On November 1, 2023, Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister, The Honourable Marc Miller, announced the 2024–2026 Immigration Levels Plan. This plan outlines the number of permanent residencies that will be granted in Canada over the next three years.
Overall, Canadian immigration targets will remain as previously announced, with the 2026 target remaining consistent with 2025 at 500,000 new residents. This news reaffirms the Canadian government’s continued dedication to welcoming a large number of permanent residents each year.
It’s been a busy autumn for Canadian policymakers. In late October, Canada’s IRCC also announced measures to safeguard international student admissions.
Key Numbers in the 2024–2026 Immigration Levels Plan
Every non-election year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) releases a new Immigration Levels Plan, which is used to guide its operations. It also helps to forecast the potential economic impact of immigration, including measures to support our newest neighbours in Canada.
Between 2024 and 2026, Canada is aiming for the following numbers:
- 2024: 485,000 new permanent residents
- 2025: 500,000 new permanent residents
- 2026: 500,000 new permanent residents
The 2024 and 2025 levels will remain the same as within the previously-announced 2023–2025 Immigration Levels Plan. The 2026 target is new, and indicates a levelling of immigration growth.
The parliamentary notice also shares:
Immigrants have an important role to play in the labour market and growing our economy now and into the future, helping to ensure Canada has the skills needed to meet key goals such as supporting sustainability initiatives to transition to a green (net-zero) and digital economy, and so that labour force gaps in critical sectors (e.g. health, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), trades, transportation and agriculture) are not a barrier to the success and expansion of Canadian businesses … Welcoming newcomers is not just about the admissions targets set, but must also take into account supports and services required by newcomers and Canadians alike, including housing and healthcare.
The target number of newcomers admitted under each class and program were also updated. Read on to learn how.
Updates to Specific Classes and Programs
Under the 2024–2026 Immigration Levels Plan, both the Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs’ targets will rise.
- Express Entry aims to bring in 110,700 permanent residents in 2024, bumping up to 117,500 in each of the next two years.
- Provincial Nominee Programs, which allow provinces to nominate permanent residents based on the needs of their province, aim for 110,000 immigrants in 2024. This number will rise to 120,000 in 2025 and in 2026.
By immigration class, the 2024–2026 plan lays out some small shifts.
- Economic-class immigrants will rise to 60% of the annual target by 2026 from a projected 58% in 2024.
- The family class target will rise in number between 2024–2026, but stay at 24% of admissions.
- Humanitarian admission targets will fall from 19% of admissions in 2024 to 16% in 2026.
The announcement also shared a renewed dedication to building French-speaking permanent resident communities outside of Quebec. New targets include 6% of residents in 2024, rising by one percent per year in 2025 and 2026.
Balancing Service Needs with Infrastructure Challenges
This news builds on Minister Miller’s recent release of the Immigration System for Canada’s Future report. The report shows how the federal government plans to help businesses and communities grow through a stronger immigration system that adds to Canada’s economic growth.
Key measures noted in the report include:
- Reducing wait times through improved processing capacity and new digital tools
- Strengthening partnerships with organizations that rely on immigration, while building trust with measures like document authentication and a Recognized Employer Pilot
- Making it easier to find key information online
- Building an advisory body with lived experience in immigration to guide new policies
- Providing more support to small- and medium-sized companies interested in hiring international talent
At ApplyBoard, we’re committed to supporting the international student journey. We continue to work with IRCC and our partners throughout the international education sector to create trust, transparency, and accountability in the international student recruitment and admissions process.
Our team will continue to follow and report on policy updates as they develop. For the most up-to-date information, visit the IRCC website’s news page.