The Immigration system in Canada underwent several updates and changes in the year 2022 when in July, the country opened its Express Entry draws, welcoming several immigrants in various sectors to address their severe labour shortage. 

Here is a look back at the trends in 2022, and the emerging ones in 2023

The Immigration Levels Plan

IRCC in November 2022, announced its plan to welcome newcomers over the next three years. According to the official statement, Canada will welcome over 1.45 million new immigrants between 2023 and 2025.

In 2025, it is estimated that the annual number of new immigrants will rise to 500,000. The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are also set to overtake Express Entry as Canada’s main economic immigration pathway.

Express Entry all-program drew resume in 2022

All-program Express Entry draws returned for the first time since December 2020. The Express Entry system encompasses the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). 

International students can work more than 20 hrs a week

From 15 November 2022, international students have been allowed to temporarily work more than 20 hours a week during school sessions. The authorities further informed that international students can work an unlimited number of hours during academic semesters in part-time work off-campus, until 31 December 2023. 

NOC 2021 changes and added Express Entry eligibility

Canada implemented changes to the 2021 National Occupation Classification (NOC) which is used to classify and describe occupations.

The change included an updated shift to Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) codes, and the addition of 16 new eligible occupations for Express Entry eligibility. 

New Brunswick announces new immigration pilot

In November 2022, Immigration and Opportunities New Brunswick announced a new policy to welcome critical workers to the province including six select employers in manufacturing, food production, farming, and aquaculture industries. The New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot (NBCWP) is noted for its focus on helping immigrants settle in the province.

Families of LIMA-based work permit holders are now eligible to apply for Open Work Permits

To maximize the workforce in Canada, families of LMIA-based work permit holders are now eligible to apply for Open Work Permits (OWP). OWPs allow holders to work for any employer in most industries as opposed to an LMIA work permit. This provision will roll out in phases starting in January 2023. 

Express Entry to target occupations in 2023

On 23 June Bill C-19 was passed in both houses of parliament. The bill allows the immigration minister to create groups within the Express Entry pool, based on policy aims (like in-demand occupations), and issue invitations to apply (ITAs) to these groups.

Trends in 2023

-IRCC will seek to welcome newcomers to less populated provinces through the expansion of the Provincial Nominee Program, the NBCWP, and the strength of the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) 

-IRCC has already expressed its intent to pursue specific professions for immigration in 2023, amid record job vacancies. This includes physicians, wherein the people involved in the profession can get permanent residence

-In the midst of persistent labour shortages, and continued qualification of immigrants, IRCC has already made changes to this end. Among these are the new OWP eligibility for families of LMIA-based work permit holders, and new financial investment in immigrant accreditation for healthcare workers. 

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