Detour to Canada

What Should You Expect from Canada’s Immigration Plans for 2022?

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In a letter addressed to Minister Fraser released last December 16, 2021, on the Prime Minister of Canada’s official website, PM Trudeau said: 

“As Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC), you will prioritize ongoing work to strengthen Canada’s immigration and refugee system, including bringing in more newcomers to all regions of Canada who will support Canada’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As aspiring immigrants, I’m sure you’re excited (or probably nervous) to know what will be the changes to Canada’s immigration plans for 2022.

Are they going to decrease the number of newcomers that they will welcome next year? Are they going to be stricter when it comes to the criteria? What about the pending permanent residency applications from 2021? What is the government’s plan for them?

Canada's Immigration Plans for 2022

While we can’t know the exact answers to these questions, we can get a glimpse of what the Government of Canada is committed to doing in 2022 when it comes to its immigration plans.

One thing is for sure though: Canada will continue to bring in more newcomers to Canada to support the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

But what exactly are their commitments? Here are some of them that aspiring immigrants like you would surely be interested to know about.

Disclaimer: I’m not an immigration expert and this article is not meant to substitute professional advice. This is based on the PM’s letter to IRCC’s Minister as posted in the Office of the Prime Minister’s official website that you can read here.

Parliament

Continue to bring newcomers to Canada to drive economic growth and recovery, as set out in the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan

Canada aims to welcome 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023. This is according to the Government of Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2021-2023 released by IRCC on October 30, 2020. This is clear evidence that Canada won’t stop bringing in more newcomers, so if you’re an aspiring immigrant, you have nothing to worry about. At least until 2023. 

Reduce application processing times, including addressing delays that have been impacted by COVID-19

If you’re among those affected by the application processing delays this year, this is great news. 

Before COVID-19, the processing time for Express Entry PR applications isn’t supposed to exceed 6 months. This means by the time you submit your complete application, you should get your PR visa within 6 months or less. In our case, we got ours after around 5 months (since the time we submitted my pending medical exam). 

This year, there have been applications that have taken more than 6 months already. Some are even waiting for almost a year now. And there’s still no clarity as to when they’ll ever going to get their PR application approval. 

Hopefully, 2022 will finally bear great news for those already waiting. 

Expand pathways to Permanent Residence for international students and temporary foreign workers through the Express Entry system

If taking the Student Pathway is something you’ve been considering for a while, this is another great piece of news. Canada plans to expand PR pathways for international student graduates and temporary foreign workers through Express Entry. 

This year, there was a temporary policy allowing international student graduates to apply directly for permanent residency without having one year of Canadian work experience. We’ve also seen in the previous Express Entry draws that IRCC has only been inviting applicants from the Canadian Experience Class and the Provincial Nominee Program this year. 

We don’t know yet if Canada plans to bring back the mentioned temporary policy next year, but we know one thing for sure: international student graduates would surely have higher chances of becoming Canadian permanent residents.

Ensure that immigration better supports small- and medium-size communities that require additional immigrants to enhance their economic growth and social vibrancy

Along with this commitment, Canada plans to expand the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), moving forward on the Municipal Nominee Program (MNP) and making the successful Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) a permanent program. 

For those who arent’s familiar with these pathways, RNIP and AIP are two temporary immigration programs for skilled workers who are willing to work and live in Canada’s Atlantic provinces (AIP) and rural communities (RNIP). Through these programs, you need a valid job offer from a company within the participating provinces and communities before you can apply directly for permanent residency.

And now, they’re adding another immigration program to fill labor gaps at the municipal level. There are still no final details but here’s what you might want to know about MNP.

Since Express Entry is getting more and more competitive, and taking the Student Pathway is expensive, these three programs could be your other options. As long as you’re willing to live in Canada’s less developed communities.

Other commitments to support family reunification and temporary foreign workers

On top of the commitments I already mentioned, Canada plans to introduce electronic applications for family reunification, and implement a program to issue temporary resident status to spouses and children abroad who are waiting for the processing of their permanent residency application. 

Canada also plans to simplify permit renewals, uphold the two-week processing time and establish an employer hotline to improve the Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Trudeau also said that Canada will continue to work with provinces, territories, and regulatory bodies to improve foreign credential recognition.

So, what should aspiring immigrants expect this 2022?

From what you’ve read, Canada is still eager to bring newcomers to the country. So if you’re planning to immigrate here, you have nothing to worry about yet. Or at least as long as they’re not changing their immigration plans. I’m not telling you to rush, but just keep in mind that plans are always subject to change. 

So if you’re ready to start your PR application, why wait for Canada to change their minds?

And another thing I want to highlight is that international student graduates will seem to have a double extra edge to become permanent residents next year. They already have an extra edge anyway especially those with Canadian work experience. But with Canada’s plan for 2022, it would seem that they can become a permanent resident faster than usual. 

Read: What You Should Know about the Student Pathway and How to Get Started

But whether or not you’ve already started your PR application, at least you’re confident that Canada won’t stop accepting immigrants yet. Which is what others are worried about. That seems to be far from the future, considering that Canada relies heavily on immigrants. 

However, since it’s been mentioned how Canada was hit by this pandemic, be aware that economists expect the inflation in the country to worsen next year. This means there’s a chance that newcomers who will arrive next year will be welcomed with a cost of living that’s higher than normal. Just be prepared for that. 

And now that you have an idea about Canada’s immigration plans for 2022, the question for you is.. what’s gonna be your plan?

Kevin and Kris

About the author:

JK Legaspi is a permanent resident of Canada since 2018. She and her family lives in the beautiful Niagara Region. As the founder of Detour To Canada, she aims to help aspiring and future immigrants reach their Canadian dreams by sharing her family’s own immigration and newcomer story. 

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