Canada’s immigration system has witnessed several changes in 2022 as it prepares to welcome 1.45 million new immigrants by 2025.
Canada resumed Express Entry draws in July 2022 to address historic labor shortages across industrial sectors. The following are significant updates for Canada’s immigration system affecting trends in 2022 and beyond.
All-program Express Entry draws
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) resumed all-program Express Entry draws in 2022 after a long pause. Express Entry is Canada’s application management system covering major economic immigration pathways like the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
Canada lifts off-campus work restrictions
Effective November 15, 2022, international students in Canada can work off-campus for over 20 hours a week during academic sessions. The decision to allow students to work for an unlimited number of hours will benefit them to earn more to support their living expenses. It will also help address ongoing labor shortages in Canada. The relaxation will remain in force until December 31, 2023.
Occupations to be in focus for Express Entry selection in 2023
The passing of Bill C-19 in both houses of parliament enabled Canada’s immigration minister to target in-demand occupations by forming groups within the Express Entry pool for issuing Invitations to Apply (ITAs).
Relaxation for Work Permits
Canada aims to maximize the labor force by allowing families of LMIA-approved Work Permit holders to apply for Open Work permits. The policy to relax Open Work Permit criteria will help Canada reduce the record labor shortages. Canada is also allowing individuals on a visitor visa to apply for Work Permit if they receive a job offer while in Canada.
New Immigration Levels Plan
In November 2022, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced Canada’s new Immigration Levels Plan. It provides details of the immigration targets for three years, beginning in 2023. Canada targets to welcome over 500,000 new immigrants annually, by 2025.
Enhanced Express Entry Eligibility
Canada will focus on TEER Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities) codes while describing and classifying occupations. The changes to the 2021 National Occupation Classification (NOC) will add sixteen new occupations enhancing the Express Entry pathway.