Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026: All You Need to Know

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Canada has always been a land of opportunities, a place where dreams come to life for immigrants from all corners of the globe. It’s a nation that welcomes diversity and embraces the richness of cultures from around the world. If you’re curious about the latest developments in Canada’s immigration landscape, you’re in the right place. We’re here to break down the key aspects of Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026, as well as the recent strategies that Canada is adopting to make the immigration process even smoother.

A Glimpse into the Future
Canada has released its Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026.

This headline certainly piques our interest, doesn’t it? We all want to know what the future holds, especially if it relates to something as life-changing as immigration.

In this plan, Canada maintains its commitment to welcoming newcomers, with a few notable figures to keep in mind. In 2024, the country’s target is set at admitting 485,000 new immigrants. For 2025 and 2026, Canada is gearing up to welcome an impressive 500,000 new immigrants each year. These targets mirror the ones announced in the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025. The noteworthy update in this year’s release is the 2026 target, along with details on the distribution of immigrants among different classes and programs between 2024 and 2026.

Exploring the Immigration Targets by Class

Now, let’s delve deeper into the plan and take a look at how these immigrants will be distributed among various classes. This information can be crucial if you’re considering immigrating to Canada.

  • In 2024, the economic class will see approximately 281,135 immigrants, making up 58% of the annual target. By 2026, this number will rise to 301,250 immigrants, constituting 60% of the annual target.
  • The family class target for 2024 is set at 114,000 immigrants, accounting for 24% of all admissions. This will increase to 118,000 immigrants by 2026, maintaining the same 24% share.
  • Humanitarian admission targets for 2024 are 89,865 immigrants, which equate to about 19% of all admissions. This category encompasses refugees, protected persons, and those admitted for humanitarian, compassionate, or other reasons. By 2026, the target is expected to be 80,832 immigrants, or 16% of admissions.

It’s important to note that due to rounding, these figures may not add up to a perfect 100%.

Express Entry and PNP on the Rise
Here’s where it gets exciting for those looking to join the Canadian family through the Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

  • The Express Entry target is set at 110,700 permanent resident admissions in 2024, and it will rise to 117,500 immigrants in each of 2025 and 2026.
  • Meanwhile, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) target for 2024 is 110,000 immigrants, and it’s set to increase to 120,000 in 2025 and another 120,000 in 2026.

These numbers indicate that Canada is actively looking to welcome skilled individuals who can contribute to the country’s economic growth.

Canada’s Quest for Stability

But why are these targets staying the same, you might ask? The Canadian government provides a thoughtful answer: “This plan is tailored to support economic growth while balancing with the pressures in areas like housing, healthcare, and infrastructure. It charts a responsible course for sustainable and stable population growth.”

Starting in 2026, the government aims to stabilize permanent resident levels at 500,000. This approach allows for successful integration while continuing to enhance Canada’s labor market. Moreover, the government plans to take action in the coming year to recalibrate the number of temporary resident admissions, ensuring sustainability across the entire immigration system.

Now, you may be wondering about the legal backdrop of all this. The Immigration Levels Plan operates under the Immigration and Refugees Protection Act (IRPA), Canada’s primary immigration law. According to this law, the federal government must release its annual immigration plan by November 1 in non-election years.

This plan essentially serves as a roadmap for the number of new permanent residents to be admitted into Canada over the next three years, classified under economic, family, and humanitarian categories. It aligns with the mission of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to strengthen Canada’s economy, reunite families, and provide a safe haven for those fleeing oppression or humanitarian crises.

Canada’s Progress Over the Years

Canada’s approach to immigration has evolved significantly over the decades. In the late 1980s, the nation started shifting its immigration strategy towards its current form. Prior to this, immigration targets were based largely on the economy of the day, without much emphasis on future planning.

