Canadians from coast to coast celebrated this week as it was announced that the country had exceeded its record-breaking goal for admissions of permanent residents in 2022. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reported that Canada welcomed more than 437,000 people in 2022, and that it is the highest number seen since Confederation.
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser praised the milestone and stated, “Today marks an important milestone for Canada, setting a new record for newcomers welcomed in a single year. It is a testament to the strength and resilience of our country and its people. Newcomers play an essential role in filling labor shortages, bringing new perspectives and talents to our communities, and enriching our society as a whole that helps us build a more prosperous future for all Canadians.”
The news of the record-breaking numbers come as no surprise as Canada has been aiming to increase its immigration admission targets in recent years. The goal was set out by the Minister in the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025, which was released in November. It includes a target of 500,000 new permanent residents per year by 2025. Also, the government committed $50 million to IRCC for 2022-2023 in the Fall Economic Statement to address the ongoing backlog of applications, which stands at 1.09 million applications across all lines of business as of November 30, 2022. This investment helped IRCC to modernize their processes and increase the number of applications they can process, while also improving service standards.
Why Canada Needs Immigration
Canada’s population growth is heavily reliant on immigration. The nation currently has nearly one million job vacancies and is facing a skilled labor shortage due to its aging workforce. According to the 2021 census, immigrants account for 75% of Canada’s population growth as it has one of the world’s lowest birth rates at 1.4 children per woman.