Canada’s Immigration Minister, the Honorable Mark Miller, has announced Canada’s new immigration strategy for 2024-2026, including the Canadian government’s 2026 immigration target of 500,000. This is a hugely significant development as it provides a picture of what Canadian immigration will look like for the next three years and what Miller’s major goals and intentions are.
Canada’s New Immigration Targets Announced
The target of 500,000 for 2026 comes after former Minister Sean Fraser announced the immigration targets for 2024 and 2025 last year. Minister Millar confirmed that Canada still intends to bring in 485,000 immigrants in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025.
However, a change in tactic for 2026 is clear. The announced 2026 target of 500,000 would be the first time the targets haven’t been on a year-over-year basis since the Liberal Party of Canada returned to power in 2015.
This has come about largely because of the increased strain placed on Canada’s housing market in recent months, largely attributed to the massive amount of immigrants entering the country. In an interview with CBC News, Miller said:
"I don't know whether pausing at a historically high level of immigration is really going to do much to ease affordability issues around housing... What Canadians are telling us, what economists are telling us, is that we have to dive into the micro-economic impacts of immigration,"
Since 2015, the Liberal Party has increased immigration levels by over 80%, from just under 300,000 in 2015 to 500,00 for 2025 and 2026. This open-door policy has massively helped to improve Canada’s huge amount of job vacancies. However, it has also increased strain on Canada’s housing market and government services. To maximize the positives and limit the stress on the Canadian system, Millar has created a revolutionary immigration strategy.
Mark Miller’s Immigration Strategy
In a recent report, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has identified three pillars and several actions to maintain Canada's status as a top destination for newcomers.
The first aims to create a more welcoming experience for newcomers. To achieve this, the government will add a new operating platform called the Digital Platform Modernization (DPM). This new platform will maximize efficiency and allow the government to meet the record level of demand to work, study, visit, and live in Canada. The platform will have an online single window into immigration programs, enhanced automation, and digital self-service.
The second is to align immigration with labor market needs. The IRCC will identify the necessary skills, match newcomers to available jobs, and provide more opportunities for international students and temporary workers with in-demand skills to stay in Canada. This has already taken place with the recent targeted Express Entry draws.
The third is to develop a comprehensive and coordinated growth plan that considers support and settlement services for newcomers while balancing the needs of Canadians. This includes exploring more options to coordinate housing, healthcare, and infrastructure.
With these pillars and actions, Canada remains a top destination for newcomers seeking a better life.
What the 2026 Strategy Means for Immigrants
The first time under the liberals that there hasn’t been an increase, however, this is still the highest intake they’ve ever had, and they’ve increased immigration Targets by over 80% since coming to power in 2015. However, this doesn’t mean bad news for potential immigrants.
Immigration for 2023 stopped at 465,000, and immigration levels will continue to increase and stay heightened. As an applicant, you will continue to have more opportunities than ever to live, work, and study in Canada.
The new immigration strategy will also make your immigration process faster and easier, and you will have better settlement and housing services, meaning it will be far easier to start your life in Canada after you arrive.
On top of this, if you work certain in-demand occupations, you will have an increased chance of gaining permanent residency in Canada through targeted Express Entry draws.
Moving to Canada will become faster, easier, and better, so now is the perfect time to start your Canadian journey!
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