Canada set to place a cap on temporary residents for the first time

Friday, March 22, 2024
 – For the first time ever, Canada plans to reduce its temporary residents and set a cap on temporary immigration.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller disclosed this on Thursday, March 21, while discussing the latest government effort to address a housing shortage and stretched essential services.

In recent years Canada has seen a sharp rise in international students, foreign workers and other temporary residents who come to the country on time-limited visas as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government relied on immigration to drive economic growth and plug labor gaps.

However, the population growth has led to a strain on housing and services provided by the provinces, such as education and healthcare.

To ameliorate this, the government wants to reduce temporary residents to 5% of the total population over the next three years from 6.5% in 2023, Miller said. That would be a cut of about 20% 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 ensure the number of temporary residents entering the country is at a sustainable level," Miller told reporters in Ottawa.

"Starting this fall for the first time, we will expand the immigration levels plan to include both temporary resident arrivals and permanent resident arrivals," he said, referring to the federal government's immigration targets.

In January, Canada announced a two-year cap on the intake of foreign students and said it would stop giving work permits to some students after graduation as it seeks to rein in record numbers of newcomers.

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