How Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan will influence policy on permanent residents


Of the total 405,999 people who were granted permanent residency in 2021, 127,933 were Indians — the biggest sub-group — followed by immigrants from China and the Phillippines.

The Canadian government unveiled its 2023–2025 Immigration Levels Plan on November 1, raising the number of permanent residents that the country will be taking in in the coming years.

Last year Canada welcomed over 405,000 newcomers — the most we’ve ever welcomed in a single year. The Government is continuing that ambition by setting targets in the new levels plan of 465,000 permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025,” said the official news release.

Data from the Canadian government further states that of the total 405,999 people who were granted permanent residency in 2021, 127,933 people were Indians — the biggest sub-group  followed by immigrants from China and the Phillippines.

What does the new policy say?

The policy mainly expands on previous goals, particularly regarding sectors employing skilled workers. “The plan embraces immigration as a strategy to help businesses find workers and to attract the skills required in key sectors—including health care, skilled trades, manufacturing and technology—to manage the social and economic challenges Canada will face in the decades ahead,” the government said.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said, “There were a million jobs available in the Canadian economy at a time when immigration already accounts for nearly all of our labour force growth,” Fraser said. “We cannot maximise our economic potential if we don’t embrace immigration.” In the 2021 Immigration Report he presented in the Parliament earlier, the need for temporary and permanent workers was outlined.

Among others, there is a focus on the new plan “to welcome newcomers with the required skills and qualifications in sectors facing acute labour shortages such as health care, manufacturing, building trades and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).”

There will also be a focus on permitting family members of those already admitted, with around 106,500 spots allocated for partners, children, parents and grandparents. Around 76,305 people are to be admitted under the category of “Refugees and protected persons”, with a focus on those fleeing the war in Ukraine and those from Afghanistan, though the number will see a slight dip in the next few years.

What benefits do permanent residents get in Canada?

A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada but is not a Canadian citizen. To keep the permanent resident status, a person must have been in Canada for at least 730 days during the last five years. These 730 days don’t need to be continuous, and in some cases, time spent abroad may count towards the 730 days. 

Permanent residents continue to be citizens of other countries. However, they have an expanded scope of rights. They can get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage. They can live, work or study anywhere in Canada and further apply for Canadian citizenship.  Permanent residents cannot vote or run for political office or hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance.

How does this reflect the general trends in Canada?

As per data collected by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), from January to October 2021, 97.5 per cent of international graduates who applied for permanent residency in Canada have been successful and have been awarded legal permission to stay and work in the country. For all other permanent residency applicants, that rate was 91.5 per cent.

The plan is focused on attempts to increase intake because of the particular demographic of Canada. The government’s statistics show Canada’s ageing population, coupled with a low fertility rate — as is the case in most developed countries — could mean a severe labour shortage in the coming decades. Canada’s ageing population means that the worker-to-retiree ratio is expected to shift from 7 to 1 (50 years ago) to 2 to 1 by 2035, and to combat this the government has upped its targets.

Source: The Indiana Express