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2019-2021 Immigration Levels Plan

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On October 31, 2018, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published a new three-year plan on levels of immigration to Canada for 2019-2021. This plan will replace the previous three-year plan published last year. According to established practice, the Minister of Immigration reviews the plan every fall to make necessary adjustments regarding the number of immigrants in all categories and programs, if necessary, in accordance with the needs of Canadian economy and society.

According to the new plan, in the next three years, Canada will increase the number of immigrants, which should have a positive impact on the country’s economy and the labour market, as well as contribute to the overall “rejuvenation” of the country’s population. The strategic goal of the plan is to strengthen the Canadian middle class, maintain population diversity, and help create a dynamic and inclusive society.

As in previous years, the government divides all immigrants into several categories:

  • Economic category
  • Family category
  • Refugees and Protected Persons
  • Humanitarian and other

Economic category

Economic immigrants are the biggest category of immigrants. These people contribute to the development of the country’s economy and its further prosperity. Canada plans to invite 191,600 economic immigrants in 2019, 195,800 in 2020, and 202,300 in 2021. These impressive numbers combine all types of immigration programs.


In 2019, the government allocated 81,400 spots for federal immigration programs, 61,000 for provincial programs, 14,000 spots for caring personnel, 700 spots for business immigrants (not including provincial business immigration programs), and 2,000 for the Atlantic Pilot program.


In 2020, the total number of quotas will increase. Canada plans to get 85,800 immigrants for three federal programs and 67,800 for provincial programs. With regard to the number of caregivers, the number of quotas will be reduced to 5,000, and the number of immigrants in the Atlantic Pilot program will double to 4,000 spots. The number of federal business immigrants will remain unchanged.


In the last year of the new plan, the total number of economic immigrants will increase again: 88,800 spots are planned for federal programs and 71,300 for provincial programs. The number of federal business immigrants will remain the same – 700. As for the Atlantic Pilot program and caregivers, their number for 2021 will be determined in the future.

Family category

The number of quotas for the sponsorship of parents and grandparents will be 20,500 people in 2019 and 21,000 in 2020 and 2021. As for the spousal and child sponsorship – in 2019 Canada plans to get 68,000 candidates, and in 2020 and 2021 – 70,000 each year.

Refugees and Protected Persons

Canada will continue to fulfill its obligations to the global community accepting refugees from different countries. In total, the government expects to accept 46,450 refugees in 2019, 49,700 in 2020 and 51,700 in 2021.

Humanitarian and Other

Canada also allocated 4,250 spots for Humanitarian programs in 2019, 4,500 in 2020, and 4,750 in 2021.

The number of immigrants to the province of Quebec will be determined in the future.

In total, Canada plans to accept 1,021,800 immigrants in the next three years. The population of Canada has exceeded 37 million, and thus Canada is approaching the strategic goal to accept the number of immigrants that is equal to 1% of the total country’s population.

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