Three immigration milestones that Canada experienced in 2022

Vimal Sivakumar
Published: December 29, 2022

Canadian immigration continued to play an integral role in uplifting the national labour force and economy this year.

In October, it was reported that Canadian immigrants accounted for around 80% of all labour force growth in this country between 2016 and 2021. This has allowed Canada to “mitigate the impacts of labour shortages in a number of sectors and regions across the country.”

Further to the value of Canadian immigration, the 2021 census noted that more than half (748,120) of Canada’s immigrants between 2016 and 2021 were admitted as economic immigrants. This category of immigrants, “selected based upon their potential economic contribution to meet labour market needs”, has been key to aiding Canada’s economic development because they provide Canadian employers with capable workers to fill critical labour needs. This allows for better production of goods and delivery of services, which consequently incites economic growth because people will continue spending money that feeds back into the country.

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Ultimately, immigration has been, and will continue to be, an important part of life in Canada. Appropriately, presented in no particular order, the following is a recap of three moments from 2022 that represent significant milestones in the world of Canadian immigration.

1. Immigrants make up a record-high share of the Canadian population

According to the 2021 Canadian census, which was released in October 2022, immigrants to Canada now make up a record-high percentage of the total population. 8.3 million people (23.0% of Canada’s total population) are immigrants, defined by Statistics Canada as people who “were, or had ever been, a landed immigrant or permanent resident in Canada.”

This number bests a Canadian record that stood for 100 years, dating back to when the percentage of Canada’s population made up of immigrants was 22.3% in 1921.

Note: Based on recent population projections and current demographic trends, the immigrant share of Canada’s population could reach between 29.1% and 34% by 2041

2. Provincial Nominee Programs set to overtake Express Entry as top Canadian immigration pathway

For many years, Express Entry has been the top immigration pathway in Canada.

However, the application management system that handles immigration applications from three different programs — the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSWP) — is now making way for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) to take over as Canada’s top immigration pathway. This is according to data released in Canada’s latest Immigration Levels Plan (2023-2025) on November 1, 2022.

As covered by CICNews last month, Canada’s PNP immigration targets overtook Express Entry targets in 2022, a trend that is expected to continue going forward.

In fact, according to the targets outlined in the country’s latest Immigration Levels Plan, PNP targets are higher than those set for Express Entry by at least 900 for each of the next three years.

In 2023, Canada is aiming to welcome 105,500 PNP immigrants versus 82,880 immigrants across all three programs managed by the Express Entry system.

In 2024, Canada is targeting 980 more PNP immigrants (110,000) than Express Entry immigrants (109,020).

Finally, Canada is aiming to welcome 117,500 PNP applicants in 2025 while setting its sights on 114,000 Express Entry immigrants that year.

3. Canada sets immigration target at half a million newcomers in 2025

Another milestone to come from Canada’s latest Immigration Levels Plan (2023-2025) is a milestone target of 500,000 total permanent resident admissions in 2025.

As part of Canada’s plan to continue its recovery from poor immigration levels experienced during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s latest Immigration Levels Plan (2023-2025) revealed that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to welcome half of a million new permanent residents to this country in 2025.

Note: Immigration targets for 2024 and 2025 are malleable and may change when the next Immigration Levels Plan is released around Q4 2023

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