On January 3, 2023, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the federal department responsible for the processing of immigration applications, announced that Canada welcomed over 437,000 new immigrants in 2022.1 This number is higher than the target set at 431,645 new immigrants in Canada by the end of 2022, and marks a new record for the number of Canadian permanent residence admissions in one year, breaking the previous record of over 405,000 new immigrants in 2021.2

In achieving this record, IRCC credits new technology, streamlined processing, and the use of online applications. IRCC processed over 4.8 million applications across all lines of business in 2022 which includes applications for permanent residence, temporary residence, and citizenship. This is double the number of applications processed in 2021.3

IRCC has emphasized the importance of immigration as a key part of Canada's long-term economic growth plan. Economic migration addresses labour shortages and stimulates the Canadian economy by providing government and business with critical workers. Shortages of skilled workers in industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, building trades and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are acute and require a high number of skilled immigrants and workers to fill these positions. New features in Express Entry will target qualified immigrants in these sectors. Additional measures to promote economic growth include regional programs to address labour needs and in-demand skillsets for small towns and rural communities.

IRCC has also struggled to keep up with the backlog of applications resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. As pandemic-related restrictions eased, the number of processed applications steadily increased in 2022, with the federal government moving forward with its plan to boost the number of immigrants in Canada. The immigration levels plan for 2023-2025 sets an ambitious target of welcoming approximately 500,000 new permanent residents each year by 2025, with a target of 465,000 new immigrants for 2023.4 As IRCC continues to add more resources, streamline processing, and expand its programs, immigration will remain a priority in achieving Canada's economic goals.


1 https://twitter.com/CitImmCanada/status/1610403133355659264

2 https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2022/12/canada-welcomes-historic-number-of-newcomers-in-2022.html

3 https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2022/12/canada-marks-record-breaking-year-for-processing-immigration-applications.html

4 https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/notices/supplementary-immigration-levels-2023-2025.html

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