Canada has released its immigration levels plan for 2020-2022 and is well set on achieving the ambitious target of new permanent residents accounting for one percent of the country’s population by the year 2022.

The 2019 to 2021 plan targeted a million immigrants in three years with close around 60 percent entering Canada through economic immigration programs aimed at foreign skilled workers.

The targets for 2020 have been retained while targets for total immigrants and those coming in through economic programs for 2021 have seen a small increase. 2022 target for total and economic immigration are higher than targets for preceding years.

The 2020-2022 plan, apart from the anticipated increase in total immigration and influx through economic immigration programs, throws up some interesting insights into Canada’s immigration strategy.

Entry through FSWP is likely to stagnate with a decline in the target between 2020 and 2021 followed by a small increase for 2022, although the level remains lower than the 2020 FSWP target.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is not included in the targets for Economic Pilot programs like Caregivers, Agri-Food Immigration Pilot, and Rural and Northern Immigration Pilots.

The government has gone on record with its intention to make this a permanent economic immigration program.  

Further, there is a significant year-on-year increase in the target for the economic pilot programs, which affirms the view that Canadian immigration is going to become further decentralized and community and occupation-centric in the coming years.

Stagnation of FSWP targets is accompanied by a steady increase in immigration through provincial nomination programs with a 7.5 percent jump between 2020 and 2022.

You can draw the following conclusions based on the targets and numbers announced for 2022.

  • Express Entry will continue to remain important in the overall scheme of things but skilled workers should look beyond the FSWP when planning their immigration strategy.
  • Economic pilots are likely to create win-win opportunities for foreign workers and Canadian communities. With the AIPP set to become a permanent program, the government is likely to try out new immigration strategies through pilot projects.
  • Higher provincial nomination targets mean the study-work-settle in Canada strategy may work out better than the conventional approach of gaining work experience and seeking an Express Entry ITA with a Canadian job offer.
  • Students must explore PNP streams designed for foreign graduates or Francophone programs to strategize a quick and easy route to Canadian permanent residence.

The numbers clearly show that Canada continues to remain committed to attracting more and more skilled workers from abroad. Further, provinces and communities will have a larger say in determining eligibility and other parameters for entry of immigrants.

Finally, a strategic approach towards immigration, preferably before even beginning higher education, and with the assistance of an experienced immigration professional can help you create a clear and precise roadmap to ultimately settle in Canada.

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