2023 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration

For the period ending
December 31, 2022

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

ISSN 1706-3329

PDF Version (PDF, 2.3 MB)

Message from the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

As Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, I am pleased to present to Parliament the 2023 Annual Report on Immigration.

Thanks to our ongoing commitment to improving our client services in collaboration with other levels of government, Canada is better positioned to attract and retain skilled workers needed to sustain the economy and grow our communities. In 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) expanded our processing capacity with new tools, technologies and employees. In 2022, the Department processed approximately 5.2 million applications for permanent residence, temporary residence and citizenship. Increased processing has helped support employers and communities, and reunite families with thousands of spouses, children, parents and grandparents arriving last year. Over 437,000 new permanent residents, along with over 604,000 temporary workers, were admitted and helped to fill job vacancies in health care, the trades, and the technology sector, and helped rebalance our country’s aging population. Canada reached its target of 4.4% French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec in 2022, one year before our 2023 commitment. We also saw a record of over 16,300 new permanent French-speaking newcomers settling outside of Quebec, helping to sustain our linguistic and cultural communities.

As a world leader in responding to humanitarian crises, we made policy decisions to address the number of displaced individuals and refugees in the world. Working with our settlement partners across the country, we made significant progress on our commitment to resettle at least 40,000 Afghans, and by the close of 2022, we had reached the halfway mark by resettling over 19,700 people. In response to the aggression and illegal invasion of Ukraine by the Russian nuclear superpower, we stepped out of the box and launched the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel. More than 95,500 Ukrainian nationals and their families found safety in Canada in 2022.

Although Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada achieved many objectives in 2022, which includes reaching historic admission levels for permanent residents, there are still challenges. Through the Department’s modernization, which included adding new technologies, streamlining processes and improving policy, we have reduced backlogs stemming from restrictions during the pandemic. The Department implemented an online status tracker to provide better access to timely information for its clients. IRCC continues to enhance efficiency, support a better client experience, and boost productivity. Throughout the year, we collaborated closely with provincial, territorial and municipal counterparts and service delivery partners to establish a forward-looking and sustainable immigration system that anticipates the needs of the future.

It is important not to deny the reality that systemic racism exists within IRCC. Racism is real. We need to address these issues, and we don’t shy away from having tough and difficult conversations. IRCC continued to advance anti-racism initiatives and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. In July 2022, the Department launched its Anti-Racism Strategy 2.0 to continue to advance racial equity and inclusion for all clients and employees. IRCC increased the diversity of its front-line staff and executive teams. However, this is not enough. We know more needs to be done. We have to do better.

Moving forward, we will continue to work so that our immigration programs are aligned with the needs of employers and our labour market, as well as supporting newcomers and refugees in their transition to life in Canada. We aim to develop a comprehensive growth plan that addresses regional needs and prioritizes the capacity to support and serve newcomers, while seeking input from communities and Indigenous peoples. Our goal is to create an inclusive and welcoming Canada, foster strong sense of belonging for all newcomers, and maintain Canada’s position as a global leader in immigration and a destination of choice.

The Honourable Marc Miller, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Key highlights to immigration for Canada 2022

Key highlights to immigration for Canada 2022
  • IRCC funded more than 550 service provider organizations, and provided settlement services to more than 607,800 clients

Temporary Immigration

  • A total of 4,789,693 travel documents were issued to visitors, students and temporary workers
  • There was a total of 550,187 study permit holders
  • There was a total of 604,382 work permit holders under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, and the International Mobility Program

Permanent Immigration

  • 437,539 permanent residents were welcomed to Canada in 2022
  • 124,970 individuals who had a prior study or work permit transitioned to permanent residence across all streams
  • For the fourth year in a row, Canada was the top resettlement country in the world, welcoming over 46,528 refugees from over 80 countries in 2022

Canadian Citizenship

  • 364,166 permanent residents became Canadian citizens in 2022-23


The Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration is a requirement of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. It provides the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship with the opportunity to inform Parliament and Canadians of key highlights and related information on immigration to Canada. It also offers information on successes and challenges in welcoming newcomers to Canada.

This report sets out information and statistical details regarding temporary resident volumes and permanent resident admissions, and provides the planned number of upcoming permanent resident admissions. In addition, it outlines the efforts undertaken with provinces and territories in our shared responsibility of supporting immigration, highlights efforts to support and promote Francophone immigration, and includes an analysis of gender and diversity considerations in Canada’s approach to immigration.

The 2023 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration focuses on immigration results that were achieved in 2022, although publication takes place in the following calendar year to allow Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) the opportunity to finalize data from the preceding calendar year.

About the data in this report

Admissions data can be found in Annexes 2 and 3, as well as on the Government of Canada’s Open Government Portal.

Data in this report that were derived from IRCC sources may differ from those reported in other publications; these differences reflect typical adjustments to IRCC’s administrative data files over time. As the data in this report are taken from a single point in time, it is expected that there may be minor changes as additional information becomes available.

Canada’s approach to immigration

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) experienced a record year in 2022. The Department processed approximately 5.2 million applications for permanent residence, temporary residence, and citizenship — double the number processed in 2021. From August to December 2022, IRCC reduced its overall inventory by nearly half a million applications. The successes in reducing inventories and improving processing times were due to concerted efforts by IRCC to add resources, streamline processing, and harness automation technologies. These efficiencies yielded record admissions for both permanent and temporary residents. In 2022, Canada welcomed the largest number of permanent residents in Canadian history — over 437,000. Temporary immigration to Canada also experienced a high number of study permits, work permits, and visitor visas issued.

Immigration is essential for Canada, providing economic, social, and cultural benefits. Canada’s aging population means that the worker-to-retiree ratio is shifting, with an expected ratio of 2 to 1 by 2035, compared to the 7 to 1 ratio in 1975. Immigration accounts for almost 100% of labour force growth, and with continued immigration, it is projected to account for 100% of population growth by 2032. Footnote 1 Though the labour market remains tight, it is easing and economic immigration will continue to be a Government of Canada priority to help address the persistent labour shortages resulting from the aging population and lower fertility rates, including in critical sectors such as healthcare where immigrants account for 1 out of every 4 workers.

Canada continues to deliver and benefit from a strong immigration system, with significant and sustained growth in permanent resident admissions. Permanent immigration to Canada has important long-term benefits, as permanent residents and their families contribute to a skilled workforce over the long term, allowing hospitals, schools, transport and construction companies to increase their capacity to provide care, teach, provide transportation, and build infrastructure.There are also social and cultural benefits to permanent immigration, as it continues to be a key driver for a diverse and multicultural society in Canada, and to enhance the vitality of Francophone minority communities across the country.

Setting ambitions for immigration is done through the Immigration Levels Plan, which sets out targets for permanent resident admissions. However, it is important to note that a growing number of immigrants who are granted permanent residence are already in Canada as temporary residents and have found accommodations and entered the labour market, or are contributing to the economy and society in other ways. Overall, immigration remains a positive contributor to economic growth and IRCC continues to work with partners, including provinces and territories, to strike the right balance in determining immigration levels.

While population growth through immigration increases demand for housing, infrastructure and services, it also contributes to the supply of labour in critical areas, including construction. As such, it is also part of the solution as we welcome newcomers with backgrounds in the skilled trades and construction. In fact, IRCC creates space in the Immigration Levels Plan for workers who can help increase available infrastructure, with targeted selection of carpenters, contractors, plumbers and other skilled trades workers for permanent immigration.  

At the same time, regional economic immigration programs can be leveraged to help fill labour shortages in specified areas, while also encouraging newcomers to settle outside of bigger cities that may not have the capacity to optimally absorb new residents. The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows provinces and territories to responsively adapt their program streams to meet evolving labour needs that arise in their respective jurisdictions, such as the health-care sector. Similarly, the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) allows the Atlantic provinces to prioritize sectors with immediate labour market needs. The AIP was designed with the needs of key sectors in mind and has flexibilities that allow it to respond to critical labour market needs. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is a community-driven program launched by IRCC in 2019. The RNIP has helped participating communities attract and retain newcomers to address labour shortages in key sectors.

