2024 is The Year You Immigrate to Canada

February 9, 2024


  • Shireen Fisher

The siren song of Canadian maple syrup and majestic mountains has long enticed aspiring immigrants. But with a changing global landscape, you might wonder: is Canada still a good option in 2024? The answer, as always, depends on your specific circumstances and priorities. Let's dive into the latest developments and see if Canada lives up to the dream.

The Thriving Canadian Economy

Canada stands as a beacon for skilled immigrants worldwide, beckoning with many enticing attributes. Here's why the country’s economy is irresistible to those seeking new horizons.

Strength and Growth

Ranked 10th globally, with a Nominal GDP of Approximately US$2.117 trillion, Canada's economy shows no signs of slowing down. With projections for continued growth in 2024, it promises stability and an array of promising opportunities for newcomers. In 2023, Canada ranked 15th highest in the world for GDP per capita, at US$56,144.


Unlike economies reliant on single industries, Canada boasts diversification across various energy, finance, technology, and services sectors. This diversification mitigates vulnerability to economic fluctuations, offering a stable environment for immigrants to thrive.


Canada's heavy investment in research and development fosters cutting-edge solutions and high-skilled jobs. From biotechnology to artificial intelligence, innovation permeates diverse fields, ensuring Canada's competitiveness on the global stage.


Canada is a highly trade-dependent country, with exports and imports accounting for a significant portion of its GDP. Merchandise trade (goods) represents about 66% of Canada's total GDP. This means that Canada's economy is heavily reliant on international trade to generate economic growth and prosperity.

With an open attitude towards international trade, particularly with the United States, Canada creates ample export opportunities. This trade-focused approach not only drives economic expansion but also serves as a magnet for skilled professionals seeking dynamic environments.

A Skilled Canadian Workforce

Canada prides itself on a well-educated and talented workforce. Further bolstered by immigration programs, this skilled workforce attracts foreign investment and contributes significantly to economic dynamism.

A 2022 report by the Conference Board of Canada suggests that around 62% of Canadian workers hold post-secondary credentials (diplomas, degrees). Several reports indicate current and projected shortages of skilled workers in various sectors.

  • Skilled trades: BuildForce Canada projects a need for 307,000 new construction workers by 2029 to replace retirees and meet growing demand.
  • Information technology: The Canadian Information and Communications Technology Council estimates a shortfall of 85,000 IT professionals by 2024.
  • Healthcare: The Canadian Nurses Association forecasts a nursing shortage of 36,000 nurses by 2024. As a result, Canada is a great option for those looking to fill a skills gap in a first-world country.

Abundant Job Opportunities

It is estimated that Canada has just under 800,000 job positions open across varying fields and provinces. The booming economy creates many job openings across various sectors. Whether in healthcare, finance, or technology, Canada offers diverse possibilities for skilled individuals to explore and excel.

Immigration-Friendly Policies

Will Canada retain its friendly immigration policies in 2024? Canada plans to welcome 485,000 permanent residents in 2024, with targets increasing to 500,000 in 2025 and 2026. This shows a strong commitment to immigration. Welcoming immigration programs actively seek skilled individuals, streamlining the process for talented professionals to make Canada their new home. This openness fosters diversity and innovation, enriching Canada's economic landscape.

Political Stability

Canada's stable political climate provides a secure environment for individuals and businesses alike. This stability fosters confidence and trust, essential for sustained economic growth and prosperity.

Strong Institutions

Robust legal, financial, and educational institutions underpin Canada's economic success. With a solid foundation, businesses and individuals can easily navigate the landscape, further fueling growth and innovation.

An increase in the demand for international eductaion and changes in study permit policies such as the introduction of the student direct stream in 2017 is likely why we’ve seen an increase in the number of Designated Learning Institutions over the last few years. Currently, there are 807 Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) in Canada. This includes universities, colleges, private career colleges, and CEGEPs (in Quebec). Comparatively, before the pandemic there were 709 DLIs. So, as of March 2023, Canada had 98 more DLIs compared to 2019. This represents a 13.8% increase.

Environmental Consciousness

With a focus on green initiatives, Canada paves the way for a greener future, aligning economic growth with environmental stewardship. Canada's transition towards a greener economy creates new job opportunities in renewable energy, sustainable technologies, and environmental conservation, attracting skilled professionals in these fields.

Top In-demand Jobs in Canada

In 2024, Canada's job market is expected to flourish across various sectors, including technology, healthcare, and renewable energy. With an aging population and a growing demand for skilled workers, you will find ample opportunities to excel and contribute to Canada's vibrant economy.

Top In-demand Jobs in Canada Average Salary Per Year (CAD)
Sales Associate (NOC 64100) 32,138
Registered Nurse (NOC 31301) 72,931
Doctor (NOC 31102) 350,000
Customer Service Representative (NOC 64312) 35,569
Marketing Manager (NOC 10022) 80,000
Mechanical Engineer (NOC 21301) 122,075
Accounting Technician (NOC 12200) 53,621
Software Developer (NOC 21232) 104,802
Electrician (NOC 72200) 69,145
Welder (NOC 72106) 49,441

Learn more about the most popular jobs in Canada.

