Canada targets one million immigrants in next three years

By Matthew Morawski,
Special to The Post


The Canadian government recently sent a strong message that immigration is integral to the country’s future. The country’ 2017 Annual Report on Immigration did two important things.

Firstly, it provided a 3-year levels plan for the number of permanent residents that Canada plans to welcome in 2018, 2019, and 2020 (previous plans only provided annual targets). By employing a multi-year plan Canada is demonstrating it is committed to growing immigration over the long term.

This multi-year planning helps governments, employers, immigrant organizations and other stakeholders to adapt to this growth and successfully integrate newcomers into Canada.

Secondly, the number of permanent residents will be increasing each of the three years (310,000 in 2018, 330,000 in 2019, and 340,000 in 2020). By 2020 Canadian immigration will move towards one percent of Canada’s population and the highest number it has been since the First World War.

This increasing immigration trend is anticipated to continue in the long term as the government’s advisory council of economic growth has projected that a target of 450,000 annual permanent residents is necessary to address the impact of Canada’s demographics (aging population and decreased fertility) and to help support the economy by responding to Canada’s labour market needs.

Over the last number of years some first world countries are closing their doors to immigrants. Canada’s 2017 Annual Report on Immigration signifies that Canada is opening its doors even wider to newcomers.

Currently 20 percent of our country is composed of immigrants – Canada’s strategy symbolizes we value immigration as a competitive advantage in the global economy.

Each immigration class is seeing a steady increase but the majority of growth will be in the economic class.

The following table includes the overall Canadian targets for 2018, 2019, and 2020.


2018-2020 Immigration Levels Plan from Canada’s 2017 Annual Report on Immigration

Immigration Class

2018 Target

2019 Target

2020 Target









Refugee and Protected Person




Humanitarian and Other









The priority for economic class immigrants symbolizes that Canada recognizes skilled newcomers will contribute to Canada’s economy.

If you are a skilled worker who wants to immigrate to Canada there is a great opportunity to do so now. In addition, the increase in numbers is great news for newcomers that are already in Canada as temporary foreign workers, and international students because their familiarity with Canada, acquired language skills, and Canadian work experience enhances their ability to obtain Canadian permanent residency.

If you are a skilled worker looking to immigrate to Canada, a temporary worker who wants to obtain permanent status, or an international student wanting to build a life in British Columbia you should work with a Vancouver immigration lawyer or a wider coverage Canadian immigration lawyer who can assist you in achieving your goal to become a Canadian permanent resident.


Matthew Morawski is a Vancouver immigration lawyer at Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre in Vancouver, Canada. If you would like to learn more about immigrating to Canada, bringing a family member to Canada, or becoming a permanent resident please email Matthew at  or call him at 604-689-5444. 

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