On October 30, 2020, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) released its Immigration Levels Plan for 2021 to 2023. Canada increased its immigration targets and now aims to admit over 1.2 million new permanent residents in the next three years. Canada aims to welcome 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023.
Canada has consistently ranked among the top countries for overall quality of life, and took a top spot in the 2019 Best Countries Rankings by U.S. News and World Report. Canada scored well in political stability, public education system, public health system, and economic opportunity. Canada scored second for best country to headquarter a corporation. These qualities have made Canada an increasingly popular destination for immigrants and corporations from around the world and Canada now has a very diverse population because of its open immigration policy.
The greatest target group of new immigrants is economic based immigrants, specifically young, highly educated, and skilled professionals. This is a great time for U.S. work permit holders, and skilled immigrants from around the world, to apply for permanent residence to Canada. Permanent residence in Canada is a pathway to Canadian citizenship.
H1B and other work visa holders in the United States are growing tired of the uncertainty surrounding their immigration status, and the extreme shifts in immigration policy between the two major political parties. Many American citizens are also exploring options to move North in order to escape the tense political climate in the U.S. Many of these highly skilled and educated individuals are ideal candidates for the Canadian Express Entry immigration program.
The Express Entry System was launched in 2015 and is the primary intake method for permanent residence applications from high-skilled candidates under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class, and part of the Provincial Nominee Programs.
The Express Entry System is a merit based permanent residence program which ranks candidates based on factors such as education, English or French language skills, work experience, and age. Additional factors include Canadian education or work experience, family in Canada, or a job offer. The Express Entry System is meant to attract the best and brightest applicants from around the world to fulfill Canadian labor needs. Over the past five years, the Express Entry System has contributed to an overall rise in highly skilled workers in Canada and continues to make positive contributions to Canada’s economy and overall quality of life.
Another pathway to permanent residence in Canada is through a study permit. The Canadian public education system and its universities offer high quality education. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 ranked 30 Canadian institutions among the best in the world, with the University of Toronto and University of British Columbia ranking highest.
Studying in Canada allows applicants, who might not otherwise be eligible for permanent residence, to gain Canadian education and work experience (through a post-graduate work permit) to strengthen their permanent residence application.
Canada has established a special expedited program for students from the following countries, which streamlines future permanent residence applications:
In addition to Express Entry and student pathways, Canada offers a diverse array of immigration programs for potential immigrants wanting to move to Canada. Each applicant has a unique set of circumstances and potential immigrants are advised to speak to a Canadian immigration attorney to figure out the options available for their specific case.
Canada’s pro-immigration policies and high quality of life make it an ideal destination for immigrants from around the world. If you would like more information on the best path to Canadian immigration for you, please contact us at [email protected].