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  • Canadian Immigration Goals for 2017 Announced

    The Canadian government announced its 2017 plan for immigration to Canada on October 31, 2016.


    Starting in 2017, the baseline goal for Canadian immigration will be to issue up to 300,000 people a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada annually.


    This is a significant increase in the previous goal of approximately 260,000 Canadian visas granted annually for permanent residency over the past several years.


    For example, the Canadian government reports that an average of 259,542 people were approved for immigration to Canada each year between 2011 and 2015 (248,732 in 2011; 257,809 in 2012; 259,039 in 2013; 260,282 in 2014; and 271,847 in 2015).


    A goal of 300,000 Canadian visas for permanent residency was set for 2016, including around 40,000 visas for refugees fleeing the Syrian Civil War.


    The large number of Syrian refugees allowed to immigrate to Canada in 2016 was a compassionate response by the Canadian government and people to the emergency situation many Syrian refugees were facing and this partly explains why 300,000 people were authorized to immigrate to Canada in 2016.


    What makes the 2017 Canadian immigration goal unique from the 2016 plan (and previous years) is that there is a now a higher baseline goal of at least 300,000 people per year who will be allowed to receive a PR Visa to Canada, up from approximately 250,000-270,000 Canadian visas granted annually during the last five years.    


    During 2017, up to 172,500 skilled foreign workers (57.5% of the total) will be issued a PR Visa to Canada through various Canadian immigration programs (e.g., Federal Skilled Workers Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Provincial Nominees Program, Caregiver Program, Quebec Skilled Workers and business immigrant programs).


    Another 84,000 (28% of the total) spouses, partners, children, parents and grandparents can be sponsored for a PR Visa to Canada in 2017 through Canadian immigration programs designed for families (64,000 visas for spouses, partners and children plus 20,000 visas for parents and grandparents).


    The Canadian government also plans to authorize as many as 40,000 (13.3% of the total) refugees and protected persons to immigrate to Canada during 2017.


    An additional 3,500 immigrants (1.2% of the total) can be granted a PR Visa to Canada in 2017 through humanitarian programs or for other reasons.  


    A major motivation for increasing Canadian immigration levels is that many people who live in Canada are getting older and retiring from the labor force.


    This is a trend that is expected to continue for several years and, therefore, more skilled foreign workers will be needed to fill thousands of jobs in Canada.


    Thus, the 2017 Canadian immigration plan sets a goal to approve 73,700 skilled foreign workers for immigration to Canada through the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).


    Another 51,000 “economic immigrants” may be issued a PR Visa to Canada in 2017 through the Provincial Nominees Program (PNP).


    Skilled foreign workers who meet the eligibility requirements for one of these three Canadian immigration programs may also be able to apply for Express Entry immigration to Canada.


    The predominantly French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec also needs thousands of skilled foreign workers, so 29,300 “economic immigrants” are authorized to receive a PR Visa to Canada in 2017 through the Quebec Skilled Worker and Business programs.


    If you and your family would like to live in Canada as permanent residents and want to find out if you are likely to meet the eligibility requirements for Canadian immigration, click here!     

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