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Canada mulls historic changes in immigration policy. Who will be affected?

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters

For the first time in history, Canada is planning to cap the number of temporary residents it allows in, BBC reported, as migration to Western nations grows.

The first limit will be implemented in September, Immigration minister Marc Miller said Thursday, with a gradual reduction over the next three years.

Whom will it apply to? Well, it will be applicable to international students, as well as foreign workers, and asylum claimants.

The minister added that Canada would reduce its ratio of temporary residents from 6.2% to 5% of the population — due to affordability and housing crisis.

Miller noted that the decision was taken to ensure “sustainable” growth.

2.5 million temporary residents reside in Canada as of 2024, the minister said — which was only one million in 2021.

While Miller acknowledged that Canada needs foreign workers to meet the gap, he also said “changes are needed to make the system more efficient”.

“…there should be an honest conversation about what the rise of international migration means for Canada as we plan ahead,” the immigration minister said.

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.

But the Liberal government has also come under political pressure for its immigration policies, with critics arguing they have exacerbated a housing crunch. Some services provided by the provinces, such as education and healthcare, are also struggling to keep up with population growth.

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