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The major changes in immigration in 2022

A summary of the most significant immigration-related changes in Canada in 2022 and what they can reveal about 2023.

In 2022, Canada’s immigration system saw a number of significant changes as the nation faced the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has continued to evaluate how immigration may meet Canada’s economic and sociological demands; this year, it has made new and significant adjustments that might have a significant impact on the nation’s immigration policy in 2023.

Immigration Levels Plan

The plan to increase immigration numbers was arguably the year’s most significant statement. The IRCC made public its three-year strategy to welcome immigrants on November 1st. Between 2023 and 2025, Canada expects to receive about 1.45 million new immigrants through its family, humanitarian, and refugee class streams.

The number of new immigrants will reach 500,000 annually by 2025. Express Entry is also expected to be replaced by the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) as Canada’s primary route for economic immigration.

Since the turn of the last century, immigration has not been at these levels historically. They also emphasize the significance of immigration as a COVID-19 pandemic recovery strategy.

Resumption of Express Entry in 2022

For the first time since December 2020, Express Entry draws were held again in July, marking a significant development in Canada’s COVID recovery.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) are all included in the Express Entry system. Together, these programs yearly accept a sizable number of immigrants for economic reasons.

Students from abroad are able to work more than 20 hours a week

International students will be authorized to work more than 20 hours per week during school sessions starting on November 15, 2022. This adjustment was a significant departure from the previous limitations on part-time student employment, which were 20 hours per week throughout academic semesters.

Students may now work as many hours as they want throughout academic semesters at off-campus jobs up to the end of 2023. This adjustment was intended to solve Canada’s historical labor shortages, particularly in fields that frequently employ students (e.g: food services, retail, and hospitality sectors).

Changes to NOC 2021 and additions in Express Entry eligibility

Canada adopted the 2021 National Occupation Classification (NOC), which is used to categorize and describe occupations, on November 16, 2022.

16 new qualifying jobs were introduced to the Express Entry system as a result of the updated shift to Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) codes, while the modification also resulted in the removal of three occupations from Express Entry eligibility.

Due to unforeseen errors that occurred after NOC adjustments to IRCC systems and affected some Express Entry candidates, this change has attracted additional attention.

An immigration pilot program was announced for New Brunswick.

A new immigration pilot program to bring in vital employees was introduced by Immigration and Opportunities New Brunswick at the beginning of November. The New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot (NBCWP), a program created to meet the province’s unique labor demands, is renowned for its emphasis on assisting newcomers in settling down.

Six carefully picked firms from the manufacturing, food production, agricultural, and aquaculture sectors—chosen for their established immigrant settlement services—fulfill the program. The NBCWP is a component of a larger IRCC project to welcome immigrants to more remote areas of Canada that lack human resources.

Now eligible to apply for Open Work Permits are the families of LMIA-based work permit holders.

Families of LMIA-based work permit holders will now be allowed to apply for Open Work Permits as IRCC implemented an extraordinary policy adjustment to maximize the potential workforce currently in Canada in response to historic labor shortages and a growing class of retirees leaving the workforce (OWP).

Holders of OWPs are eligible to work in most industries for any employer. LMIA-based work permits, on the other hand, are connected to a single employer in a particular sector.

The new effort is scheduled to launch in three stages beginning in January 2023.

Express Entry will prioritize certain occupations in 2023.

Bill C-19 was approved by both chambers of parliament on June 23. A clause in the bill permits the immigration minister to divide the Express Entry pool into categories based on policy objectives (such as in-demand professions) and to send invitations to apply (ITAs) to those groups.

This bill seeks to make even greater use of the Express Entry system to meet the demands of the Canadian labor market. The policy change replaces the current method of granting ITAs based on Comprehensive Ranking Scores (CRS), which helps Canada better address labor shortages.

Typical trends into 2023

Many of the significant developments made in 2022 may have an impact on 2023. These themes consist of:

  • Renewed initiatives to welcome immigrants in more regions of Canada. This notion is supported by the growth of the Provincial Nominee Program, the NBCWP, and the effectiveness of the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP). These could be signs that the IRCC will work to welcome immigrants to less populated regions with aging populations.

  • A pattern where immigration is concentrated on certain occupations. IRCC has already stated that it plans to use this approach in 2023 despite a record number of open positions. One of the most in-demand professions in recent years, physicians have had hurdles to permanent residence lifted in Canada. This is probably a trend that will continue as IRCC attempts to fill specific labor shortages through immigration.

  • A persistent effort to improve Canada’s future workforce. The IRCC has already implemented changes to this effect in the face of ongoing overqualification of immigrants and continuing labor shortages. These include the newly introduced OWP eligibility for families of LMIA-based work permit holders and the newly introduced financial investment in immigrant accreditation for healthcare professionals. These adjustments imply Canada’s desire to better utilize the immigrant talent already present in the nation.

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