Immigration-Friendly Policies: A Multi-Pronged Strategy

Canada has long been celebrated for its inclusive and compassionate approach to immigration. In recent years, the government has implemented initiatives to attract skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, and international students, recognizing the invaluable contributions they make to Canadian society. With streamlined immigration processes and supportive programs, 2024 presents an ideal environment for individuals and families looking to start anew in Canada.

High Immigration Levels

Canada aims to welcome 1.5 million new permanent residents between 2024 and 2026, showcasing their commitment to immigration as a key driver of economic growth and societal diversity.

In alignment with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s trajectory outlined in the 2023-2025 Plan, Canada sets its sights on welcoming 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024, followed by 500,000 in 2025, with a stabilization at 500,000 in 2026. This strategic plan places a strong emphasis on fostering economic growth and facilitating family reunification, all while addressing humanitarian crises and acknowledging the notable surge in immigration witnessed in recent years.

Expanding upon the success achieved in reaching a 4.4% benchmark of French-speaking permanent residents outside Quebec in 2022, the Plan introduces new annual targets for French-speaking permanent residents outside Quebec, which will progressively increase over the years: 6% in 2024, 7% in 2025, and 8% in 2026.

Focus on Economic Benefit

The Express Entry System’s Federal Skilled Worker Program plays a central role, with increased targets for high-demand professions like healthcare, technology, and engineering.

Canada faces skill shortages in specific sectors like healthcare, technology, and engineering. The FSWP prioritizes candidates with experience and qualifications in these areas, directly addressing critical workforce needs. By attracting skilled professionals, Canada fosters innovation, drives productivity, and strengthens its competitive edge in the global economy. This benefits both newcomers and established residents. High-demand professions often translate to higher salaries and career opportunities, making Canada an attractive destination for skilled individuals seeking professional advancement.

If you are not eligible for the FSWP, there are two other Express Entry programs - the Federal Skilled Trades Worker Program or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

The Canadian government has collaborated with provincial authorities to establish Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), enabling provinces (excluding Nunavut and Quebec) to nominate immigrants seeking residence, settlement, and employment within their specific regions or, in broader terms, in Canada. To qualify for a visa under these programs, candidates must select a province where they intend to reside and subsequently apply for nomination.

Upon submission, the province evaluates the application based on its immigration requirements and labor demands while also assessing the applicant's genuine commitment to settling in the chosen province.

For most provinces, Canadian immigration plays a vital role not only in stimulating local economies and fostering growth in key sectors but also in providing essential support to an aging population.

Key Developments in 2024

Category-Based Express Entry Draws

Introduced in 2023, these draws prioritize candidates aligned with specific economic needs, likely to continue and evolve in 2024. We can expect:

  • Continuation of existing categories: Healthcare, STEM, and French language proficiency draws are likely to continue due to ongoing needs.
  • Introduction of new categories: Based on emerging economic needs, new categories focusing on different industries, skills, or regional requirements could be introduced.
  • Evolving criteria: Eligibility criteria within each category might be adjusted based on ongoing labor market analysis and specific needs.

Increased PNP Activity

Several provinces are expanding their PNP programs and streamlining application processes, attracting skilled workers to address regional labor shortages. Many provinces are actively expanding their PNP programs in several ways:

  • Introducing new streams: Tailored to attract workers in in-demand occupations, like healthcare, tech, and trades.
  • Increasing nomination quotas: Allowing them to select more candidates aligned with their needs.
  • Streamlining application processes: Making it easier and faster for eligible candidates to apply.
  • Reducing processing times: Expediting the path to permanent residency for successful applicants.

International Student Permit Cap

To manage rapid growth, the IRCC has implemented a temporary cap of 360,000 new permits, impacting some study-abroad possibilities. These interim measures are set to remain effective for a duration of two years, with a review of the volume of new study permit applications slated for reassessment by the conclusion of this period. Throughout this timeframe, the Canadian government will maintain collaboration with provinces, territories, designated learning institutions, and key stakeholders within the national education sector. This collaborative effort aims to forge a sustainable trajectory for international students, encompassing the finalization of a recognized institution framework, the establishment of enduringly viable levels of international student intake, and the assurance that post-secondary institutions can furnish sufficient accommodations for students.

A Prestigious Education System

Canada's prestigious education system offers internationally recognized degrees and diplomas. Whether you seek higher education or professional development, universities and colleges across the country provide innovative programs and world-class faculty. Studying in Canada opens doors to work opportunities and paves the path for permanent residency.

Free Education For Your Children

One of the most significant benefits of immigrating to Canada is the accessible and high-quality public education system, available free to all children of Canadian citizens and permanent residents from kindergarten to the end of high school (typically ages 5-18). This translates into significant savings for families compared to many other developed nations, where private education often dominates.

Highly-ranked Universities

Canada boasts a network of prestigious universities, consistently ranked among the best in the world. From world-renowned institutions like McGill and the University of Toronto to esteemed research universities across the country, your child can access top-tier education here. Learn more about the top universities in Canada.

