As 2023 draws to a close, Canada can look back with pride on its unwavering commitment to welcoming newcomers. With a record year for permanent residents (PRs) and a renewed focus on attracting skilled talent, Canada has cemented its position as a global leader in immigration. As of December 17, 2023, Express Entry Draws has invited over 200,000 newcomers. This proactive approach is not only crucial for addressing labor shortages and fueling economic growth but also for building a vibrant, multicultural society.
Canada's ambitious 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan is as follows:
- 2024 - 465,000
- 2025 - 487,000
- 2026 - 501,000
This ambitious target reflects an understanding of the critical role immigration plays in Canada's future. By prioritizing skilled workers, refugees, and family reunification, Canada is laying the foundation for a prosperous and inclusive future.
Canada Experiences Highest Population Growth Since 1957, Driven by Immigration
As of October 1st, 2023, Canada's population has reached an estimated 40,528,396, comprising both citizens and residents, marking a substantial increase of 430,635 people. This surge reflects a remarkable growth rate of 1.1% since July 1st, 2023, constituting the most significant quarterly population growth since the second quarter of 1957, when Canada experienced a 1.2% expansion. At that time, with a population of only 16.7 million, growth was propelled by post-war baby boom births and an influx of refugees following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
The population growth for the first nine months of 2023 stands at a record-high of 1,030,378 people, encompassing the notable growth witnessed in 2022.
International migration emerges as the primary driver of Canada's population growth, constituting 96% of the growth in the third quarter of 2023. The remaining 4% is attributed to natural increase, representing the variance between births and deaths. In the foreseeable future, the contribution of natural increase to population growth is anticipated to remain low due to Canada's aging population, decreased fertility levels, and the influx of immigrants to the country.
In the third quarter of 2023 alone, Canada welcomed 107,972 immigrants. From January to September 2023, immigration accounted for 79.8% (371,299) of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) annual target of 465,000 immigrants.
Additionally, there has been a notable surge in the number of non-permanent residents, with a historic net increase of 312,758 non-permanent residents in the third quarter. This marks the highest quarterly increase since data on non-permanent residents became available in 1971. The rise is primarily attributed to an increase in work and study permit holders, along with a modest uptick in refugee claimants.
Canada's population landscape is evolving dynamically, shaped significantly by the contributions of immigrants and non-permanent residents, underlining the nation's status as a preferred destination for those seeking new opportunities and a vibrant multicultural environment.
IRCC Extends Invitations to 1,000 Candidates in Latest Express Entry Draw for Trades Occupations
In its second Express Entry draw of the week, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has issued invitations to apply (ITAs) to 1,000 candidates. This draw is specifically focused on candidates in trades occupations.
To be eligible for an ITA, candidates needed to attain a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 425. This draw comes on the heels of a broader all-program draw on December 18, where 1,325 candidates received ITAs with a minimum CRS score requirement of 542.
In the previous week, IRCC conducted three draws. On December 8, a category-based selection draw targeted 5,900 candidates in STEM occupations, with a minimum CRS score of 481 needed for consideration. Additionally, on December 7, a category-based draw for individuals with French language proficiency invited 1,000 candidates from the Express Entry pool, requiring a minimum CRS score of 470.
Notably, December 6 witnessed an all-program draw for candidates with a minimum CRS score of 561. This draw marked the first in over a month, with the preceding one being a category-based selection draw for healthcare occupations on October 26. IRCC's recent draws showcase the diverse opportunities available for candidates in various occupations and language proficiencies.
Express Entry is A Gateway to New Opportunities
The Express Entry system continues to be the primary path to Canadian PR for skilled workers. Recent draws have seen record-high numbers of invitations issued, reflecting the growing demand for skilled talent across various sectors. This influx of talented individuals will inject fresh energy into Canada's economy and contribute to its continued success.
Category-Based Draws: Tailoring Selection to Specific Needs
2023 saw the introduction of category-based draws within Express Entry, allowing Canada to target specific skills and experience in high-demand fields. The initial focus on healthcare workers, skilled trades, and technology occupations is a testament to Canada's commitment to addressing critical labor gaps. This targeted approach ensures that Canada attracts the talent it needs most, while also streamlining the application process for qualified candidates.
Diverse Pathways to Canadian PR
While Express Entry remains a crucial pathway to PR, it's important to remember that it's not the only option. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) continue to play a vital role in attracting skilled immigrants to specific provinces and territories. Additionally, programs like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot cater to the unique needs of specific regions. This diversity in pathways ensures that Canada welcomes newcomers from all walks of life and backgrounds, enriching its communities and fostering a truly inclusive society.
Building on the Momentum
As Canada enters 2024, the excitement around immigration remains palpable. The ambitious goals set for the coming years, coupled with the continued innovation within the immigration system, offer a promising vision for the future. By embracing the diversity and talent of newcomers, Canada is well on its way to building a stronger, more prosperous nation for generations to come.
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