Five Things To Expect In 2022
It is being reported that Canada exceeded its 2021 immigration target by landing 405,303 new permanent residents by the end of last year. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 global health crisis, Canada was able to surpass its target of landing 401,000 new immigrants in 2021, by focusing on transitioning eligible temporary residents who were already in Canada, to permanent residents. The two main initiatives that were implemented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to land more permanent residents from within Canada were:
1. The issuing of Express Entry invitations only to candidates in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and to those with a Provincial Nomination.
2. The launch of six temporary immigration streams in May 2021, to land up to 90,000 essential workers and international graduates living in Canada
Notwithstanding the record number of new immigrants in 2021, the year was disappointing for many, as there were no Express Entry draws for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). Prior to the pandemic, the FSWP was the main program for new immigrants, of the three federal economic programs. Several individuals therefore, in the Federal Skilled Worker class, whose dreams of immigrating to Canada have been disrupted and put on hold because of the change in focus of IRCC, are still waiting to receive an Express Entry invitation, so they can submit their application for permanent residence.
What then can we expect in 2022?
In 2022, we expect that IRCC will continue to focus on landing eligible temporary residents who are already in Canada. However, with global travel restrictions expected to ease in 2022, it is also anticipated that we will see a return of Express Entry draws for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). This will result in an increase in immigration applications at IRCC.
Here are five things we can expect to see in the coming months.
1. Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024
The Minister of Immigration is expected to announce the government’s new Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024 in February. Under the existing Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023, the IRCC is targeting 411,000 new permanent residents this year. This target however, could be updated when Minister Sean Fraser announces the new plan.
The plan will outline Canada’s immigration targets over the next three years and the admission classes and programs they will be utilizing to achieve their objectives.
2. Introduction of more permanent residence pathways for temporary foreign workers and international students
One of the priorities that Minister Fraser and the IRCC has been tasked with is to create more permanent residence pathways for temporary foreign workers and international students. This priority was mentioned in the mandate letter that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser in December 2021, outlining Canada’s immigration priorities throughout the government’s tenure in office.
It is expected that the IRCC will implement new pathways to permanent residence, that will be favorable to temporary foreign workers and international graduates already living in Canada. We wait to see if these programs will be similar to the 6 temporary immigration streams that were launched in May 2021.
3. Modernization of the Canadian immigration system
IRCC is currently facing a backlog of more than 1.8 million people who have submitted an immigration application and are waiting for a decision. This includes citizenship applicants, temporary foreign workers, families, students, refugees, and visitors. In addition to this, there is expected to be an increase in immigration applications once the global travel restrictions begin to ease in the coming months.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tasked Minister Fraser and the IRCC with reducing processing times of immigration applications, including addressing delays that have been impacted by COVID-19. IRCC is therefore looking to improve its immigration system which includes improving its application processing system. IRCC is seeking to utilize digital processes as much as possible to minimize the need for paper processes. This could result in more efficient and faster application processing.
It is anticipated that more online immigration platforms will be launched this year, including the introduction of a new Permanent Residence Application Tracker in February for Family Class applications. This will allow applicants to see their application information and status online.
4. Waiving of Canadian citizenship application fees
This was a Liberal Party campaign promise during the 2019 election. However, the implementation has been delayed, it is assumed because of the pandemic. It has been identified by the Prime Minister as another priority for Minister Fraser and the IRCC to initiate during the government’s tenure in office.
This being a low hanging fruit and seemingly doesn’t require much to implement, it is expected that this initiative will be accomplished this year.
5. Pilot program to regularize the status of undocumented workers
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many temporary residents to Canada to lose their initial status and they are now working illegally in the country. Throughout the pandemic the government has introduced several temporary public policies aimed at regularizing visitors, international students, and temporary foreign workers. However, there is still a vast number of undocumented workers in Canada.
It is anticipated that a new temporary public policy will be launched in the coming months, to regularize the status of undocumented workers.
If you have questions about your immigration process, reach out to Reset Canada Immigration. We are an immigration consultancy that provides professional Canadian immigration services. We make our clients’ resettlement a reality by rendering professional services. We help them obtain Canadian citizenship, work visas, study visas, and temporary resident visas. We also offer super visas for clients. Our services are currently available to clients across Brampton, Toronto, Mississauga, Caledon, Guelph, London, Hamilton, Niagara, Barrie, Milton, Ajax, Oshawa, Pickering, and globally.