The Benefits of Studying in Canada Include:

  • Globally Recognized Degrees - Diplomas from Canadian universities hold weight internationally, opening doors to diverse career opportunities.
  • Advanced Research Opportunities - Many universities house cutting-edge research facilities, fostering innovation and attracting renowned professors.
  • Multicultural Learning Environment - Campuses embrace diversity, offering an enriching experience for students from around the world.
  • Part-time Work Opportunities - International students can work for up to 20 hours a week while studying in Canada
  • Pathways to Immigration - Studying in Canada can pave the way for permanent residency through post-graduation work permit and immigration programs.

Inclusivity That Reigns Supreme

Canada's reputation for inclusivity is not built on mere slogans, but on a robust framework of policies, programs, and ongoing efforts. While challenges remain, significant progress has been made in fostering a welcoming and diverse society

A Multiculturalism Act

Canada's official Multicultural Act goes beyond mere tolerance, actively celebrating and supporting diverse cultures, languages, and traditions. This translates into vibrant multicultural festivals, multilingual government services, and educational programs promoting cultural understanding.

The government has also dedicated funding programs to support cultural organizations, heritage language programs, and anti-racism initiatives, fostering a truly inclusive society.

Anti-Discrimination Laws

Canada has strong legal frameworks, like the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Human Rights Act, to prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors. These laws offer legal recourse for those facing discrimination and set a clear standard for equality.

When you move to Canada, you will find dedicated commissions and human rights tribunals in place to investigate complaints and enforce discrimination laws, ensuring accountability and promoting fair treatment for all.

Social Programs

Universal healthcare, affordable housing initiatives, and accessible social services aim to ensure everyone has equal access to basic needs and opportunities regardless of background. Targeted Support Programs address specific needs of marginalized communities, such as income assistance for newcomers, cultural sensitivity training for service providers, and disability support services.

Representation in Government

Canada has a diverse cabinet. Efforts are made to ensure representative governance, with initiatives like gender parity cabinet goals and programs encouraging participation of diverse groups in political processes. Government consultations and dialogues with diverse communities ensure their voices are heard and inform policy decisions, promoting inclusive governance.

Community Engagement

When it comes to matters at the grassroots level, numerous community organizations, advocacy groups, and interfaith dialogues encourage collaboration and understanding between diverse communities, fostering empathy and social cohesion.

Municipal and provincial governments also often lead initiatives like intercultural festivals, community language programs, and anti-racism campaigns, promoting inclusion at the local level.

A High Quality of Life

When considering immigration, beyond economic opportunities, quality of life plays a crucial role. Canada consistently ranks high in this aspect, offering a well-rounded environment that fosters individual and community wellbeing. While some factors can be quantified, like cost of living or healthcare access, remember that quality of life also encompasses subjective experiences and overall sense of contentment.

A Low Cost of Living

While not the cheapest globally, compared to many developed nations, Canada's cost of living can be lower, especially in smaller cities. Consider housing costs, food expenses, and transportation prices when researching your target location. Learn more about the cost of living in Canada.

Universal Healthcare

Access to high-quality public healthcare for all citizens and permanent residents is a significant advantage. This reduces financial stress related to medical bills and ensures accessible preventative care, contributing to overall health and well-being.

Strong Social Safety Net

Unemployment benefits, social assistance programs, and affordable childcare options provide a safety net and security, reducing anxieties and allowing individuals to focus on personal and professional growth.

Natural Beauty

From majestic mountains and pristine coastlines to vibrant urban parks and sprawling forests, Canada's natural landscapes offer opportunities for outdoor recreation, stress reduction, and connection with nature, all contributing to mental and physical well-being.

A Safe Environment

Compared to many other countries, Canada boasts low crime rates and a strong sense of personal safety. This allows individuals to enjoy their communities and engage in outdoor activities without worry. Learn more about safety levels in Canada.

Work-Life Balance

Canadian culture generally promotes a healthy work-life balance, with reasonable work hours and paid vacation time, allowing individuals to pursue hobbies, spend time with families, and participate in community activities.

Community Spirit

Strong community bonds and a sense of belonging contribute to overall well-being. From organized events to spontaneous neighborhood interactions, fostering social connections can enrich life and combat loneliness.

Multicultural Mosaic

The vibrant tapestry of cultures and traditions in Canada offers opportunities for cultural exchange, personal growth, and exposure to diverse perspectives, enriching individual lives and fostering a sense of belonging.

Personal Freedoms

Canada upholds individual rights and freedoms, including freedom of speech, religion, and assembly. This fosters individual expression, autonomy, and a sense of personal fulfillment.


How Big is Canada’s Population?

According to Statistics Canada data from Census 2021, Canada’s population stands at 36,991 981.

Which Canadian Immigration Pathway WIll Get Me to Canada as Fast as Possible?

As its name suggests, the Express Entry Program has the fastest processing time. Applications for this pathway usually take six months to be processed.