Canada to Welcome almost 432,000 Permanent Residents in 2022
Today, February 14th, the Canadian government revealed its most ambitious Immigration Levels Plan in its history. It will welcome 431,645 new immigrants in 2022. This is 20,645 more immigrants than its initial plan.
The 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan aims to welcome:
- 431,645 permanent residents in 2022,
- 477,055 permanent residents in 2023, and
- 451,000 permanent residents in 2024
Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024
This is the first plan announced by the new Immigration Minister, Honorable Sean Fraser. Canada targets high levels of newcomers to support its population, labour force, and economic growth. Some highlights of the plan include:
- a long-term focus on economic growth, with nearly 60% of admissions from the Economic Class.
- the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will be the main admissions program for economic class immigrants with IRCC looking to land 83,500 newcomers via the PNP in 2022.
- help for vulnerable populations, like the special measures for granting permanent residence to refugee claimants working in health care during the pandemic.
- talent retention of those already in Canada by granting permanent status to temporary residents accepted through the time-limited pathways for essential workers launched in spring 2021.
- support for global crises by providing a safe haven through humanitarian immigration to those facing persecution.
- the family class will comprise around 24% of admissions targets in 2022, with 80,000 set to arrive under the Spouses, Partners, and Children Program, and 25,000 set to arrive under the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP). This is 1,500 more spots, compared with its previous plan.
- the remaining 20% of immigrants will arrive under refugee and humanitarian programs. Canada plans to resettle at least 40,000 Afghan nationals over the next 2 years.
In addition, Canada is working to increase Francophone immigration to reach a target of 4.4%of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec by 2023. Also, by 2024, overall admissions will amount to 1.14% of the Canadian population with most of the admissions in the Economic Class, according to IRCC.
On the previous plan, Canada was targeting the arrival of 411,000 new permanent residents for this year, up from the 405,000 it welcomed in 2021. However, Canada announced that is increasing its immigration targets over the coming three years.
A few reasons why:
- Immigration accounts for almost 100% of Canada’s labour force growth and nearly 80% of our population growth.
- Canada regained many of the jobs lost during the pandemic, but there remain 960,000 unfilled positions across all sectors.
- Canada has a strong economic need for increased immigration. Source: IRCC.
It is important to mention that Canada had not announced an immigration plan since October 2020. Usually, the Canadian government announces its immigration levels plan by November 1st of each year when Parliament is sitting. However, due to the Canadian government holding an election in September 2020, there was not an announcement last year.
Canadian immigration in 2022
On December 14, 2021, the Minister of Finance proposed $85 million to reduce the backlog in Canada’s immigration system. According to the government, this investment will speed up the process of citizenship, reunite families, and welcome immigrants who can help address Canada’s labour shortages.
In addition, the budget will support the return to processing standards for study permits, work permits, and permanent resident card renewals by the end of the year. Canada is also working to reduce processing times for visitor visas and proof of citizenship. Moreover, IRCC plans to make 147,000 permanent residence final decisions in the first quarter of 2022. This is more than IRCC made in the same period last year.
In order to address the labour shortages in 2022, the immigration mandate letter talked about simplifying work permit renewals, as part of improving the Global Talent Stream of the TFWP. It also talked about improving foreign credential recognition.
In 2022, we can expect new functionalities to transform the immigration system into a modern and digital immigration platform, like the new Permanent Residence Application Tracker in February for spouses and dependents.
Furthermore, IRCC is exploring more options for those who wish to self-administer their Oath by signing attestation and celebrating their citizenship at a later date. This would shorten the waiting time for those at the final stage of their citizenship process.
Other Canadian immigration priorities
- Introduce electronic applications for family reunification.
- Make the citizenship application process free for permanent residents who meet the requirements.
- Establish a Trusted Employer system for Canadian companies hiring temporary foreign workers.
- Support the French-language knowledge of immigrants in Quebec. Moreover, the Minister of Immigration must support Francophone immigration across the country.
- Keep working with the United States to modernize the Safe Third Country Agreement.
- Welcome 2,000 skilled refugees to fill labour shortages in high-demand sectors such as health care.
- Ensure that immigration better supports small- and medium-size communities that require additional immigrants. As usual, this will include expanding the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, Municipal Nominee Program, and Atlantic Immigration Pilot.
- Act with urgency to provide resettlement opportunities for people under threat, including Afghan citizens and human rights defenders.
- The majority of Canadians support immigration (February 2022)
- Major Improvements to the Immigration System (January 31, 2022)
- Canada’s immigration priorities (2022)
- What will the Liberal Party of Canada do about immigration? (2021)
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Al Parsai, LLM, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada
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