Today, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that Canada exceeded a record-breaking target for admissions of permanent residents in 2022.
In a Tweet, IRCC stated that Canada welcomed over 437,000 new immigrants last year. This is higher than the target they had set at 431,645 new immigrants and marks an all-time record for Canadian permanent residence admissions in one year. The previous record was set in 2021 when Canada landed over 405,000 new immigrants.
“Today marks an important milestone for Canada, setting a new record for newcomers welcomed in a single year.” said immigration minister Sean Fraser. “It is a testament to the strength and resilience of our country and its people. 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.”
IRCC processed 5.2 million applications across all lines of business in 2022. This includes applications for permanent residence, temporary residence and citizenship and is double the number of applications processed in 2021.
IRCC credits new resources, new technology, streamlined processing, and bringing more processes online for the increase in applications processed, as well as the high number of admissions. The government also committed $50 million to IRCC for 2022-2023 in the Fall Economic Statement to address the ongoing backlog of applications, which stands at 1.09 million applications across all lines of business as of November 30, 2022.
Canada’s admission targets are set out in the annual Immigration Levels Plan. The plan for 2022 was released in February 2022, with the highest admission targets ever, until the 2023-2025 plan was released.
Canada’s labour force growth is almost 100% dependent on immigration. There are nearly one million job vacancies in Canada and a shortage of skilled labour due to the aging workforce. Immigrants are vital to Canada’s economy as it is expected that nine million Canadians will reach the retirement age of 65 by 2030. Canada’s aging population means that the worker-to-retiree ratio is expected to shift from 7 to 1 50 years ago to 2 to 1 by 2035.
Additionally, almost 75% of Canada’s population growth depends on immigration because Canada has one of the lowest global birth rates at 1.4 children per woman.
To boost the population, Canada has been striving to welcome higher numbers of immigrants in recent years. According to the 2021 census on immigration, 1.3 million new permanent residents arrived in Canada between 2016 and 2021. Put another way, one out of every four respondents were or had been a landed immigrant or permanent resident in Canada, the highest proportion since Confederation and the largest proportion among G7 countries. It is expected that immigrants will account for 36% of Canada’s population by 2036.
Looking ahead, the immigration levels plan 2023-2025, which was released in November, has an even more ambitious target of 500,000 new permanent residents each year by 2025. The target for 2023 is 465,000.
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