CITIZENSHIP and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced on Friday that the Government of Canada’s annual immigration plan features this year the highest planned level of admissions in recent history.
The government is planning to welcome between 260,000 and 285,000 new permanent residents in 2015, an increase of approximately 19,000 planned admissions over last year.
These higher levels respond to the government’s strategy of supporting economic growth by addressing labour and skills shortages, as well as helping to ensure labour force growth. The economic category will account for the largest segment of the 2015 levels plan, at almost 65 percent of overall admissions. The remaining 35 percent will consist of family class immigrants, refugees and others admitted under humanitarian programs.
Alexander said the increase of admissions for 2015 also demonstrates the government’s commitment to reducing wait times and continuing to make progress on the last of the large economic immigration program backlogs.
Increasing admission levels will also help with the launch of Canada’s new application management system, Express Entry, on January 1, 2015. The 2015 levels plan allows admissions space to process existing applications as well as new applications that will be received for key economic programs under Express Entry. The new system will enable Canada’s immigration system to be more flexible and responsive to the needs of employers, as well as to changing economic conditions and priorities.
Every year the government, in consultation with the provinces and territories, sets the total number of permanent residents that are expected to be admitted to Canada the following year.
The levels plan reflects the objectives of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and balances priorities by allocating admissions space to the economic, family and protected persons / humanitarian classes, as well as to the programs comprising these classes.
Record admissions are forecasted for the Canadian Experience Class in 2015.
“The Government of Canada is proud to table our immigration plan for 2015, which strengthens our government’s focus on long-term economic growth for all Canadians. Through the 2015 immigration plan we will welcome a record number of individuals who will contribute to our economy and labour market, while also ensuring that we reunite more families and continue to provide assistance to the world’s most vulnerable populations. As we prepare to launch Express Entry in January 2015, this plan will help us attract skilled immigrants who are most likely to succeed,” said Alexander.