Immigrants have now made up the largest ever share of Canada’s total population (23%), besting a record that was previously set 100 years ago. The Canadian government seems steadfast in its continued commitment to immigration and welcoming foreign nationals into the country at a frequent rate. Increased immigration has always helped in the development of the country, both socially and economically while also working to reunite families and assist vulnerable populations through Canada’s capacity for humanitarian aid. Since September 2022, the total application backlog at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has decreased steadily up to 400,000. Additional funding of $ 85 million was received by IRCC to reduce application inventories. Their front-line operations staff was increased to 2,521 employees between March 2019 and November 2022 to decrease the application backlog even further.
Immigration Levels Plan Target for 2023
A record-high immigration target of 465,000 is set within the Immigration Levels Plan for 2023, which suggests that IRCC can manage backlogs while welcoming a high number of foreign nationals. The Immigration Levels Plan target breaks down as follows:
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): 105,000
Express Entry: 82880
Spouses and children: 78,000
Parents and Grandparents: 28,500
Preview of four major Canadian Immigration pathways
Express Entry in 2023
IRCC is expected to introduce ‘targeted’ Express Entry draws in 2023. Instead of giving out Invitations to Apply (ITAs) based on a candidate’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, these draws will target candidates who have specific occupational experience, language skills, and/or educational backgrounds.
Provincial Nominee Programs in 2023
PNP is set to overtake Express Entry as Canada’s top immigration pathway. PNPs are important for helping Canada address specific labour market needs that are becoming more prominent across the country. In 2023, it is expected to see Canada welcoming 23,000 more PNP immigrants than Express Entry candidates.
International Students in 2023
IRCC announced an amendment to its off-campus work policy for International students in Canada in October. From November 2015, until the end of 2023, “International students who are in Canada and have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will be allowed to work over 20 hours per week off campus while class is in session.” Canada is facing historic labour shortages and an unemployment rate which is low by historical standards, so this recent amendment will allow over half a million students to work more hours and help Canada meet to deal better with this problem of labour shortage.
Parents and Grandparents in 2023
As it is evident from the popularity of Canada’s Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP), Canada will remain committed to family reunification in 2023. The PGP combined with other immigration pathways such as the Super Visa will be looking forward to welcome 28,000 newcomers next year according to Canada’s latest immigration plan. The exact selection process that IRCC will use is yet to be revealed by the officials.
Impact of these developments on Canada in 2023
Immigration significantly benefits Canada’s labour force and population which should continue in 2023. The expected entry of newcomers to Canada through both PNPs and Express Entry draws should allow lifting the pressure currently hindering the country’s labour market. Canada will see an economic boost as more skilled immigrants enter the country, especially those working in high-demand occupations. In addition to that, temporarily lifting the off-campus work hours rule means more international students may come to Canada over time. This move is expected to make Canada an even more attractive International Students destination. The work hours policy change means that more foreign students will eventually contribute to Canada’s labour force and economic future in this country.