TORONTO — Canada welcomed a record number of immigrants last year, hitting its target of 431,645 new permanent residents and exceeding 2021 numbers, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
For the next three years, targets will increase each year to help address labour shortages in various sectors. Specifically, the new goals are to bring in 465,000 new permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025.
“We know that our labour market, and even our population can’t grow without immigrants,” Anila Lee Yuen, president and CEO of the Centre for Newcomers in Calgary told CTV News. “At the start of the new year, the first day back [to] work, we’ve actually hired 16 new people that started [Tuesday] alone. That is not only for our Ukrainian community or Afghani community, but for all newcomers overall.”
However, delays in processing surged last year, with roughly 1.3 million applications taking longer to process than the government’s service standards, as of the end of July. In total, IRCC processed about 5.2 million applications – including for permanent residence, temporary residence and citizenship – in 2022, doubling the number from 2021.