6 factors that shape Canada’s immigration levels

Canada Immigration -Temporary Residents

Canada has announced 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan that has sparked the discussion like number of immigrants Canada will welcome, which category they will fall under, and if the Canadian economy can integrate the immigrants or not.

The decision of identifying how many newcomers Canada will welcome each year is based on the six major factors that are mentioned as below:

  • Demographics and economics
  • Canada’s policy goals
  • Global circumstances
  • Canada’s integration capacity
  • Canada’s processing capacity
  • Politics


Demographics and economics:

Welcoming immigrants is an economic necessity for Canada due to the demographic circumstances of Canada. It is one of the world’s oldest populations and lowest birth rates. Hence, Canada needs to welcome foreign nationals to promote demographic and labour force growth which is critical to sustain the economic growth.


Policy goals:

Canada has three major reasons to welcome immigrants, i.e. growth of economy, reunite families and help the refugees. Hence, Canadian government shapes immigrations levels keeping these goals in mind and Canada, to fulfil these goals, welcomes about 40 percent of its immigrants under the family and refugee classes each year.


Global circumstances:

Canada should respond to global circumstances and Canada has to be sure that there is enough global demand from potential immigrants who want to move to the country and as a member of international community Canada has an obligation to assist when humanitarian crises occur.

Considering this, Canada may take short-term measures to adjust the immigration levels and which category immigrants are welcome.


Canada’s integration capacity:

The federal government must have the confidence that country’s economic conditions are sound enough for immigrants to settle down and integrate in the labor market. Also, the country must have sufficient resources to support the settlement of immigrants, affordable housing, healthcare services, public transportation and other welfare facilities to support the larger populations.


Canada’s processing capacity:

Canada is the country where immigrants will surely want to move and global demand is high. The country must ensure that they have sufficient processing capacity to process the applications of the immigrants. How many new comers will be welcome depends upon the current capacity to process the applications effectively Even if the country wanted to welcome higher levels of immigration, it might not yet have the processing capacity in place to do so.

Canada has improved its processing capacity in recent years by implementing the Express Entry application management system, however, it still processes many immigration applications via paper, which is slower, and requires significant staffing resources.



Politics is the most influential factor as the level of immigration chosen by government is a political decision. Economic justification or public opinion matters but when it comes to political matters, the government chooses the immigration levels based on how they think the decision will impact them in coming election time.

Immigration levels can be kept high or low as per the government’s policies and other factors that affect the decision of welcoming the new comers. Even when the country needs more immigrants, government can decide if the immigration is to be kept low or not. For example, Quebec is a province in Canada that can control its immigration level and they need higher immigration, yet the current government has decided to keep it low which is its best political interest.

The same way, the current federal government can justify the increase the Canada’s immigration level or may be decrease it as per their circumstances after the pandemic. However, they may have made the decision of increasing it slowly considering their target of welcoming new immigrants in coming years.

We have to wait for the time and announcement that Canadian government makes to increase or decrease the immigration levels in the coming times which may be majorly based on the factors discussed here. Keep checking our news and articles to know the latest updates.

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