May 22, 2024

Canada plans to reduce number of temporary residents and limit future admissions – March 21, 2024

Canada plans to reduce the number of temporary residents and set a cap on temporary immigration for the first time, Immigration Minister Mark Miller said Thursday. It is the latest move by the government to tackle housing shortages and strain on essential services.

In recent years, Canada has seen a sharp increase in international students, foreign workers and other temporary residents as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government relies on immigration to fill economic growth and labor gaps.

But the Liberal government is also under political pressure over its immigration policy. Critics say it has worsened the housing crisis. Some services provided by provinces, such as education and health, are also struggling to keep pace with population growth.

The government wants to reduce the proportion of temporary residents to 5% of the total population over the next three years from 6.5% in 2023, Miller said. That's a roughly 20% drop from Canada's 2.5 million temporary residents in 2023.

Miller will convene a meeting with his provincial and territorial counterparts in May to finalize the plan.

“We need to make sure that the number of temporary immigrants coming into the country is stable,” Miller told reporters in Ottawa.

“Beginning this fall, for the first time, we will expand the immigration numbers program to account for both temporary resident arrivals and permanent resident arrivals,” he said, referring to the federal government's immigration goals.

In November, the Trudeau government said it would no longer increase permanent resident immigration starting in 2026.

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In January, Canada announced it would limit foreign student enrollment to two years and stop issuing work permits to some students after graduation to reduce record numbers of new arrivals.