As Canada continues to implement polices to address specific labor market needs and gaps, various immigration programs will welcome thousands of newcomers in 2023. The year is expected to be a transformative year for Canada’s immigration landscape. Changes to the Express Entry system, Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP), as well as working hours policies for international students, are all expected to impact how immigration programs facilitate an influx of people into the country.

The most recent census revealed that immigrants now make up their largest-ever share of Canada’s total population (23%), beating a record that had previously been set 100 years ago. Heading into 2023, the Canadian government seems steadfast in its continued commitment to immigration and welcoming newcomers to this country. The hope is that the heightened immigration will continue to help this country develop socially and economically, while also working to reunite families and assist vulnerable populations through Canada’s capacity for humanitarian aid. This article looks at how these developments may impact Canada’s economy and labor force in 2023 through the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP), changes to Express Entry, and an amendment to the off-campus work hours policy for international students.

2023 Immigration Outlook

Looking forward to 2023, the following is a general overview of what Canadian immigration may look like over the next calendar year.

Improved Client Experience

Since September 2022, the total application backlog at Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has decreased steadily. According to data provided to CIC News, IRCC has decreased its backlog by 400,000. It is projected that the IRCC application backlog will continue to decrease in 2023, as IRCC has committed to reducing processing times for applications submitted in 2021 and later years.

Additionally, IRCC has received $85 million in additional funding in the period to November 2022 and increased “front-line operations staff” by 2,521 employees. This staffing increase should help to reduce application times and improve the overall experience of IRCC clients in 2023. The hope, therefore, remains that these factors will continue positively impacting IRCC’s service standards and application backlog in 2023 and hence improve client experience.

Record Immigration Levels Plan Target for 2023

As part of their 2021 Budget, the Canadian government’s plan is to increase immigration levels to an all-time high in 2023 through the Immigration Levels Plan for 2023. This suggests that IRCC believes it can manage the backlog while also welcoming a high number of newcomers. The federal government’s plan is to welcome 465,000 immigrants in 2023; which is a significant increase from 2022’s record levels of 431,000 admissions.

By immigration category, the 2023 Immigration Levels Plan target of immigrant to Canada is broken down in to 82,880 in Express Entry category, a further 105,500 under Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), 28,500 as Parents and Grandparents, and 78,000 admitted under Spouses/Partners and Children category. By increasing immigration levels and providing more opportunities for newcomers to contribute to Canada’s economy, these programs should lead to a prosperous labor force and economic future in the country.

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