2024-2026 Canada Immigration Level Plan

Finally, on November 1, 2023, Citizenship and Immigration Canada released its plan for immigration levels for 2024-2026. Every year, Canada sets new immigrant intake targets for each of its three-year immigration programs.

This is how they plan and operate their immigration programs, and it helps them to predict the direction of their immigration policy. Therefore, it's important for those who are preparing to immigrate to Canada to analyze the immigration level plan every year. If you look closely at the announcement, you won't notice any major changes from the previous levels. Therefore, it seems that the direction of the immigration program will be pretty much the same as it is now, but there are small changes that can be found within it, so let's take a look at them.

Basically, the immigration level plan for 2024-2026 is similar to what was announced last year. We had a target of 500,000 new immigrants for 2025, and we're planning for the same number for 2026, so we expect that level to continue. The overall immigration plan for 2024 through 2026 looks like this We've been increasing the number of new immigrants each year - 485,000 in 2024, 500,000 in 2025, and 500,000 in 2026 - and we're going to keep it at the same level for two years in a row. The same is true for most programs, including Express Entry and PNP, which both have the same projections for 2026 as they did for 2025. In contrast, pilot programs such as the Agribusiness Pilot and Caregiver have lowered their targets by relatively small amounts.

Spousal, partner, and child sponsorship and parent and grandparent sponsorship have also been announced to remain at the same levels, so there are no major changes across the immigration programs, but the most significant change is in the projected immigration levels for French-speakers. The plan is to gradually increase the number of permanent residency approvals for French-speakers to 26,100 in 2024, 31,500 in 2025, and 36,000 in 2026, which is intended to accommodate more French-speaking immigrants from outside of Quebec, but only for applicants who intend to live outside of Quebec.

The new immigration level plan was planned in the same vein as An Immigration System for Canada's Future, which was released by Immigration Minister Marc Miller on October 31, the day before the plan was announced, so it's worth looking at that to better understand the intent of the immigration level plan. The future plan is centered around strengthening Canada's immigration system for potential immigrants, ensuring that immigration policies continue to contribute to Canada's economic growth, laying out pathways to help businesses, and considering ways to help communities thrive.

Specifically, Canada's Future Immigration System addresses seven key issues. First, it aims to be more adaptable and responsive - we're currently facing a humanitarian crisis internationally, so we're going to adjust our immigration system to be able to adapt more quickly and respond fairly. Second, we're going to improve our international student programs - this was announced prior to this announcement - we're going to put in place changes to protect international students and stop fraudulent activity against them. We will improve immigration checks on admissions to higher education institutions and introduce a framework for institutions to expedite admissions for those who meet the right criteria. Third, it will integrate issues related to housing and housing services with immigration-level planning to ensure a comprehensive response; fourth, it will establish an advisory body with immigrant participation to improve effectiveness; fifth, it will create the position of Chief International Talent Officer; sixth, it will create a user-friendly website; and finally, it will support francophone minority communities to help grow or maintain the francophone population in Canada.

The current plan for immigration levels for 2024-2026 is designed to implement these announcements. It is also a testament to the effectiveness of the existing immigration plan, which was introduced in response to the pandemic experience and the rapidly changing situation with threats to international stability. There will now be a greater inclination to stabilize the current immigration system. The desire to fill Canada's labour shortage will remain the same, and we expect to see a focus on implementing immigration programs through intergovernmental cooperation while ensuring that the system remains safe, secure, and accurate.