January 19, 2024

Addressing Housing and Healthcare: Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026

In a bid to sculpt the future of Canadian immigration, the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) unfurled the much-anticipated Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026 on November 1st. Beyond the numbers, this plan is a comprehensive strategy that not only sets ambitious targets for newcomers but also strategically addresses concerns regarding housing affordability and healthcare sustainability.

Setting the Stage

Canada's commitment to admit 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024, followed by 500,000 annually in 2025 and 2026, is a bold step. The impetus behind this plan is to stabilize the influx of newcomers, a topic that has stirred concerns among Canadians. A recent report by the Environics Institute revealed that a growing number of citizens are expressing apprehension, citing worries about affordability, especially in the housing sector.

Minister's Assurance

Immigration Minister Marc Miller assuages these concerns by emphasizing the plan's comprehensiveness. In an official statement, he underlines the need to strike a delicate balance, aligning Canada's economic growth with the humanitarian tradition of supporting newcomers. "We recognize that housing, infrastructure planning, and sustainable population growth need to be properly taken into account," he declares.

Labour Force Focus

A pivotal aspect of the Immigration Levels Plan is its emphasis on supporting Canada's labor force. Over 60% of the influx over the next three years will come through economic class immigration pathways, such as Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program. Here's a snapshot of the economic immigrants projection:

Year Economic Immigrants
2024 281,135
2025 301,250
2026 301,250


To ensure an informed and collaborative approach, IRCC adopts a "whole of government" strategy. By consulting with stakeholders and government departments, the department aims to bridge skill gaps and assess the support needed for newcomers upon arrival.

Credential Recognition and Financial Support

Attracting skilled newcomers remains a priority, and IRCC plans to enhance the recognition of foreign credentials. This will enable newcomers to effectively apply their skills in the Canadian job market. Moreover, programs offering financial assistance, including loans, are in the pipeline to ease the financial burden associated with the credential recognition process.

Addressing Healthcare and Construction Needs

Beyond the numbers, the Immigration Levels Plan recognizes its role in supporting Canada's National Housing Strategy, backed by an $82 billion investment over the next decade. This massive injection aims to alleviate housing costs by boosting construction. Here, immigration becomes a crucial factor, as a higher influx of skilled workers will be required to meet the demand in the construction and trades sectors.

Healthcare, another critical concern, takes center stage. Statistics Canada reveals strains in the system, exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. With an aging population and an anticipated nine million retirements by 2030, the pressure on the healthcare system is set to intensify. While over 468,000 immigrants currently work in health-related occupations, the demand is still not met.

Category-Based Express Entry

In a progressive move, IRCC introduced category-based Express Entry rounds, targeting specific attributes that align with their mandates. Categories include healthcare, STEM professions, trades, transport, agriculture, and French language proficiency. This targeted approach aims to efficiently fill labor force gaps in sectors with high job vacancy rates.

Year Express Entry Candidates
2024 110,770
2025 117,500
2026 117,500


Deputy Immigration Minister Christiane Fox confirms ongoing efforts, with another draw for trades occupations slated before the year's end.


Canada's Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026 transcends mere numerical targets. It's a strategic blueprint addressing the concerns of Canadians while propelling the nation forward economically. The delicate equilibrium between humanitarian values and economic growth underscores Canada's commitment to fostering a welcoming environment for newcomers.

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