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The top immigration developments of 2022

January 1, 2023

By CIC News

Canada’s immigration system saw many key developments in 2022, as the country dealt with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has continued to assess Canada’s economic and societal needs through immigration—yielding new and important developments changes this year, that may have great influence on the country’s immigration system in 2023.

The Immigration Levels Plan
Perhaps the most impactful announcement of the year was the immigration levels plan. On November 1st, IRCC announced its plan to welcome newcomers over the next three years. Canada will look to welcome over 1.45 million new immigrants between 2023 and 2025; through its economic, family, humanitarian, and refugee class streams.

In 2025. 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.

These are historic levels of immigration that have not been seen since the previous century. They also speak to the importance of immigration as a strategy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Express Entry all-program draws resume in 2022
This July saw the return of all-program Express Entry draws for the first time since December of 2020—a turning point in COVID recovery for Canada.

The Express Entry system encompasses the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Together these programs welcome huge numbers of economic immigrants annually.

International students able to work more than 20 hours a week
Starting November 15th, 2022, international students are temporarily able to work more than 20 hours a week during school sessions. This development marked a huge change from prior employment conditions for students, who previously had a ceiling of 20 hours a week in part time work, during academic semesters.

Now students can work an unlimited number of hours during academic semesters in part-time work off-campus, until December 31st, 2023. This change aimed to address historic labour shortages for Canada, especially in sectors that students regularly occupy (e.g: food services, retail, and hospitality sectors).

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