by responding to Canada’s labour market needs.

Over the last number of years some countries are closing their doors to immigrants. Fortunately, Canada’s 2017 Annual Report on Immigration signifies that Canada is opening its doors even wider to newcomers. Currently 20 percent of our country is composed of immigrants. Canada’s strategy symbolizes we value immigration as a competitive advantage in the global economy. Given the Canadian government’s increase in immigration targets, there has never been a better time to become a Canadian permanent resident.

Each immigration class is seeing a steady increase but the majority of growth will be in the economic class. The following table includes the overall Canadian targets for 2018, 2019, and 2020.

2018-2020 Immigration Levels Plan from Canada’s 2017 Annual Report on Immigration
Immigration Class 2018 Target 2019 Target 2020 Target
Economic 177,500 191,600 195,800
Family 86,000 88,500 91,000
Refugee and Protected Person 43,000 45,650 48,700
Humanitarian and Other 3,500 4,250 4,500
Total 310,000 330,000 340,000

The priority for economic class immigrants symbolizes that Canada recognizes skilled newcomers will contribute to Canada’s economy. If you are a skilled worker who wants to immigrate to Canada there is a great opportunity to do so now. In addition, the increase in numbers is great news for newcomers that are already in Canada as temporary foreign workers, and international students because their familiarity with Canada, acquired language skills, and Canadian work experience enhances their ability to obtain Canadian permanent residency.

If you are a skilled worker looking to immigrate to Canada, a temporary worker who wants to obtain permanent status, or an international student wanting to build a life in Canada you should work with an immigration lawyer or immigration consultant who can assist you in achieving your goal to become a Canadian permanent resident.

Matthew Morawski is a Vancouver immigration lawyer at Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre in Vancouver, BC Canada. If you would like to learn more about immigrating to Canada, bringing a family member to Canada, or becoming a permanent resident please email Matthew at or call him at 604-689-5444.

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