November 1st, 2016 – On October 31st, the Canadian Government announced a target of 300,000 permanent resident admissions in 2017. While the number of immigrants has not changed from 2016, how the government apportions these 300,000 between the different immigration classes has changed. While 2016 had a larger focus on refugees, owing to the commitment to resettling Syrian refugees, the 2017 figures place more emphasis on economic and family immigration.
Economic classes, such as the Canadian Experience Class, will see a target of 172,500 permanent residents selected, up from 160,600 in 2016. The Canadian Government also expects to increase the Provincial Nominee Program targets from 47,800 to 51,000. The Family Class will see a modest increase to 84,000 individuals from 80,000 in 2016, although the number of parent and grandparent sponsorships will remain unchanged at 20,000.
The admissions targets also include the inventory of applicants who applied under the Economic Class prior to January 1, 2015, before the Express Entry system was implemented. The 2017 target levels did not specify numbers for the individual programs such as Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker or Federal Skilled Trades Program.
The higher number of admissions in the family class is expected to help alleviate the long wait times for reuniting families. The Express Entry system of managing economic class immigrants continues to process applications on an expedited basis.
Although the number of admissions for 2017 was lower than what many had expected or advocated, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has indicated that the 300,000 target lays the foundation for future growth and considers it a permanent base for levels in future years.