A strong immigration system supports Canada’s international humanitarian obligations. It provides the flexibility to respond to global humanitarian crises and help people experiencing vulnerability in need, as seen in Afghanistan and Ukraine. Canada’s settlement and resettlement supports are an important part of the immigration system by helping newcomers overcome barriers and integrate into Canadian society as well as the labour market. To ensure a strong immigration system, IRCC works with a range of civil society partners and other orders of government to support the ongoing delivery of settlement services to newcomers and support their integration into the labour market.

Temporary residents contribute economically and socially to Canada, where they continue to fill essential short-term labour vacancies in sales, services, trades, and manufacturing, as well as bolster social and cultural benefits to Canadian society. Temporary immigration accounts for visitors, who contribute to the resurgence of the post-COVID tourism economy in Canada. International students make a significant contribution to the Canadian economy, with an estimated contribution of $15.4 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product in 2020.Footnote 2 Notably, many temporary residents transition to permanent residence after having gained education and/or work experience in Canada.

IRCC recognizes the challenges that the creation of Canada’s international borders have placed on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. IRCC and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are co-leading an Action Plan Measure under the United Nations Declaration Act Action Plan, as well as working in close collaboration with other government departments, to pursue legislative amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). This includes amendments to relevant Regulations and revisions to policies in order to address complex border crossing and migration challenges faced by Indigenous peoples divided by Canada's international borders, including options to amend Canada’s right of entry provision, and work and study permit requirements.

In 2022, Canada continued to provide leadership on global migration and international refugee protection issues. Canada actively engaged bilaterally with other countries, and multilaterally with international partners and organizations, to collaborate on a range of migration and refugee protection issues.

Anti-Racism Strategy and Gender-Based Analysis Plus, as part of a fair and well-managed immigration system

  • IRCC prioritizes addressing the right to fair and impartial decision-making within its policies, programs, and practices.
  • IRCC’s Anti-Racism Strategy provides a roadmap to maximize the benefits of IRCC’s programs to Canadians and newcomers by ensuring IRCC’s policies, programs, service delivery, and people management are fair, equitable, and culturally sensitive.
  • This was complemented by an Anti-Racism survey for additional insight into how to increase efficiency and address racism for clients and employees.
  • The Government of Canada’s Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) approach is an essential requirement in all of IRCC’s immigration programs. GBA Plus assesses how policies, programs, and initiatives affect clients and employees, which includes identifying potential systemic inequities and intersecting forms of discrimination.

Significant, sustained growth and record admissions in 2022

In 2022, Canada welcomed a record number of permanent residents (437,539, against a target of 431,645 admissions). This milestone follows an earlier record-setting year in 2021, in which IRCC sought to recover from the loss of admissions in 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to labour market shortages and post-pandemic economic recovery, 58.4% of permanent resident admissions in 2022 were admitted under economic categories. This included regional economic programs like the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, Provincial Nominee Program, and Atlantic Immigration Program, which help spread the benefits of immigration to regions across Canada. Of all 2022 economic admissions, 45% came under regional programs. These efforts combined to help address labour market shortages.

In addition to these economic immigration achievements, Canada continued to uphold its international humanitarian commitments, including responses to crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine, as well as facilitating family reunification. Furthermore, in 2022, IRCC admitted the highest-ever number of French-speaking immigrants to Canada outside of Quebec (over 16,300). This allowed the Department to reach the 4.4% Francophone immigration target one year ahead of the 2023 deadline, supporting the vitality of Francophone linguistic minority communities in Canada.

Immigration success stories: bringing some relief to a long-term care home

Many long-term care and retirement homes in Newfoundland and Labrador are struggling to fill jobs, but Chancellor Park, in St. John’s, has been successfully hiring internationally educated nurses. The home struck gold when it found Dilruba Hussaini, a young nurse from Afghanistan who was living as a refugee with her family in India. Dilruba’s international training qualified her to work at Chancellor Park as a personal care attendant.

Seniors throughout Canada who need long-term care are facing waitlists because many homes are short-staffed. In summer 2022, CBC reported that Newfoundland and Labrador had more than 600 vacant nurse positions and 900 nurses approaching retirement. The situation was so dire that the province offered incentives to recruit and retain nurses, from signing bonuses to double-rate overtime and more.

“Dilruba is a well-educated, articulate, enthusiastic caregiver who has proven to be an effective and motivated employee,”notes Beverley Parsons who oversees staffing at Chancellor Park. She says that COVID-19 made it even harder to find workers.

“Many people decided to retire during the pandemic,” she says. “There just aren’t enough young people with the education and skills needed to replace them.”

Chancellor Park found Dilruba through the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot. The pilot helps skilled refugees immigrate to Canada and gives employers access to qualified candidates to fill job openings.

Strategic immigration review

In 20 years, immigrants are likely to represent one third of Canada’s total population. And, even sooner, immigrants may account for 100% of the growth of our labour force. In the face of these changes, Canada needs to consider what the future holds and how we best position ourselves to respond to new challenges and opportunities in order to remain a global leader in immigration. To help meet these challenges, a strategic review of Canada’s immigration system was announced in Budget 2022. While work continues to address current immigration challenges and opportunities, there have been changes in Canada and around the world that suggest a deeper review is needed to position Canada for the future. These challenges include, but are not limited to, growing numbers of temporary residents, permanent residents, and those seeking asylum; responding to many complex humanitarian crises; and applying lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this context, in February 2023, the Department launched a broad-based engagement, policy, and research strategic immigration review with the goal of positioning Canada’s immigration system for the future. The review, entitled “An immigration system for Canada’s future: Strengthening our communities”, provided various opportunities for partners and stakeholders to express their views, including regional roundtables, focused sessions in key areas of interest, and an online survey. Overall, over 17,500 clients, individuals, and representatives from business, academic, and settlement organizations contributed their perspectives on how to leverage the benefits of immigration to Canadians while also rising to humanitarian challenges and offering an exceptional experience to newcomers and visitors.

Whole-of-Government effort

Canada is recognized internationally as a leader in managed migration. At the same time, the context for immigration has evolved in recent years, especially over the course of 2022. The rising costs of goods, evolving housing pressures, supply chain disruptions, and increased pressure on health-care systems, are challenges felt by Canadians and newcomers alike. Concurrently, in 2022, unemployment levels dipped and job vacancies increased across many sectors, leading to an increased demand for new workers, especially within certain areas such as the health sector. These issues are complex, and will require creative solutions and expertise across all levels of government.

While immigration contributes to the supply of labour, alleviates demographic pressures, and provides social and cultural benefits, it also creates demand for infrastructure and services. With significant and sustained growth in planned notional immigration levels, success for newcomers and all Canadians means working collaboratively with other federal departments, provinces and territories, communities and municipalities, Indigenous communities, the private sector, and stakeholders. By building on existing strengths within Canada’s managed migration processes and opening up the dialogue to more partners, IRCC is committed to continue building a stronger immigration system for the future to better address some of the key issues our country is facing.

IRCC collaborates with key government partners in the delivery of its mandate, including:

These partners are essential to the successful administration of immigration programs, including security screening, health and safety, and other enforcement activities that are critical to maintaining the integrity of the asylum and immigration system and keeping Canadians safe.

Immigration success stories: breathing new life into Charlottetown’s dance scene

Polina Salabay’s zest for movement is shaking up the dance scene in Charlottetown.

Polina and her mother arrived in Canada in the spring of 2022. They were escaping the war in Ukraine and joined Polina’s sister, who had moved to Charlottetown a few years before. But soon after settling in, Polina began to feel a familiar restless energy.

Despite her full-time job as a recruiter for an architectural company, she was missing the busy schedule she had juggled in Ukraine. Polina had spent most of her life there dancing, first as a student and then as a choreographer and instructor.

Polina looked for volunteer opportunities at dance studios in Charlottetown. When she came across DownStreet Dance, she felt an instant connection with the studio’s owners. They didn’t have classes for children, so it was the perfect fit.