For perspective, Canada welcomed fewer than 90,000 immigrants in 1984. As the 1990s approached, the federal government realized the impending labor shortage and raised immigration targets to 250,000 new permanent residents over eight years. Subsequent governments continued to increase these targets, focusing on admitting economic class immigrants while reducing family and humanitarian class shares.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, targets were raised to 300,000, and then to 340,000 before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In 2022, Canada achieved a remarkable milestone by welcoming 437,000 new immigrants. The target for permanent resident admissions in 2023 is set at 465,000.

The Challenge of Affordability

Canada, like many countries, faces its unique challenges. An affordability crisis and housing shortage have led to a decrease in enthusiasm among Canadians for immigration. However, the need for skilled labor remains high due to a low birth rate and the impending retirement of millions of Canadian workers as they reach 65. Recent statistics show that newcomers are responsible for 98% of Canada’s population growth.

As of July 2023, there were 701,300 job vacancies in Canada, a significant number despite a year-over-year decrease. To address this, IRCC has introduced category-based selection rounds of invitations for Express Entry candidates with work experience in high-demand sectors or the ability to promote the French language outside of Quebec.

Quebec’s Unique Role

Quebec, as a province with special status in Canada, has the authority to shape its annual permanent resident admissions targets to preserve its distinct francophone character. In 2024 and 2025, Quebec aims to welcome 50,000 new immigrants each year.

In conclusion, Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026 offers a glimpse into the nation’s vision for immigration. It’s a well-thought-out plan that balances economic growth with the demands of various sectors. The commitment to welcoming newcomers remains strong, even as Canada faces its unique challenges.


1. What is Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026?
Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026 outlines the targets for the number of new immigrants to be admitted into the country over the next three years. In 2024, the target is set at 485,000 new immigrants, with 500,000 new immigrants targeted for both

2025 and 2026. These targets are in line with the previous Immigration Levels Plan for 2023-2025.

2. How are immigrants distributed among different classes in the plan?
The plan distributes immigrants among various classes as follows:

  • Economic class: In 2024, about 58% of the annual target (281,135 immigrants) falls under this category, increasing to 60% (301,250 immigrants) by 2026.
  • Family class: In 2024, 24% of all admissions (114,000 immigrants) are part of the family class, which remains the same in 2026.
  • Humanitarian admissions: In 2024, 19% of all admissions (89,865 immigrants) fall under this category, decreasing to 16% (80,832 immigrants) by 2026.

3. Why are the targets staying the same, and what’s the government’s rationale?
The Canadian government is keeping the targets unchanged to support economic growth while balancing challenges in areas like housing, healthcare, and infrastructure. This approach aims to ensure sustainable and stable population growth. Stabilizing permanent resident levels at 500,000 starting in 2026 allows for successful integration and augments Canada’s labor market.

4. What legal framework governs the Immigration Levels Plan?
The plan operates under the Immigration and Refugees Protection Act (IRPA), Canada’s primary immigration law. According to IRPA, the federal government must release its annual immigration plan by November 1 in non-election years.

5. How has Canada’s approach to immigration evolved over the years?
Canada’s immigration strategy shifted in the late 1980s from a system based on the economy of the day to one with more focus on planning for future immigration. Targets increased over the years, with a growing emphasis on economic class immigrants. Canada reached a record high of 437,000 new immigrants in 2022, with a target of 465,000 in 2023.

6. What are the challenges Canada faces in immigration, and how is it addressing them?
Canada grapples with an affordability crisis and housing shortage, leading to reduced enthusiasm for immigration among Canadians. However, the need for skilled labor remains high due to a low birth rate and the impending retirement of many Canadian workers. To address this, IRCC introduced category-based selection rounds of invitations for Express Entry candidates with in-demand skills.

7. What role does Quebec play in setting its immigration targets?
Quebec has a unique status in Canada, giving it the authority to shape its annual permanent resident admissions targets. In 2024 and 2025, Quebec aims to welcome 50,000 new immigrants each year.

Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan is a testament to the nation’s commitment to welcoming newcomers while carefully balancing its economic and societal needs. It’s an exciting time for those considering immigration to Canada, and the plan provides a roadmap for what to expect in the coming years.

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