Canada reaches ‘historic’ milestone, welcomes ‘largest number’ of permanent residents in 2022

By Amanda Jerome

Law360 Canada (January 3, 2023, 12:24 PM EST) -- Canada welcomed the “largest number of people” in 2022, reaching a historic milestone with 431,645 new permanent residents.

“Today marks an important milestone for Canada, setting a new record for newcomers welcomed in a single year. It is a testament to the strength and resilience of our country and its people,” said Sean Fraser, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, in a statement issued Jan. 3.

“Newcomers play an essential role in filling labour shortages, bringing new perspectives and talents to our communities, and enriching our society as a whole. I am excited to see what the future holds and look forward to another historic year in 2023 as we continue to welcome newcomers,” he added.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser

According to a government release, Canada surpassed its “previous record” for permanent residents from 2021.

“Prior to setting a new record for admissions in 2021, the last time Canada welcomed such a large numbers of newcomers was in 1913,” the released explained, noting that this “incredible achievement would not have been possible without the employees of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), who continue to set the bar higher for processing.”

In 2022, the release explained, IRCC processed “approximately 5.2 million applications for permanent residence, temporary residence and citizenship,” which was “double the number of applications processed in 2021.”

“As we plan to continue to welcome historic numbers of newcomers, IRCC has added resources, embraced new technology, streamlined processing, and brought more processes online. These changes are all important improvements to Canada’s immigration system, which will position us well for the future. As the government of Canada focuses on addressing the acute labour market shortages we are facing today and building a strong economy into the future, one thing remains certain: immigration is a key part of the solution,” the release explained.

According to the release, immigration “accounts for almost 100 per cent of Canada’s labour force growth” with “roughly 75 per cent” of the country’s population growth coming from immigration.

“By 2036, immigrants will represent up to 30 per cent of Canada’s population, compared with 20.7 per cent in 2011,” the release added.

The release also noted that immigrants account for 36 per cent of Canada’s physicians, 33 per cent of business owners with paid staff, and 41 per cent of engineers.

The country’s “aging population means that the worker-to-retiree ratio is expected to shift from 7 to 1 50 years ago to 2 to 1 by 2035.”

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