Starting out as a volunteer teacher, she quickly built a small following, and with some help from DownStreet, she set up her own dance company. She named it Polli’s Dance, combining her own name, in a format that Canadian children can pronounce easily, with “polis” (the end of the word “metropolis”) to hint at big-city excitement.

Laura Weatherbie is the board chair of Two Right Feet Dance Inc., the non-profit organization that operates DownStreet Dance. She says that enthusiasm and warmth are Polina’s calling cards, and children “just take to her.” Polina also brought new dance options to Charlottetown with her hip-hop style. But what most impresses Laura is Polina’s drive and determination.

“She’s really proactive and energetic,” says Laura. “I admire her entrepreneurial spirit and resolve, especially considering all she’s been through. She hardly needed our support! It was like we were just following behind her.”

As for future plans, she dreams of growing her dance business—and it won’t take her long, based on the high-energy way she blazed into Charlottetown.

“Every season, more people will see the results of my work, and it will grow and grow,” she says confidently.

Permanent residents

Regional economic programs are playing an increasing role in annual admissions, and help realize the benefits of immigration across Canada. The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) provides provinces and territories with the means to address their economic development needs, and the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) is a pathway to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers and international graduates from educational institutions in Atlantic Canada who want to remain in the region. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is a five-year immigration pilot designed to help bring new skilled worker immigrants to smaller communities, with aging populations and labour shortages, which struggle to attract and retain new immigrants. Express Entry is an online system that we use to manage immigration applications from skilled workers. There are three immigration programs managed through Express Entry, including the Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program, and Federal Skilled Trades Program.

In June 2022, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) was amended to authorize category-based selection in the Express Entry system for launch the following year. This new tool expands selection flexibility, enabling IRCC to issue invitations to certain candidates to meet specified economic priorities and objectives. Categories were informed by labour market data and a consultation process with provincial and territorial partners and stakeholders that took place in 2022. They focus on the priorities of helping to address structural labour market shortages and positioning Canada for the future, as well as supporting labour market needs for French-speaking and bilingual individuals and economic growth in Francophone minority communities outside Quebec.

IRCC implemented the National Occupational Classification update (NOC 2021) in November 2022. This major revision, led by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Statistics Canada, introduced a new numbering system and classification methodology for occupations in Canada. Usage of the NOC 2021 is diffused across IRCC’s programs. Its implementation has helped accurately identify labour needs, clarifies which skills and qualifications are needed to perform Canadian jobs, brings IRCC’s administrative data into alignment with ESDC and Statistics Canada data, and supports the growth of permanent and temporary residence admissions, which are key strategic goals for IRCC.


The in-Canada asylum system dealt with historic and unprecedented volumes of asylum claims, in the amount of 91,710, in 2022. Given the large numbers of claimants crossing into Canada irregularly between official ports of entry, primarily through Roxham Road near Lacolle, Quebec, the Government of Canada worked with provinces to provide interim housing and social supports to those in need. To address delays in issuing work permits, IRCC implemented a temporary public policy in November 2022 to streamline the eligibility process. As a result, 63,255 work permits were approved between November 16, 2022 and June 30, 2023. This alleviated some of the pressures on provincial social and health services and IRCC-provided accommodations.

Temporary residents

To help fight Canada’s broad-based labour shortage, IRCC introduced several temporary public policies in 2022 in recognition of the tremendous social, cultural, and economic benefits that international students bring to Canada. On October 7, 2022, the Department announced it would temporarily lift the 20-hour restriction for off-campus work for eligible international students who applied for a study permit on or before that date. The temporary measure is in place from November 15, 2022 until December 31, 2023.

In addition to facilitating labour retention for Canada’s economy, this temporary public policy also provides an opportunity for eligible students to gain valuable workplace experience while they study and make connections with employers, increasing their likelihood of gaining employment after graduation. Increased work hours can also help international students offset incidental costs they may face during their stay. IRCC is working with provinces and territories to assess the impacts of this temporary public policy before it expires.

In 2022, IRCC also announced a new temporary public policy that provided an opportunity for foreign nationals with post-graduation work permits expiring between September 20, 2021 and December 31, 2022 to apply for an additional 18-month open work permit. This temporary public policy was designed to help address labour shortages during Canada’s economic recovery while also providing this pool of international graduates with an opportunity to gain additional Canadian work experience that could support a future application for permanent residence.

Transforming digital service delivery

Transforming digital service delivery
  • IRCC is on a multi-year journey to re-design how we deliver service to our clients. To support this transformation, in 2022 IRCC launched the Digital Platform Modernization (DPM) programme, a multi-year initiative that will gradually transform the client experience though new business processes and capabilities underpinned by new enterprise-wide digital technology.
  • In the interim to full transformation, IRCC continues to take a number of innovative approaches to manage high application volumes, improve service delivery and enhance the client experience. These include triaging client emails to enable faster replies, automating positive eligibility determinations, and using digital tools.
  • Asylum claimants can now initiate a claim for refugee protection inside Canada by using the IRCC Portal to complete their application for protection and submit documentation online. This portal is integrated with Global Case Management System (GCMS), which allows for increased efficiency by rendering the intake process mostly paperless and decreasing manual data entry.

To advance this initiative, in 2023 IRCC developed a blueprint for its future state service design and worked with industry to finalize requirements for a new Case Management Platform, which will eventually replace the existing GCMS. IRCC procured and began configuring its new Client Experience Platform, which will transform how clients interact with the Department. This new client experience is anticipated to begin rolling out to a subset of clients by the end of 2023.

Digital and service improvements

In the interim to full transformation, IRCC continues to take a number of innovative approaches to manage high application volumes, improve service delivery, and enhance the client experience. In 2022, to respond to delays in processing, the Prime Minister announced the creation of a new task force to improve government services, with a focus on reducing wait times for Canadians. The task force, a Committee of Cabinet ministers, will review service delivery, identify gaps and areas for improvement, and make recommendations.Footnote 3

In January 2022, IRCC expanded the use of advanced analytics for streamlined triaging of all temporary resident visa (TRV) applications submitted from outside of Canada and making automated positive eligibility determinations on some applications.

As of September 2022, asylum claimants can now initiate a claim for refugee protection inside Canada by using the IRCC Portal to complete their application for protection and submit documentation online. The portal allows for increased efficiency by rendering the intake process mostly paperless and decreasing manual data entry.

The interdepartmental Nova-GCSM interface was also implemented in 2022 to facilitate communication between IRCC, Canada Border Services Agency and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. This innovation allows all three partner organizations to securely, accurately and efficiently share documentation and information regarding asylum cases.

By leveraging technology, IRCC is able to realize processing efficiencies and direct officer resources toward more complex or sensitive applications. Furthermore, IRCC met its commitment to hire 1,250 employees by fall 2022 to increase processing capacity and will continue its hiring efforts throughout 2023.

Responding to world crises: Afghanistan and Ukraine

Resettlement of Afghanistan refugees

Afghan Resettlement Initiative

IRCC is committed to facilitating the safe passage and resettlement of vulnerable people from Afghanistan, with an emphasis on individuals who supported Canada and our allies over the past two decades, women, LGBTQ2+ people, human rights defenders, journalists and members of religious and ethnic minorities. IRCC is on track to resettle at least 40,000 vulnerable Afghans by the end of 2023.

A total of 19,702 Afghans resettled in 145 communities (including Quebec) across Canada in 2022.

Special Immigration Measures: Those with a significant and/or enduring relationship with the Government of Canada.

  • 5,778 arrived in Canada.

Extended Family Members: Extended family members of formerly resettled interpreters in Canada under 2009 and 2012 public policies.

  • 1,048 arrived in Canada.

Humanitarian Program: Vulnerable Afghan nationals, with an emphasis on women, LGBTQ2+ people, human rights defenders, journalists and members of ethnic and religious minorities

  • 12,876 arrived in Canada.

Settlement Services

  • All Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) are eligible for temporary accommodations and support security permanent accommodations, as well as Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) income support
  • All Extended Family Public Policy (EFPP) clients are eligible for Port of Entry services and a lump sum payment of income support equivalent to three months of RAP income support while their anchor relatives assist them with seeking permanent accommodations.

