IRCC to target a reduction in the temporary resident population over the next three years

Edana Robitaille
Published: March 22, 2024

Immigration Minister Marc Miller has announced that temporary resident targets will be added to the annual Immigration Levels Plan starting in fall 2024.

The Immigration Levels Plan sets targets for the number of new permanent residents who will be welcomed to Canada each year, for the upcoming three years.

Until now temporary resident levels have not been considered in the Immigration Levels Plan.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

The Minister clarified that the targets are not meant to be a cap. However, he said it is possible that in certain areas Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) would limit applications.

To date, there has been no target, nor cap, for permits issued through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the International Mobility Program(IMP), Intra-company Transfers (ICT) or trade agreements, such as the Canada United States Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

A cap on the number of study permits for international students that IRCC will consider was announced earlier this year.

Miller said that adding temporary residents to the Immigration Levels Plan will help the country stabilize population growth. He also mentioned that Canada has “become addicted” to temporary foreign workers.

“Recently Canada’s temporary resident volume has increased significantly now reaching up to 2.5 million, or 6.2% of our population in 2023,” said Miller. “Therefore, in our levels plan, we will be including a target on an adequate volume of temporary residents we can welcome. We are targeting a decrease in our temporary resident population to 5% over the next 3 years.”

More domestic draws for permanent residence

Part of stabilizing Canada’s population growth involves changes to how new permanent residents are selected.

“As part of our efforts for temporary residents to transition to permanent residency, we’ll have more domestic draws and ask provinces and territories taking part in the provincial nominee program to do the same with their allocations. This will re-align our efforts and create a pathway for those in the country to stay and contribute to the economy.”

Put another way, Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws, and possibly Express Entry draws, may be more likely to select or target candidates who are already in Canada as temporary residents.

He stressed that temporary residents were a strength to Canada’s economy and the changes come following a necessary review of current immigration programs and measures following the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the minister, the labour market has tightened. Canada has recovered 138% of the jobs that were lost during the pandemic.

Immigration in Canada

Canada expects to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024. This rises to 500,000 in 2025 and 2026. IRCC says that maintaining that target will help stabilize the boom in Canada’s population due to immigration and allow the federal government and provincial governments to support newcomers while balancing the need of Canada’s existing population.

“We want every new family and resident to be set up for success and be able to access the services they need. Our ultimate goal is to ensure a well-managed, sustainable immigration system based off needs,” said Miller.

IRCC has dealt with criticism in recent months regarding record-high levels of immigration as Canada copes with a shortage of affordable housing as well as a strained healthcare system.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Related articles
Budget 2024: How Canada is continuing its commitment to safe and inclusive communities
A Family out boating together having fun on vacation
Budget 2024: How will it impact Canadian immigration?
Canada has released Budget 2024.
What can newcomers expect from Budget 2024?
Budget 2024 will contain several new initiatives to help with housing affordability in Canada.
Canada invites candidates in Express Entry draw for STEM occupations
IRCC has issued ITAs to Express Entry candidates in the latest round of invitations.
Top Stories
Budget 2024: How Canada is continuing its commitment to safe and inclusive communities
Recent policies that may make home ownership more affordable for eligible newcomers to Canada
Study Abroad in Canada: A Useful Checklist for International Students
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Sponsor Content
Study Abroad in Canada: A Useful Checklist for International Students
Study Abroad in Canada: A Useful Checklist for International Students
Live Webinar: Tax Tips for Newcomers
Filing Taxes
Studying in Canada: An updated guide to applying for Canada’s Student Direct Stream in 2024
The process of applying for a Canadian study permit has undergone changes recently, affecting many candidates that will apply for expedited processing through the Student Direct Stream (SDS) in 2024.
HDFC Bank and TD Bank Group sign agreement to streamline education journey for Indian students in Canada
Two people in discussion
Link copied to clipboard