“The most ambitious immigration levels in Canadian history,” says Ahmed Hussen, the immigration minister of Canada.

The past few years have been of exponential growth of aspiring and eligible immigrants for Canada with an estimated reach of one million new immigrants to settle by 2020. It is expected that economic migrants will make up the majority of new permanent residents admitted to Canada with most economic newcomers to immigrate through The Express Entry immigration selection system. The target has been set by the New Multi Year Immigration Levels Plan of the Canadian government, enabled by the House of Commons on November 1. The admissions for the general economic category as well as the express entry are said to increase every year till 2020.

The multi year plan can be seen as an experiment deviating from the previous plans which were rolled out annually. After the consultation of the provincial government and the business community, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has been focusing on a larger picture and has moved to a lower range forecast to allow the stakeholders to plan for appropriate service levels and the usage of resources.

The multi- year plan is said to benefit the nation as a whole with foreign techniques and new skills, both the individual and the nation has a lot to accomplish. Similar thoughts have been shared by minister Hussen at a press conference in Toronto. The immigration levels are historic and will turn out of great influence on the nation, with the talent contributed to support the social and economic growth of the nation and to keep the country at the fore front of global economy.

Under the plan, 310,000 new permanent residents will settle in Canada in 2018. This target will be increased to 330,000 new migrants in 2019, followed by a hike of 340,000 migrants by 2020.


Express Entry

Around 565,000 new comers will be admitted through the economic programs with almost a quarter million to arrive through one of the federal economic programs controlled by the Express Entry. Throughout the year the IRCC has managed to make Express Entry as the main driver of economic immigration with the highest number of Invitations to Apply [ITA] in the last two years combined.

The increased intake for Express Entry candidates in 2017 has resulted in a decrease in Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off thresholds this year, as an increased intake creates a negative pressure on CRS cut-off thresholds. Whereas the lowest score drawn in 2016 was 450, the lowest score drawn so far this year for Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates was 413, with even lower record of thresholds for Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) candidates. Higher targets of intake in the foreseeable future develop an expectation of even lower CRS cut off thresholds in the coming few years.

Express Entry target admissions


Target Target Increase
2017 71,700*
2018 74,900 3,200 (4%)
2019 81,400 6,700 (9%)
2020 85,800

4,400 (5%)


Around 184,000 economic migrants and their accompanying family members will be admitted through the Provincial Nominee Programs [PNPs]. The program allows the provinces and territories to nominate individuals with an ability to settle in the provincial labour market. Similar to 2015, certain enhanced PNP streams will be aligned with Express Entry whereas the other basic streams will allow the provinces to welcome new immigrants from outside the Express Entry pool. An enhanced provincial nomination is a valuable factor under the CRS resulting in 600 additional CRS points and an ITA at a subsequent draw from the pool.

PNP target admissions
Year Low High Target Target Increase
2017 49,000 54,000 51,000
2018 53,000 57,400 55,000 4,000 (8%)
2019 57,000 63,500 61,000 6,000 (11%)
2020 62,000 68,500 67,800 6,800 (11%)
PNP target admissions
Year Low High Target Target Increase
2017 49,000 54,000 51,000
2018 53,000 57,400 55,000 4,000 (8%)
2019 57,000 63,500 61,000 6,000 (11%)
2020 62,000 68,500 67,800 6,800 (11%)

There is possibility of an increased PNP activity in the coming year. Alberta is said to join other provinces and territories in offering an enhanced Express Entry stream while the criteria might differ from other provinces. In the past few years, the provinces have taken a situation- based approach to their Express Entry stream. For example, Ontario has targeted candidates in certain occupations, primarily in the IT sector. Saskatchewan has extended its ‘In Demand’ occupation list and the popular Express Entry ‘Demand’ stream in Nova Scotia.

Growing the Economy

Along with other economic programs, the province of Quebec will welcome 94,000 skilled workers and business immigrants over the next three years while Canada will continue to welcome business immigrants through their federal programs, with more than 2000 federal business immigrants and their family members to be settled by late 2020. With the increase in the number of migrants, the results are expected to be beneficial for the growth of the economy along with a promising future for the individuals.

Family Reunification and Refugee Settlement

A great step taken by the Canadian Multi Year Immigration Levels Plan is to reunite around 265,000 spouses, common law partners, dependent students and children, parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents through the family class programs, with a slight increase in the overall family class targets every year.

Family Class target admissions

Low High Target Target Increase
2017 80,000 86,000 84,000
2018 81,000 89,000 86,000 2,000 (2.4%)
2019 82,000 91,000 88,500 2,500 (3%)
2020 82,000 96,000 91,000 2,500 (3%)

Canada’s liberal government has made family reunification a priority with focusing on reduction of the processing time, bringing in more immigrants through the Parent and Grandparent program [PGP] and an extension of Work Permit Pilot Program allowing aspirants to work in Canada while their applications are on hold.

Other ventures include the Canadian tradition of resettling international refugees with a target of approving around 43,000 refugees for permanent residence in 2018. The targets further increase with a number of 45,650 refugees in 2019 with a reach of about 48,700 refugees by 2020.

The outlook of year 2018 has been released by the government of Canada displaying its economic immigration targets suggesting Express Entry to be the main source of economic immigration in the year.

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An increase will be seen in the Family Class Admissions along with resettled refugees in the coming year. The Family Class will increase with 2000 new immigrants making the figure 86,000 as compared to 2017. There will be an accretion of 3000 refugees to be settled in 2018 as well.

A further 3,500 individuals are set to obtain permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds in 2018.

Future Prospects

The Canadian Government has released new details in respect to the data of census recorded in 2016. Suggested by the same, 22 per cent of Canada’s population comprises of first generation immigrants who have settled as permanent residents many of whom have gone forward to become naturalized citizens of Canada. Other residents include residents on a temporary status being people on work permits and international education seekers.

According to the plan, the share of Canada’s population consisting of immigrants is projected to reach as high as 30 per cent of the nation’s overall population by 2036.

“This Immigration Levels Plan shows that the government is serious about growing the country for the benefit of all, but it is doing so in an incremental way. At a time of global unrest and the coming to power of less progressive governments in many developed countries, Canada is showing that there is another way to do things. A progressive, incremental approach working with business and public stakeholders, with the support of elected representatives, is the right approach,” says Attorney David Cohen.

To find out if you are eligible for immigration to Canada through one of the many programs currently available, please fill out a free online assessment. You can also visit makevisas.com for further information in this regard.

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