The Government of Canada is on track to resettle at least 40,000 vulnerable Afghans by the end of 2023, which is one of the largest resettlement goals in the world. Over half of this commitment focuses on those who assisted Canada, including 18,000 spaces for the Special Immigration Measures program for Afghan nationals and their families who closely assisted the Government of Canada, as well as 5,000 spaces for the extended family members of Afghan interpreters who came to Canada under earlier programs.

The Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot helps skilled refugees and other displaced people immigrate to Canada. IRCC has also introduced a pathway to permanent residence for extended family members of former Language and Cultural Advisors in Canada who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents and were employed by the Department of National Defence in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021.

The remainder of the spaces under this commitment focus on resettlement through the humanitarian stream, which includes both GARs and privately sponsored refugees, including women leaders, human rights defenders, persecuted religious and ethnic minorities, LGBTQI+ people, and journalists.

Throughout 2022, Canada leveraged diplomatic co-operation with partners in the region and like-minded countries, as well as partnerships with the United Nations Refugee Agency, the International Organization for Migration, and other non-governmental organizations to help facilitate the safe passage of IRCC’s Afghan clients in Afghanistan. In 2022, IRCC also facilitated 36 charter flights for Afghan clients from Pakistan, Tajikistan, and the United Arab Emirates, and optimized commercial options from multiple locations.

In 2022–23, $17M was invested to provide immediate and essential services to clients through the RAP.Footnote 4 In addition, IRCC added new RAP service providers in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick, expanding the program to 44 communities across Canada. Extending the resettlement community footprint to include smaller and more remote communities may help to alleviate pressures under increased volumes of GARs arrivals, and provide better support for client settlement and integration, accounting for cost-of-living considerations.

Eligible Afghan newcomers, including GARs, can access a wide range of diverse settlement services such as:

In addition to general settlement services, there are specific activities across the country that target the complex needs of Afghan clients, including employment services for Afghan women.

Support for individuals fleeing the war in Ukraine

Canada Expands Settlement Support for Ukrainians Coming to Canada
  • IRCC mobilized quickly to deliver a multi-pronged immigration response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including special immigration and support measures for an accelerated temporary residence pathway under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET).
  • More than 95,500 CUAET holders arrived in Canada in 2022, in addition to over 13,700 approved in-Canada applicants.
  • The Department provided three charter flights to facilitate travel to Canada.
  • Canada’s response also included the provision of a one-time transitional support payment through the Canada-Ukraine Transitional Assistance Initiative (CUTAI) to help eligible CUAET holders meet their basic needs upon arrival in Canada and temporary emergency accommodations for up to 14 days.
  • As of December 31, 2022, close to 5,900 individuals received federally-funded accommodations of up to 14 nights.
  • As of December 31, 2022, over 98,400 CUAET holders were approved for payments under the CUTAI, for a total payout of $259M.

IRCC mobilized quickly to deliver a multi-pronged immigration response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including special immigration and support measures for an accelerated temporary residence pathway. On March 17, 2022, Canada implemented the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) suite of measures. Under the CUAET, Ukrainians and their family members could apply for free from anywhere in the world and benefit from streamlined processing. There was no limit to the number of individuals who could apply. Ukrainians and their family members who arrive in Canada by March 31, 2024 can stay in Canada for up to three years, with options to work or study. From the launch of the CUAET on March 17, 2022 to the end of December 2022, Canada received more than 761,000 overseas CUAET applications and more than 13,700 in-Canada applications. More than 95,500 CUAET holders arrived in Canada in 2022.

IRCC helped facilitate the arrival of nearly 1,000 Ukrainians and their family members to Canada on three charter flights, to Winnipeg on May 23, 2022, Montreal on May 29, 2022, and Halifax on June 2, 2022.Footnote 5 Footnote 6 Footnote 7

As of June 2, 2022 IRCC, in partnership with ESDC/Service Canada, has been providing one-time payments of transitional financial assistance to eligible CUAET holders under the Canada-Ukraine Transitional Assistance Initiative (CUTAI). The benefit consists of a direct one-time payment of $3,000 per adult and $1,500 per child under 18. As of December 31, 2022, over 98,400 CUAET holders were approved for payments under the CUTAI, for a total payout of $259M.

The Department is collaborating with partners to continue offering up to 14 nights of emergency temporary accommodations for CUAET arrivals who enter Canada without planned accommodations or who are in greatest need. As of December 31, 2022, close to 5,900 individuals received federally funded accommodations of up to 14 nights. In addition, over 5,800 individuals (2,819 households) were supported with emergency accommodations through the Canadian Red Cross contract.

Ukrainians and their family members are eligible for time-limited access to IRCC Settlement Program services normally only available to permanent residents. Key services available to Ukrainians as they settle into their new communities include:

Dedicated service channels (web, email, phone) were activated to provide clients with the most up-to-date information regarding settlement services in Canada. Additionally, IRCC leveraged existing automation functions to support streamlined processing for this caseload.

IRCC is actively working with provinces and territories and settlement organizations across the country to support Ukrainians and their family members arriving in Canadian communities. Operation Ukraine Safe Haven, established in March 2022, is a national initiative linking key stakeholders involved with supporting individuals fleeing the war in Ukraine, providing a single point of engagement focused on mobilizing and coordinating the response.

In 2022, IRCC continued to provide a flexible and tailored approach to meet the unique needs of clients fleeing the war in Ukraine. In April 2022, access to federally funded settlement services was expanded to Ukrainian and CUAET clients. Between April 2022 and March 2023, over 74,400 unique Ukrainian and CUAET clients accessed at least one federally funded settlement service.

The 2024–2026 Immigration Levels Plan

Under IRPA , IRCC is required to table its Immigration Levels Plan by November 1, with exceptions to tabling dates in the case of election years. The Immigration Levels Plan is in alignment with IRPA objectives of ensuring immigration contributes to economic growth, supporting global humanitarian efforts, and delivering on long-term benefits to Canada, while ensuring a well-managed system that maintains public confidence.

The 2024–2026 Immigration Levels Plan continues to support key objectives while seeking to balance a continued economic focus, support regionalization, and promote an agile and responsive skilled migration system. It does this while also responding to multiple major humanitarian crises (e.g., Afghanistan, Ukraine) and sustaining commitment to family reunification. With the global context rapidly shifting (e.g., increasing extreme weather events, inequality, conflict, and instability around the globe), Canadian labour markets evolving, demographic decline, supply chain disruptions, and pressures on infrastructure increasing, success of the immigration system relies on collaboration across all levels of government. It is a whole-of-society endeavour. Immigration growth must be carefully calibrated with available reception capacity. In recognition of that significant expanded collaboration, efforts were pursued to inform this plan.

Temporary resident programs and volumes

Temporary residents

A temporary resident is a foreign national who is legally authorized to enter Canada for temporary purposes. A foreign national has temporary resident status when they have been found to meet the requirements of the legislation to enter and/or remain in Canada as a visitor, student, worker, or temporary resident permit holder. Only foreign nationals physically in Canada hold temporary resident status.Footnote 8 Temporary residents coming to Canada must receive either a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) from IRCC before departure to Canada, with few exceptions (notably U.S. passport holders).

Numbers of eTAs and TRVs

In 2022, 2,866,545 eTAs and 1,923,148 TRVs were issued. The low number results from decreased travel and visitor trends due to COVID-19 and other factors.

Year 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
eTAs 4,125,909 4,077,471 648,789 813,306 2,866,545
TRVs 1,898,324 1,696,871 257,330 654,027 1,923,148

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 and 2020, visitor trends declined. In 2022, visitor trends increased, with 2,866,545 eTAs and 1,923,148 TRVs issued. More people, from countries all around the world, are applying to come to Canada each year. As a result, the number of eTAs and TRVs issued increases proportionally to meet entry requirements. The resurgence of visitor numbers is essential post-COVID as visitors contribute to Canadian society in economic, social and cultural ways. For example, visitor spending creates jobs across the country, supports Canada’s air industry, and benefits all levels of government. Tourists improve our culture by visiting friends and family, ultimately enriching the lives of both visitors and Canadians alike.

