Message from the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Thanks in great part to the newcomers we have welcomed throughout our history, Canada has developed into the strong and vibrant country we all enjoy. Immigrants and their descendants have made immeasurable contributions to Canada, and our future success depends on continuing to ensure they are welcomed and well-integrated.
Today, Canada faces new challenges such as an ageing population and declining birth rate, and immigrants have helped address these by contributing to Canada’s labour force growth.
With this in mind, Canada welcomed more than 286,000 permanent residents in 2017. Over half were admitted under Economic Class programs. The number also included over 44,000 resettled refugees, protected persons and people admitted under humanitarian, compassionate and public policy considerations.
Also in 2017, the Government of Canada adopted a historic multi-year levels plan to responsibly grow our annual immigration levels to 340,000 by 2020, with 60 percent of the growth in the Economic Class. Growing immigration levels, particularly in the Economic Class, will help us sustain our labour force, support economic growth and spur innovation.
This increase is also helping us improve service, as we have been able to address many chronic backlogs in our immigration system. Key results include reuniting spouses and other family members within 12 months, reducing citizenship processing time from 24 to 12 months and processing caregiver applications in less than 12 months.
We have developed our levels plan in close consultation with provinces and territories, allowing them to bring in more people through their provincial nominee programs. We have also addressed regional needs by implementing the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and supporting francophone immigration communities outside Quebec.
I am proud of all we have accomplished in the past year, and we are committed to even more progress in the year ahead. In that spirit, I invite you to read the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration 2018, including the multi-year levels plan for 2019 to 2021.