OTTAWA — The federal government has announced it achieved its target for new permanent residents for 2022 with 431,645 registered, a new high.
The previous record of 405,000 new permanent records was set last year, stated a release.
The last time Canada welcomed a comparable number of immigrants was in 1913.
In 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) processed approximately 5.2 million applications for permanent residence, temporary residence and citizenship, double the number of applications processed in 2021.
The release stated a key component of the immigration plan is to reduce labour shortages in such sectors as the skilled trades.
“Newcomers play an essential role in filling labour shortages, bringing new perspectives and talents to our communities, and enriching our society as a whole. I am excited to see what the future holds and look forward to another historic year in 2023 as we continue to welcome newcomers,” stated Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser in a statement.
New programs that addressed workforce needs included:
- Extending work permits to spouses and working-age dependents of temporary foreign workers at all skill levels.
- Implementing measures to allow foreign nationals whose post-graduation work permit expired or will expire between Sept. 20, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2022 the opportunity to work in Canada for an additional 18 months, by either extending their work permit or applying for a new one.
- Improving the development of “economic pathways,” in addition to traditional resettlement, for refugees. IRCC provided more funding to expand Canada’s Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot to more skilled refugees.
- Shortening the wait time for those seeking asylum in Canada to obtain a work permit, from 20 months to one month.
- Implementing the National Occupational Classification 2021 for immigration programs managed under the Express Entry system. Sixteen additional occupations including residential and commercial installers and servicers and heavy equipment operators are now eligible for the programs managed under Express Entry.