International students

In 2022, IRCC saw an unprecedented volume of applications received for both initial study permits (including those under the Student Direct Stream) and study permit extensions. In 2022, there was a total of 550,187 study permit holdersFootnote 9 compared to 445,776 in 2021, which is an increase of 23%.

International students make immense economic, cultural, and social contributions to Canada. IRCC implemented several temporary facilitation measures in 2022 to enable international students to support Canada’s economic recovery from the pandemic, including:

International Students – Study Permit Holders

In 2022, there was a total of 550,187 study permit holders.

Year 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Study permit holders 354,784 402,427 256,740 445,776 550,187

Temporary foreign workers

Temporary foreign workers help respond to labour market needs by bringing in global talent to fill labour shortages and skills gaps, enabling Canada’s economy to remain competitive. Workers coming under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and International Mobility Program (IMP) play an important role in many sectors of the Canadian economy, including but not limited to agriculture, food processing and health care.

The TFWP is jointly administered by ESDC, which processes the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), and IRCC, which is responsible for issuing work permits. The IMP is administered solely by IRCC, and facilitates the entry of workers to support Canada’s broader economic, social, and cultural objectives or reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians or permanent residents. Eligible applicants under the IMP are LMIA exempt.

The Department facilitates the entry of foreign nationals who seek temporary work in Canada. There was a total of 604,382 work permit holdersFootnote 10 in 2022. Many workers choose to remain in Canada, and in 2022, 105,235 foreign nationals who had previously held a work permit transitioned to permanent residency.

IRCC also worked with ESDC to continue efforts to enhance worker protections, in particular by consulting publicly on proposed new requirements for employers that would reduce the vulnerability of temporary workers, such as by prohibiting employers from charging recruitment fees to workers. In September 2022, the new regulatory measures came into force, protecting temporary foreign workers and helping to prevent mistreatment and abuse. The 13 new regulatory amendments include measures to strengthen protections for temporary foreign workers and will enhance the integrity of the TFWP and the IMP.

Extension of the visitor‑to‑worker public policy

During the pandemic, IRCC introduced a number of facilitation measures to support employers and workers alike, including the public policy to allow visitors to apply for a work permit from within Canada. The Department implemented this measure in August 2020 to support temporary residents in Canada who could not leave the country due to border restrictions. IRCC extended the visitor‑to‑worker public policy in 2022 until February 2025 to allow foreign nationals to more quickly assume new roles within the Canadian labour market.

Temporary immigration in Quebec

International Mobility Program Plus

In May 2022, IRCC, in collaboration with the Quebec Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), launched the International Mobility Program Plus Open Work Permit stream. This stream provides access to open work permits to persons residing outside of Quebec who have been issued a Certificat de sélection du Québec. The intent for this stream is to encourage these individuals to enter Quebec, find employment, and begin to integrate into the province, either before or while they are waiting for a final decision on their permanent residence application. IRCC launched this stream following negotiations and collaboration with the province of Quebec, with over 2,000 applications received in 2022.

Temporary Foreign Workers – Work Permit Holders

In 2022, there was a total of 135,818 permit holders through the TFW Program. Under the IMP, there was a total of 470,033 work permit holders.

Year 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
IMP 253,456 305,807 242,130 313,294 470,033
TFW 84,004 98,062 84,609 103,552 135,818

Global Skills Strategy

The Global Skills Strategy (GSS) was launched in June 2017 to provide companies with access to top global talent by getting highly skilled workers into Canada faster. Between its launch and the end of December 2022, there were more than 92,400 foreign national who held a work permit for highly skilled workers in occupations such as computer programming, information system analysis, and software engineering.

More workers decided to stay in Canada. Since its launch in 2017, more than 24,500 GSS work permit holders later transitioned to permanent status.

The GSS continues to play an important role in supporting Canadian companies. The Dedicated Service Channel assists companies making significant investments in Canada where eligible companies are matched with account managers who can answer employer questions and help them make the most of Canada’s immigration programs.

Open Work Permit for Family Members of Temporary Foreign Workers

In December 2022, a temporary measure was announced to expand access to open work permits to family members of more temporary foreign workers in Canada to mitigate the challenges of family separation, as well as support the labour market.

Permanent immigration to Canada

GBA Plus Spotlight

Gender disaggregation of data concerning the total number of admissions for principal applicants and accompanying individuals within each economic immigration program shows that a total of 121,394 women and 134,265 men were admitted through the economic class in 2022; this represents a 5% increase in women, and a 2% decrease in men compared to 2021 admissions.

Economic immigration

The economic immigration class is the largest source of permanent resident admissions to Canada, at approximately 58.4% of all admissions in 2022, which is consistent with the trend observed over the past four years. In 2022, the number of individuals admitted to Canada under the economic class totalled 255,660, which includes accompanying immediate family (spouses and dependents) of the main applicant. The economic class of immigrants is a critical component for meeting Canada’s economic objectives, including labour force growth, meeting labour market needs, and increased productivity. Canada offers several permanent residence pathways through which people can apply to address diverse national, regional, and sectoral economic demands, including in relation to critical jobs, such as nurses and construction workers.

Economic Immigration – Principal applicants and their spouses and/or dependants
Year 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Economic Immigration - Principal applicants and their spouses and/or dependants 186,366 196,658 106,422 252,971 255,660

Federal economic immigration programs

In 2022, 70,176, new permanent residents were admitted through Canada’s federal economic class programs — the Canadian Experience ClassFederal Skilled Worker Class, and Federal Skilled Trades Class — where the majority are managed through Express Entry (EE). EE is the application management system, used since 2015, for selecting candidates in the federal skilled worker programs by ranking candidates based on factors such as skilled work experience, education, arranged employment, and official language proficiency.

In 2022, the primary occupations of candidates invited through EE were concentrated in National Occupation Classification’s (NOC) Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) category 1, occupations that usually require a university degree, with the most common being professions in the applied sciences, particularly in software and technology. Candidates were highly educated, with approximately 90% holding postsecondary educational credentials of at least three years, with masters and entry-to-practice degrees being the most common. Additionally, they demonstrated strong official language skills.

In 2022, IRCC continued to leverage the flexibility of the EE system to adapt in response to pandemic impacts and continue to support the Department’s Immigration Levels Plan. To manage the large processing inventory resulting from the pandemic, the Department temporarily paused the issuance of Invitations to Apply to the immigration programs managed though EE from September 2021 to July 2022. During this period, invitations continued to be sent to candidates with a provincial nomination. Regular rounds of invitation resumed once new applications received could be processed within the service standard of six months for at least 80% of submitted applications.

In November 2022, following IRCC’s implementation of the 2021 version of the NOC system, 15 additional occupations became eligible for the immigration programs managed through EE, including in health care, transportation, and construction.

In addition, several federal economic programs provide pathways to permanent residency to clients in a range of occupations from Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) 0 to 5, which are managed outside of the EE system.

In 2022, IRCC admitted 579 foreign entrepreneurs and their family members to become permanent residents and launch their businesses in Canada under the Start-Up Visa program. In March 2023, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development recognized Canada as the most attractive country for start-ups, largely due to the Start-Up Visa program.

Overall, federal economic immigration programs allowed Canada to benefit from a regular and predictable flow of skilled immigrants that employers can hire to meet their labour needs and to grow and scale up their businesses, in sectors across the economy, including science and technology, healthcare, and construction.

Regional economic immigration programs

The Government of Canada offers several regional economic immigration programs that attract a broad range of talented people to contribute to communities across the country. Some of these programs are listed below.

There were 88,257 people admitted through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in 2022, a 63% increase from 2021 admissions. This represents over 35% of permanent resident admissions in the economic category and directly supports provinces and territories with meeting their labour market needs in various critical sectors, including health care, hospitality, food services, and transportation. Since the launch of the PNP in the 1998, the program has consistently grown, spreading the benefits of economic immigration beyond the Canada’s largest cities, to communities of all sizes across the nation.

