Unveiling Canada's Plan: Reduction in Temporary Residency

22 March, 2024

Unveiling Canada's Plan: Reduction in Temporary Residency

The addition of temporary resident targets to the annual Immigration Levels Plan, beginning in fall 2024, has been declared by Immigration Minister Marc Miller.
This plan typically outlines the anticipated number of new permanent residents to be admitted to Canada over the next three years. Notably, the inclusion of temporary resident levels marks a departure from previous practices, where such considerations were not factored into the Immigration Levels Plan.
The Minister clarified that the targets are not intended as strict caps. However, he noted the possibility of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) imposing application limits in specific areas.
Historically, there hasn't been a set target or cap for permits issued under programs like the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the International Mobility Program (IMP), Intra-company Transfers (ICT), or trade agreements such as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). Earlier this year, IRCC announced a cap on the number of study permits for international students.
Miller emphasized that incorporating temporary residents into the Immigration Levels Plan aims to aid in stabilizing population growth in Canada. He also highlighted concerns about Canada's reliance on temporary foreign workers, referring to it as an addiction.
“Recently Canada’s temporary resident volume has increased significantly now reaching up to 2.5 million, or 6.2% of our population in 2023,” said Miller. “Therefore, in our levels plan, we will be including a target on an adequate volume of temporary residents we can welcome. We are targeting a decrease in our temporary resident population to 5% over the next 3 years.”


Increased domestic draws for permanent residency applications.


Part of the strategy to stabilize Canada's population growth includes alterations to the criteria for selecting new permanent residents.
“As part of our efforts for temporary residents to transition to permanent residency, we’ll have more domestic draws and ask provinces and territories taking part in the provincial nominee program to do the same with their allocations. This will re-align our efforts and create a pathway for those in the country to stay and contribute to the economy.”
In other words, there's a possibility that Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws, and potentially Express Entry draws, could prioritize candidates who are already in Canada as temporary residents.
He emphasized the value of temporary residents to Canada's economy, stating that these changes stem from a critical review of current immigration programs and measures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minister highlighted a tightening labor market, noting that Canada has recovered 138% of the jobs lost during the pandemic.


Canadian Immigration


Canada expects welcoming 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024, with the number increasing to 500,000 in both 2025 and 2026. IRCC asserts that maintaining this target will aid in stabilizing Canada's population growth resulting from immigration, while enabling federal and provincial governments to support newcomers while also addressing the needs of the existing population.
“We want every new family and resident to be set up for success and be able to access the services they need. Our ultimate goal is to ensure a well-managed, sustainable immigration system based off needs,” said Miller.
In recent months, IRCC has faced criticism due to record-high levels of immigration coinciding with challenges such as a shortage of affordable housing and strains on the healthcare system in Canada.
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