Ottawa Announces Target of 500,000 Immigrants Per Year by 2025

Ottawa Announces Target of 500,000 Immigrants Per Year by 2025
Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Sean Fraser rises during question period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Nov. 26, 2021. (The Canadian Press/Patrick Doyle)
Marnie Cathcart
Ottawa is planning to bring in 500,000 new immigrants per year by 2025, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Sean Fraser announced on Nov. 1.
Fraser said in a statement that Canada’s 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan would embrace 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.”

Target immigration levels are set for 465,000 new permanent residents to enter Canada in 2023, 485,000 in 2024, and half a million in 2025. The government says it intends to attract new residents to small towns and rural living as well.

The feds have set a target of 4.4 percent of permanent residents outside of Quebec to be Francophone.

“With a focus on regional immigration, this plan builds on ongoing work to strengthen our immigration system and spread the benefits of immigration to communities across the country, including supporting the vitality of Francophone communities outside of Quebec,” the statement says.

Figures from the 2021 census show that nearly 25 percent of residents in Canada self-reported as being a landed immigrant or permanent resident, the highest immigrant levels in a G7 country.
The government says it will focus on economic growth and more skilled labour as criteria in evaluating which immigrants will be welcomed, noting there are shortages in health care, manufacturing, building trades, science, technology, engineering, and math that must be addressed.

International Students

In early October, the federal government said it is reducing restrictions on working hours for international students as a way to improve labour shortages.

Current legislation only allows international students to work 20 hours during school weeks. The new policy takes effect on Nov. 15 and lasts until the end of next year for any student on a study permit as of Oct. 7.