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) initially launched as a pilot in 2017, and then transitioned to a permanent program in 2022. The AIP has welcomed over 17,100 principal applicants and their families into the Atlantic region. This program builds on the core objectives of attracting and retaining skilled immigrants to Atlantic Canada to address demographic and economic needs in the region. Most significantly, a 2020 evaluation of the pilot found that over 90% of AIP permanent residents were still living in the region after 1 year. These new permanent residents not only chose to arrive in Atlantic Canada, but they have decided to stay and have helped communities to thrive, businesses to prosper, and the region’s population to grow. The Atlantic Immigration Program has demonstrated that with the right settlement supports, and motivated employers, Atlantic Canada can attract and retain skilled newcomers as effectively as some of Canada’s largest urban centres.

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is a community-driven program, launched by IRCC in 2019. It is designed to extend the benefits of economic immigration to 11 smaller, remote communitiesFootnote 11 by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers and international graduates who want to work and live in one of the participating communities. Since its inception, the pilot has helped participating communities attract and retain newcomers to address labour market needs in key sectors, such as health care and social services sectors. In 2022, the RNIP welcomed over 1,345 principal applicants and their families into the participating rural and northern communities. While admissions are steadily increasing, each newcomer arriving through the RNIP is having a significant socio-economic impact on the community. To increase the benefits of immigration in participating communities, in September 2022, the Government expanded the geographic boundaries of the RNIP to allow more employers to participate. The program changes also made it easier to fill labour market needs in the health care and trades sectors by expanding the range of job offers available to candidates with specific work experience. Additionally, the improvements include allowing communities to issue recommendations and participate for a longer period, until February 2024, and allowing foreign workers to submit an application for permanent residence to IRCC until August 2024, when the pilot comes to an end.

Canada is a pioneer in the development and use of complementary immigration pathways for refugees, offering solutions outside of traditional humanitarian resettlement. While refugees may be fleeing conflict, many of them possess skills and experience that are of great benefit to Canada’s labour market. Phase 2 of the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP), which was launched in December 2021, operates with regional programs through the AIP, PNP, and RNIP to accept applications from up to 500 skilled refugees and displaced people as well as their families. As of the end of 2022, 116 people (43 principal applicants and 73 dependants) were admitted to Canada under the EMPP. These newcomers have filled jobs in many critical occupations, including healthcare, hospitality, and trades. In addition, in December 2022, Canada introduced new flexibilities to make it easier for refugees to apply by working with Trusted Partners. As the pilot continues to evolve, new elements and approaches will help support the Department’s ability to achieving the mandate letter commitment to further expand EMPP to welcome 2,000 skilled refugees to fill specific labour shortages in high-demand sectors, such as health care. This pilot is a win-win for employers and refugees — helping employers to fill key labour market vacancies and allowing refugees and displaced people to use their skills and abilities to establish new lives in Canada.

Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs) are community-based partnerships that convene actors from business, local governments, social and health sectors to build capacity to create welcoming communities where newcomers thrive. Since the launch of the LIPs Initiative as a pilot project in 2008, the LIPs network has expanded to 86 communities in regions across Canada (outside of Quebec). IRCC continues to support LIPs to build capacity for local communities, most recently with a specific focus on anti-racism initiatives, and supporting strategic expansion and activities for newcomer attraction and retention in small and rural communities.

Family reunification

Canadian permanent residents and citizens may sponsor certain relativesFootnote 12 to come to Canada as permanent residents, bringing many economic, social, and cultural benefits to communities across the country. In 2022, 97,338 persons were admitted under the family reunification sponsorship program. Considering accompanying family members of individuals admitted under other permanent streams (e.g., economic and refugee), the magnitude of family immigration to Canada is significantly higher (approximately 60% of total permanent residents). Relatives also have the ability to visit their family in Canada by using our temporary programs, whether with a regular temporary resident visa or for an extended stay with the super visa for parents and grandparents.

Family is important at all times, but even more so in times of crisis. As part of IRCC’s measures for Afghan nationals initiated in 2021, the Department continued priority processing for family reunification applications submitted by Canadians and permanent residents sponsoring certain relatives outside of Canada who are Afghan nationals. In addition, in light of the situation in Ukraine, as part of a series of measures put in place, IRCC also implemented priority processing of family reunification applications of Ukrainian nationals.

Family Reunification
Year 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Family Reunification 85,170 91,311 49,290 81,423 97,338

Sponsored spouses, partners, and dependent children

As part of the Family Reunification Program, IRCC processes applications for the sponsorship of spouses, partners, and dependent children of Canadian permanent residents and citizens. In 2022, there were 70,076 admissionsFootnote 13 under these categories, with a remaining inventory of 72,671 at the end of the year. IRCC facilitated the processing of these applications through a number of methods, including, remote processing, conducting remote interviews, the introduction of an online application portal, and an increased number of decision-makers assigned to permanent residence applications As a result of the backlog reduction efforts, while also processing new applications within service standards, overall processing times have improved.

Spouses, Partners and Children
Year 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Admissions 67,140 69,298 38,831 69,685 70,076
Inventories 58,031 68,473 64,173 67,826 72,671
Processing time – number of months 14 13 16 19 18

Sponsored parents and grandparents

In 2022, potential sponsors were randomly selected from a pool of interest to sponsor forms submitted in 2020. As a result, 23,100 prospective sponsors were invited to submit applications to sponsor their parents and grandparents, with the goal of receiving 15,000 new complete applications. In 2022, 27,262 sponsored parents and grandparents were admitted as permanent residents to Canada, a significant increase from 2021. The inventory and processing times continue to grow for this category, as the number of new applications received in recent years outpaces the number of applications finalized to meet admission targets.

Parents or grandparents may also apply for the super visa, which is a multi-entry temporary resident visa that allows parents and grandparents to reunite with their host families in Canada for extended periods. In addition, IRCC made significant enhancements to the super visa in 2022 to further promote family reunification, including increasing the length of stay per entry from up to two years to up to five years over the course of the visa’s validity period. In 2022, 48,944 super visas were issued.

Parents and Grandparents
Year 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Admissions 18,030 22,011 10,459 11,738 27,262
Inventories 32,411 43,666 30,905 38,074Footnote * 52,960
Processing time – number of months 40 19 24 31 37

Settlement and integration

IRCC supports the successful integration of newcomers to Canada through a suite of settlement and integration services. In 2022–23, IRCC funded more than 550 service provider organizations, and provided settlement services to more than 607,800 clients. Services include pre-arrival and post-arrival orientation and information services, needs and assets assessment and referrals, language training, employment-related services that include mentorship and apprenticeship programming, and services that help newcomers connect and contribute to their communities. The Settlement Program also funds support services that help address challenges and barriers to access for settlement services, such as childcare, transportation, translation, and provisions for persons with a disability, as well as indirect services that help to build settlement sector capacity to address newcomers’ ongoing and future needs.

The Settlement Program supports the integration of French-speaking newcomers through the Francophone Integration Pathway, which consists of a suite of settlement services in French, offered by Francophone communities outside Quebec and aimed at facilitating reception, support, economic and sociocultural integration, as well as the creation of lasting ties between newcomers and Francophone communities.

Newcomers who arrive as resettled refugees receive additional supports through IRCC’s Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP), including assistance upon arrival, the provision of temporary accommodations, life skills training, as well as community and service navigational and orientation supports. In 2022–23, 42,085 refugees accessed RAP services. Under RAP, the Department also provides direct financial support to Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) and other eligible clients to assist with covering their basic needs, including temporary health-care coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program.

Through client-centric programming, IRCC provides funding to settlement organizations to deliver tailored supports to newcomers who face additional barriers and are at increased risk of marginalization. This includes supports for racialized newcomers, women, youth, seniors, persons with disabilities, and 2SLGBTQI+ persons.Footnote 14

Clients who received at least one Settlement Service by Fiscal Year
Year 2018–19 2019–20 2020–21 2021–22 2022–23
Clients who received at least one Settlement Service by Fiscal Year 519,645 547,784 379,737 428,648 607,866

Refugees and protected persons

In 2022, a total of 74,342 refugees and protected persons were admitted as permanent residents. This is within IRCC’s target range of 55,000 to 79,500.Footnote 15 In addition, a total of 10,199 individuals were admitted on humanitarian, compassionate, and public policy grounds.

