Backgrounder Article from  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Key Highlights 2017 Immigration Levels Plan

The Government of Canada is maintaining its commitment to a strong immigration program and will welcome 300,000 immigrants in 2017.

Immigration plays an important role in keeping Canada competitive in a global economy. It helps offset the impacts of an aging population and the fact that the number of people in Canada’s labour force will soon be in decline. In fact, immigration will soon account for all net labour force growth as the number of retirements outpaces the number of Canadian youth joining the labour market. For these reasons, the Government has established 300,000 as a new baseline for permanent resident admissions with the majority of these selected as economic immigrants.

Within this plan, the number of permanent residents selected in economic programs will increase. Though planned admissions of resettled refugees will decrease when compared to the extraordinary target in 2016, they will continue to remain among the highest in Canada’s history and will be more than double the target in 2015. Maintaining the Government’s commitment to family reunification, the 2017 plan also sees an increase to family class levels, which will help to reduce processing times and reunite more families.

Overall, the plan balances high immigration levels with improvements to the immigration system, including reducing backlogs.

The approach to the 2017 levels plan was guided by feedback from Canadians gathered over the summer months and from provinces and territories.

Immigration class2016 target2017 target
Economic
Includes applicants and accompanying family members in federal programs in the Express Entry system; the Provincial Nominee Program; business immigrants; caregivers; and skilled workers and business immigrants selected by Quebec
160,600 172,500
Family
Includes sponsored spouses, partners and children and parents and grandparents
80,000 84,000
Refugees and Protected Persons
Includes both resettled refugees (government assisted and privately sponsored) as well as protected persons who become permanent residents
55,800 40,000
Humanitarian and Compassionate and Other
Includes persons selected on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, for reasons of public policy and in the Permit Holder Class.
3,600 3,500
Total 300,000 300,000

Permanent resident admissions 2011 to 2015 - Projected: 2016 and 2017, as described below
Text version: Permanent resident admissions 2011 to 2015 – Projected: 2016 and 2017

  201120122013201420152016 projected2017 projected
Permanent Resident Admissions 248,732 257,809 259,039 260,282 271,847 300,000 300,000

For 2011 to 2015, the average is 259,542.

Building our economy

In 2017, economic immigration programs will see an overall increase of 7% over 2016. Immigrants with skills and experience are able to quickly contribute to the Canadian economy and society, improving life for the middle class as they help create jobs, spur innovation and strengthen communities.

ClassProgram2017 target
EconomicFederal Economic 73,700
Federal Caregivers 18,000
Federal Business 500
Provincial Nominee Program 51,000
Quebec Skilled Workers and Business 29,300
TOTAL 172,500

Reuniting more families

In 2017, levels for the family class will be increased by 5% over 2016 levels, helping to reunite more families. In recent years, for example, space in the levels plan has not kept up with the number of Canadians getting married to people from other countries and applying to have their spouse immigrate. As a result, wait times for bringing these families together have grown. High levels for the family class in 2017 will continue to address this because higher levels means more applications can be approved and this will result in more families reuniting.

ClassProgram2017 target
FamilySpouses, Partners and Children 64,000
Parents and Grandparents 20,000
TOTAL 84,000

Providing a place of refuge for those fleeing persecution

Canadians compassionately welcome refugees and people in need from around the world, including some of the world’s most vulnerable people trapped in often unsafe or violent situations in their home country that are outside of their control.

As the number of displaced persons reaches unprecedented levels, the Government of Canada remains committed to upholding its humanitarian tradition to resettle refugees and offer protection to those in need.

In 2017, we will welcome one the highest numbers of refugees and protected persons in Canadian history. Though 2016 was an unprecedented year, planned admissions for resettled refugees in 2017 are double those in 2015 and preceding years. There will be substantially more privately sponsored refugees in particular, in comparison to recent years. This recognizes significant growth in the number of Canadians who have applied to sponsor refugees.

ClassProgram2017 target
Refugees and protected personsProtected Persons in Canada and Dependents Abroad 15,000
Resettled Refugees 25,000
Government-Assisted 7,500
Blended Visa Office-Referred 1,500
Privately Sponsored 16,000
TOTAL 40,000

Supporting others in need, such as persons selected on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, for reasons of public policy and in the Permit Holder Class, a target of 3,500 admissions are planned.

Class2017 target
Humanitarian and other 3,500
TOTAL 3,500

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