Preview of Canadian immigration for the year ahead

COVID will continue to play a significant role in Canada’s immigration policies and decisions over the next twelve months. 

Preview of Canadian immigration for the year ahead 

With the pandemic still raging, what can we expect from Canada in 2022? 

COVID will continue to play a significant role in Canada’s immigration policies and decisions over the next twelve months. 

The ever-shifting nature of the virus and the emergence of new variants is forcing Canada and the rest of the world to continuously update their travel restrictions, sometimes overnight. 

Border closures, sometimes for months on end, have delayed the landing of newcomers and is contributing to an increasingly larger backlog of applications. 

However, even with these challenges, Canada is committed to its immigration policies in order to: 

  • Help the Canadian economy; 
  • Reunite families; 
  • Deal with humanitarian crisis. 

Last year was a stellar example of how the government navigated pandemic related challenges to increase its immigration targets. 

What can be expected from 2022? 

Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-2024 and 2023-2025 

Canada is expected to announce two immigration levels plan this year. These plans outline the targets for newcomers as well as the programs that will be used to welcome the new immigrants. 

When the last immigration levels plan was unveiled, Canada was looking to welcome approximately 1.2 million newcomers by 2023. When the new plan is unveiled, these numbers may change. 

The first plan is expected to be released by February 11, this plan was originally meant to be released in September 2021, however, it was delayed due to the Federal election. 

The second plan is expected to be released in the fall like normal, sometime by November 2022. 

Immigration levels will likely rise due to the application backlogs, growing labor shortages in Canada, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s commitment to help resettle approximately 40,000 refugees from Afghanistan. 

In fact, the Honorable Minister Fraser has already stated the government would be open to increasing the levels if Canadian employers and communities are on board. 

Express Entry 

Major developments are expected in the Express Entry system. 

In 2021, Express Entry draws have only been targeting Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates. 

This is not the norm since in the past, candidates from the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), made up the majority of the invitations but last year, they were completely excluded. IRCC followed a strategy of inviting candidates already living in Canada as a way of meeting its immigration levels targets. 

The federal government has announced its intention of introducing some reforms to the Express Entry system, such as providing more flexibility in issuing invitations to Express Entry candidates that are better suited to Canada’s labor needs. Additional details are expected to be released in the coming months. 

In Trudeau’s newest mandate letter to the Minister, he was also tasked with expanding permanent residence pathways for temporary foreign workers and international students through the Express Entry system. As we wait to receive additional details on government policies, one thing is clear, Canada is focused on increasing immigration and likely has a few surprises in store for us. 

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