Canada continued its proud tradition of being a world leader in refugee resettlement. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Global Trends report, for the fourth year in a row, Canada maintained the top spot for the number of refugees resettled globally, with more than 46,500 refugees being welcomed in 2022.Footnote 16

Resettled Refugees 2022
Government-Assisted Refugees 23,911
Privately Sponsored Refugees 22,517
Blended Visa Office-Referred Refugees 100

Of all refugees resettled in 2022:

Under the Government-Assisted Refugees Program, we have committed to resettling 10,000 refugees from Africa and 8,000 refugees from the Middle East by 2023. We have also established a new resettlement committee for the Americas, and will be welcoming 700 to 800 individuals in 2023 and up to 1,000 every year, starting in 2024. In 2022, we resettled 262 individuals from this region.

Canada continues to work with and fund processing support from our international partners, the UNHCR and International Organization for Migration, to facilitate the resettlement of refugees. This has historically helped bridge significant gaps in processing in hard-to-reach places and in locations where inventory levels are high.

As a means of responding to various crises, such as that in Afghanistan, Canada responded by establishing a number of humanitarian public policies to resettle various populations in a crisis context in a timely and flexible manner. This work has allowed Canada to enter into new agreements and memoranda of understanding with new resettlement partners that assist the Department in delivering these public policy commitments.

In 2022, IRCC worked in close consultation with civil society experts on the protection of human rights defenders to strengthen the new human rights defenders stream. The Global human rights defenders stream was established in 2021 in recognition of the risks that human rights defenders face as a result of their work, and with an understanding that the safety of human rights defenders is central to the promotion and protection of human rights more broadly.

Under this dedicated stream, human rights defenders are identified and referred by human rights defenders protection experts, as well as by the UNHCR, and are resettled through the GAR program. Like other government-assisted refugees, they are supported for 12 months upon arrival in Canada, including a one-time allowance for start-up items and monthly income support for shelter, food, and incidentals.

In 2022, IRCC continued to broaden and strengthen its collaboration with human rights defender protection organizations. For example, IRCC partnered with ProtectDefenders.eu, a leading human rights defender protection organization, to establish a civil society case triage mechanism that allows a wide variety of civil society organizations to identify cases, while also ensuring that protection spaces are accorded to the human rights defenders most at risk.

Asylum claimants

The ‘in-Canada’ asylum system provides protection to foreign nationals when it is determined that they have a well-founded fear of persecution or that they are persons in need of protection due to a risk to their life or security. Canada received a record number of asylum claims in 2022, reaching a total of 91,710 claims. This marks a 44% increase from the previous record of 64,178 asylum claims in 2019. Irregular crossings (e.g., through Roxham Road) made up 43% of claims in 2022, while refugee claims made inland and at official ports of entry made up 31% and 26%, respectively.

A new asylum online application (eApp), hosted by the IRCC Portal was launched on September 13, 2022 for individuals in Canada to make a refugee claim. The eApp makes registration and refugee intake processing at inland offices more efficient, and includes the ability for asylum claimants to track the status of their application.

In response to the impacts that flow from longer-than-normal asylum processing times, IRCC launched a Temporary Public Policy in November 2022 to exempt refugee claimants in Canada from certain requirements for work permit issuance, which allows asylum claimants to obtain open work permits. Canada is expecting immediate benefits from this change, with more asylum claimants being able to financially support themselves as they await finalization of their claim, thus reducing their dependence on provincial social assistance programs, as well as the need for continued temporary housing (i.e., shelters).

Throughout 2022, IRCC continued to work closely with affected provinces and municipalities to manage temporary accommodations, transfer asylum claimants who entered irregularly between ports, and address anticipated volumes and operational concerns. Through the Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP), the federal government works collaboratively with its provincial and municipal partners to help alleviate pressures they face with respect to providing temporary housing for asylum claimants. Operating on a cost-sharing basis, the federal government has disbursed almost $700M to provinces and municipalities under IHAP for expenses incurred between 2017 and 2022, including approximately $450M to Quebec. IRCC continued to provide asylum claimants with health-care coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program. Coverage is available for the full duration of the refugee determination process, until claimants either transfer to provincial health insurance or are removed from Canada.

Asylum Claims by Year
Year 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Asylum Claims 55,185 64,178 23,787 24,975 91,710

Humanitarian and compassionate grounds and other considerations

IRPA provides discretionary provisions that authorize the Minister to grant permanent residence status to individuals and their families who would not otherwise qualify under a regular immigration category. These discretionary provisions for humanitarian and compassionate grounds or public policy considerations provide the flexibility to approve deserving cases that come forward.

In 2022, a total of 10,199 people were admitted to Canada for humanitarian and compassionate or public policy considerations. This category accounted for 2% of all permanent residents.

Some examples of Recent Public Policies include:

Temporary public policy to facilitate permanent residence for outside Canada and in-Canada families of Canadian victims of recent air disasters

The Government of Canada committed to supporting families of Canadian citizen and permanent resident victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 (ET302) and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 (PS752). IRCC implemented two public policies that aided the families of victims of these air disasters: one to facilitate permanent residence for in-Canada families of victims and another for the families of certain victims of flights ET302 and PS752, who are outside of Canada, providing vital support to the surviving families of a Canadian victim. A total of 106 individuals have been granted permanent resident status under these two public policies.

Temporary public policy to further facilitate access to permanent resident status for out-of-status construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area

This temporary public policy was originally established in January 2020 to recognize the economic contribution of long-term resident construction workers facing vulnerabilities due to their undocumented status. The public policy was renewed in 2021 and subsequently in 2023 to further facilitate permanent residency for a total of up to 1,000 construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area and their family members. In 2022, 226 principal applicants and 310 dependants were admitted into Canada.

Francophone immigration outside of Quebec

IRCC continues to support the Government of Canada’s commitment to enhance the vitality of French linguistic minority communities in Canada outside of Quebec. Francophone immigration plays an important role in upholding the bilingual nature of the country and supporting the growth of French linguistic minority communities and Canada’s economic recovery.

In 2022, IRCC reached its target of 4.4% French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec, one year before the 2023 deadline. This target was established in consultation with community stakeholders and is one of the objectives of the Department’s Francophone Immigration Strategy.

The Strategy, and the resumption of overseas processing post-pandemic, increased French-speaking immigration admissions outside Quebec. This allowed IRCC to achieve a milestone in 2022 with more than 16,300 French-speaking permanent residents admitted outside Quebec, more than in 2021 and 2020 combined. This is the largest number of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec that the country has welcomed since 2006, when data collection on this began.

Francophone Settlement Services

Several initiatives funded through the Action Plan for Official Languages — 2018–2023 support the Francophone Integration Pathway (FIP), which consists of a suite of settlement and resettlement services in French, offered in a coordinated and integrated manner by Francophone communities outside Quebec to facilitate linkages between newcomers and Francophone communities, and to strengthen the delivery of quality services “by and for Francophones.” The three pillars of the Francophone Integration Pathway are improved and adapted Francophone settlement services, the Welcoming Francophone Communities Initiative, and strengthened capacity of the Francophone settlement sector.

