Canada Immigration

By 2025, Canada aims to Welcome 500,000 New Permanent Residents

By 2025, Canada aims to Welcome 500,000 New Permanent Residents

“Immigration is not something that we do in Canada—it’s who we are. It’s who we’ve always been. My family happened to arrive about 250 years ago, not 10 to 15 minutes from where I live today, on a vessel that came from Scotland to Nova Scotia. And, those stories of people coming for economic reasons, coming for humanitarian reasons, coming to be with loved ones, have helped build the country that we know and love so much today,” said the Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in Canada during a speech he delivered on December 2, 2022, in Edmonton, Alberta.

Fraser stated that Canada needs more people.

“We need more people for economic reasons. We need more people for demographic reasons. And, we need more people for social reasons. We’ve now seen many of the jobs that were lost during the pandemic recovered. Our GDP today is much higher than pre-pandemic levels, and this summer, the rate of unemployment in Canada hit an all-time low in our recorded history,” said the Canadian Minister.


“This summer, there were close to one million job vacancies in our economy. It’s essential to advance policies that address labour shortages.”

Minister Sean Fraser, Canada


“We also need people for demographic reasons,” said Fraser. Fifty years ago, there were 7 workers for every retiree in Canada.

“Today, that number is closer to 3, and 10 or 15 years from now, on our current trajectory, that number is going to be 2 if we don’t change the trajectory that we’re on. We’ve been advancing policies over the past year that are designed to help combat the labour shortage and attract workers to this country,” said the Minister.



Expanding the International Experience Canada

In December, Fraser met with operators in the tourism sector and the hospitality sector to announce an expansion of the International Experience Canada program, which is going to allow people under the age of 35, from 36 different countries, to come in much larger numbers.

“A 20% expansion will now allow close to 90,000 workers to come experience Canada and contribute to the economy,” said Fraser.


“We’re now seeking, by 2025, to welcome 500,000 new permanent residents to this country,”

Minister Sean Fraser, Canada


Immigration Expansions

    • Revisited the cap on the number of hours that international students can work.
    • Changed the rules for the Express Entry system to allow, for the first time, to be able to select economic migrants by the sector that’s facing the greatest challenges when it comes to the labour shortage, rather than having a simple, general draw.
    • Made new exceptions for physicians to take part in Canada’s immigration programs.
    • Expanded the number of occupations by adding 16 different categories of workers to become eligible to come through the federal Express Entry streams.
    • Made investments to boost processing, so workers are not just eligible to get here—they can get here more quickly.
    • Made policy decisions to expand the ability of those who are already in Canada to continue to work, including through automatic processes, in some instances, for programs such as the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program that’s now going to allow close to 93,000 people to stay and continue working in Canada after they’ve been educated in Canada.
    • Expanded open work permit eligibility for spouses and dependent children of principal applicants.



Opportunities for Temporary Residents

There are many people who come to Canada through temporary programs to fill gaps in the labor force. Whether they come as temporary foreign workers, under the International Mobility Program or the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, “there are hundreds of thousands of people here,” said Fraser.



Recognizing Family Sacrifices

“One of the components of some of these programs, that I don’t think a lot of Canadians appreciate, is that people who are coming here temporarily often make the decision to be apart from their families, so they can earn a livelihood and gain experience in Canada. And today, we’re making an announcement that will make it easier for employers to find workers and for families to remain together while they’re here,” announced Fraser last December.

Policy Changes

Canada announced in December the expansion of open work permit eligibility for spouses and dependent children of principal applicants who come through a variety of temporary programs.

“This is going to allow more than 200,000 workers who have family members in Canada—or who will be coming to Canada—to continue to be with their loved ones and work while they’re here to support themselves,” said Fraser.

This policy change is going to be implemented in 3 phases to allow people to continue to come and be with their families who are simply not amongst the highest-skilled professions.

The first phase will involve people who come through high-wage streams of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the International Mobility Program and the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.

The second phase will seek to expand, after consultations with provinces and territories, access to the same rules for people who come through lower-wage streams, so people who are here, making a contribution to Canada’s economy, don’t have to make the tough decision to be apart from their children or their spouse while they do it.

The third phase will allow Canada to potentially expand this program to include the families of agricultural workers. However, that requires serious consultation with the provinces and territories, as there are certain implications around requirements for housing and other services that are of mixed jurisdiction, and we want to make sure that we engage our partners to implement a policy that’s going to be workable for the long term.


“This policy change is going to have an incredible impact on our economy, allowing a couple hundred thousand workers to come and fill the gaps in the labour force. But, it’s also going to make our immigration system more compassionate by recognizing that a person who is here, making a contribution to our economy, deserves to be with their loved ones while they make that contribution.”

Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship


Thanking the Families who Contribute Greatly to Canada’s Economy

“We’re going to continue to create opportunities for more people to come to Canada to contribute to our economic well-being and to have our system become more compassionate at the same time,” announced Fraser.



Do You Qualify for Canadian Immigration?

What options are available?

In a preview of Canadian Immigration for 2023, Vimal Sivakumar of CIC News presented an updated overview of options for this year:

“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,” details Sivakumar.

“Canada hopes that 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,” writes Sivakumar.

Looking to 2023, CIC News offers a general overview of what Canadian immigration may look like this calendar year:

Reducing Application Backlog

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 their backlog by 400,000.

Sivakumar writes that IRCC has received $85 million in additional funding to “reduce application inventories” and has, between March 2019 and November 2022, increased “front-line operations staff” by 2,521 employees.

Immigration Levels Plan Target for 2023

CIC News provides the following breakdown by immigration category for 2023:

Canadian immigration pathways

Provincial Nominee Programs in 2023

The PNP is set to overtake Express Entry as Canada’s top immigration pathway, according to CIC News. PNPs are crucial to helping Canada address specific labour market needs that are becoming more prominent across the country.

Accordingly, 2023 is expected to see Canada welcome just under 23,000 more PNP immigrants than Express Entry candidates, details CIC News.

Express Entry in 2023

Express Entry is an online system that manages immigration applications from skilled workers. There are 3 immigration programs managed through Express Entry.


There are 2 ways to find out if you’re eligible for a program that is part of Express Entry:

If you’re eligible for one or more of the Express Entry programs and submit your profile, you’ll be ranked in the Express Entry pool using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

The CRS is a points-based system Canada uses to:

  • assess and score your profile and
  • rank it in the Express Entry pool

To be invited, you need to have a score above the minimum points score for your round of invitations.

If you decide to fill out a profile, you’ll need documents, such as language test results, to show you’re eligible for Express Entry.

Some documents take a long time to get, so you should get them ready early.

Your Express Entry profile is where you provide Canada information about yourself.

If you’re eligible, Canada will accept you into our pool of candidates and give you a CRS score.

Canada will send invitations to apply to the candidates with the highest scores in the pool. If  invited to apply, you’ll have 60 days to submit your application.

Canada will process the most complete applications that have all supporting documents in 6 months or less.

Targeted Express Entry

Further reinforcing Canada’s desire to address specific labour market needs and gaps, IRCC is expected to introduce ‘targeted’ Express Entry draws in 2023.

“These draws, instead of giving out Invitations to Apply (ITAs) based on a candidate’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, will target candidates who have specific occupational experience, language skills and/or educational backgrounds,” details Sivakumar.

More information on ‘targeted’ Express Entry draws is available here.

Parents and Grandparents Program in 2023

In 2023, Canada will remain committed to family reunification. This is evident in the popularity of Canada’s Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP). The PGP, combined with other immigration pathways such as the Super Visa, will look to welcome more than 28,000 newcomers next year according to Canada’s latest Immigration Levels Plan.

International Students in 2023

In October, IRCC announced an amendment to its off-campus work hours policy for international students in Canada.

From November 15, 2022, until the end of 2023, “international students who are in Canada and have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will be allowed to work over 20 hours per week off-campus while class is in session.”


By 2025, Canada aims to Welcome 500,000 New Permanent Residents
International students at work in Canada. Image Credit- Sean Fraser MP, Twitter.


This change will potentially allow over half of a million international students to work more hours while they attend their classes.


Immigrate to Canada by providing care for children, the elderly or those with medical needs, or work as a live-in caregiver.

Agri-Food Pilot

Immigrate by working in specific agri-food industries and occupations.

Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot

Immigrate through economic permanent residence pathways as an eligible skilled refugee


Immigrate as a refugee or become a sponsor.

Temporary resident to permanent resident pathway

The temporary resident to permanent resident pathway is a limited-time pathway to permanent residence. It is for certain temporary residents who are currently working in Canada and their families.

Atlantic Immigration Program

Immigrate by graduating from a school or working in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland and Labrador.


Immigrate as a self-employed person in cultural or athletic activities.

Start-up Visa

Immigrate by starting a business and creating jobs.

To Learn More

Canada Immigration & Citizenship

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

Express Entry Assessment 


Soledad Quartucci, PhD

Dr. Soledad Quartucci | Founder

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