In 2022, a number of results were achieved:

  • The Francophone Integration Pathway continued to be consolidated and the uptake of Francophone-run settlement and resettlement services continued to increase: in fiscal year 2022–23, data shows that 61% of newcomer clients have accessed at least one service provided by a Francophone Service Provider Organization (SPO), compared to 57% in the previous fiscal year (2021–22).
  • The number of Francophone Resettlement Assistance Program SPOs funded by IRCC doubled. In addition to centres in Winnipeg (Manitoba) and Cornwall (Ontario), two new centres were added in the communities of Edmundston and Bathurst (New Brunswick) in January 2022. This also coincided with an increased collaboration between the Department and Francophone minority communities in order to contribute to the resettlement and settlement of populations coming from countries in crisis such as Ukraine and Afghanistan.
  • In January 2022, the Comité consultatif national en établissement francophone (CCNEF) held a series of strategic dialogues with Francophone community organizations in order to identify ways forward to enhance services in support of the FIP and a new national governance structure for the Francophone Settlement Sector. The CCNEF produced an interim report in June 2022 highlighting key findings on Francophone settlement programming and on a renewed governance model for the Francophone sector. A final report that will include recommendations for IRCC is expected in 2023.
  • In November 2022, IRCC funded a delegation of 20 Francophone community organizations for the first time to take part in the Destination Canada Mobility Forum in Paris, France and Rabat, Morocco. The in-person attendance of these organizations strengthened the promotion efforts of Francophone communities outside Quebec, and helped immigration candidates make informed decisions regarding the region in which they wished to settle, and start creating links with their future home community before they even begin their Canadian immigration journey.
  • Contribution agreements related to the Welcoming Francophone Communities Initiative were extended to March 31, 2024. This will provide additional resources and time for communities to pursue the implementation of existing projects and their respective Community Action Plans. Moreover, a preliminary outcomes report on the Welcoming Francophone Communities was produced in 2022, which will inform the next iteration of the Initiative.
  • The Action Plan for Official Languages continued to fund language training projects to support Francophone service providers and French-speaking newcomers settling in Francophone minority communities.

Of the French-speaking permanent residents admitted to Canada outside of Quebec, 80% came through the economic class. The top three lines of business that contributed to these admissions were the Federal Skilled Workers (36%), the Provincial Nominee Program (36%), and the time-limited Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway (21%).

In 2022, 81% of admissions were citizens of African and Middle Eastern countries, 13% were citizens of European countries, 4% were from Latin American countries, and 2% were citizens from other countries.

Admissions of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec by province/territory of intended destination, 2022

In 2022, Ontario and New Brunswick were the destination of choice of close to ¾ of French-speaking permanent residents outside Quebec. In addition, almost all provinces and territories experienced historic Francophone admission levels.

Admissions of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec by province/territory of intended destination, 2022.
Alberta British Columbia Manitoba New Brunswick Newfoundland and Labrador Nunavut Northwest Territories Nova Scotia Ontario Prince Edward Island Saskatchewan Yukon
1,510 830 800 2,315 70 15 15 795 9,760 60 175 25

Express Entry has consistently represented a significant proportion of all French-speaking permanent resident admissions since the introduction and increase of additional points for French-language skills in 2017 and 2020, respectively. The Department is exploring new ways to leverage Express Entry to support the economic vitality of Francophone minority communities, such as with targeted invitation to French-proficient candidates who have achieved niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens level 7 or higher, through category-based selection, a tool that launched in 2023 following consultations with partners and stakeholders in 2022.

In addition, the Centre for Innovation in Francophone Immigration in Dieppe was inaugurated in November 2022. The new Centre comes in addition to the measures already adopted to increase Francophone immigration to Francophone minority communities outside Quebec. The Centre is national in scope and helps to:

Canada’s next permanent resident Immigration Levels Plan

The multi-year Immigration Levels Plan projects how many permanent residents Canada aims to admit over the course of a calendar year. Every year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) sets targets and ranges for the total number of permanent residents admitted into the country, as well as the number for each immigration category.

IRCC has presented a rolling three-year Immigration Levels Plan for admissions every year since 2017. The first year of the multi-year levels plan is firm, with the two remaining years being projections. The plan is developed in consultation with provinces and territories, stakeholder organizations, and the public. The selection of applicants is categorized based on economic contributions and family reunification, or support for refugees, protected persons, and humanitarian and compassionate needs.

2024–2026 Immigration Levels Plan
Year 2024 2025 2026
Total Projected admissions Targets and RangesTable note * 485,000 500,000 500,000
Low High Low High Low High
430,000 532,500 442,500 550,000 442,500 550,000
Economic immigrationTable note ** 281,135 301,250 301,250
250,000 305,000 265,000 326,000 265,000 326,000
Family reunification 114,000 118,000 118,000
105,000 130,000 107,000 135,000 107,000 135,000
Refugees, protected persons, humanitarian and compassionate, and other 89,865 80,750 80,750
75,000 110,500 70,500 92,000 70,500 92,000

The 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan stabilizes projected admissions to allow for coordinated and sustainable population growth. The trajectory set by the 2023-2025 plan with 485,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in 2025 is maintained. Admissions then plateau in 2026 at 500,000. Based on recent trends, it is expected that around a third of these admissions will be from temporary residents (TRs) already in Canada and who are making valuable contributions to the economy and society.

This plan acknowledges that Canada’s ability to welcome, settle, and integrate newcomers is facing increasing pressure. This plan maintains predictability, stabilizing projections to allow for coordinated planning with partners and sustainable population growth. Supporting the Canadian economy continues to be a key priority of this plan with economic immigration representing the largest proportion of admissions each year, reaching 60.3% in 2025 and 2026. The plan also focuses on attracting newcomers to different regions of the country, including small towns and rural communities with slightly less than half of economic admissions dedicated to regional streams each year. For the family category, admissions targets increase in comparison to the previous plan, supporting objectives to reunite families as quickly as possible. In an increasingly tumultuous global context, Canada continues to lead in responding to humanitarian crises and this includes the Government’s commitment to Motion 62 regarding Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims.

Immigrants have an important role to play in the labour market and growing our economy now and into the future. Immigration helps to ensure Canada has the skills needed to meet our goals, particularly to support sustainability initiatives to transition to a green (net-zero) and digital economy, and so that labour force gaps in critical sectors (e.g., health, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), trades, transportation and agriculture) are not a barrier to the success and expansion of Canadian businesses. Welcoming newcomers is not just about the admissions targets set, but must also take into account supports and services required by newcomers and Canadians alike, including housing and healthcare. Further, permanent residents are just part of the broader context, with increasing numbers of temporary resident admissions in recent years. Coordination, collaboration, communication and partnerships are instrumental to welcoming newcomers, and ensuring that appropriate supports are in place to help them achieve positive outcomes for themselves, their communities and the country.

In line with this, IRCC undertook early efforts to broaden engagement with federal partners, stakeholders, and Indigenous Peoples for the development of the 2024-2026 Levels Plan. In an effort to support a whole-of-government, whole-of society approach to immigration, the Department will continue to explore options to develop a more integrated plan to coordinate across federal government departments, and in close collaboration with provinces and territories. IRCC will also continue to increase collaboration and engagement with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples, municipalities, stakeholders and communities across Canada.

Strengthening the Government’s long term commitment to leveraging immigration to enhance the vitality of Francophone minority communities, and building on the 4.4% target of French-speaking permanents residents outside Quebec reached in 2022, the Plan includes new ambitious annual French-speaking permanent residents targets (outside Quebec) of 6% in 2024, 7% in 2025, and 8% in 2026. This approach aligns with government commitments under the modernized Official Languages Act to enhance the vitality of Francophone minority communities, including by restoring and increasing their demographic weight.

IRCC continues to make gains toward meeting service standards and giving newcomers the experience they expect and deserve. As a result of backlog reduction efforts, while also processing new applications within service standards, overall processing times have improved. Comparing processing times in August 2022 with the same time period in 2023, processing times for Federal Skilled Workers improved from 26 months to 6 months; for Canadian Experience Class, processing times improved from 15 to 5 months; for Provincial Nominee Program applicants through Express Entry, processing times decreased from 16 months to 8 months; and for Rest of Canada Spouse, Partners and Children applicants, processing times decreased from 13 months for inland applications and 22 months for overseas applications in 2022 to 10 months for inland applications and 14 months for overseas applications in 2023.

Federal-provincial-territorial partnerships

Immigration: A joint responsibility

Immigration is a joint federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) responsibility and requires a collaborative approach to support newcomers and share the benefits of immigration across Canada.

Overall, the federal government is responsible for setting national immigration levels, defining immigration categories, and reuniting families. The federal government also admits all foreign nationals to the country, including temporary and permanent residents, in addition to establishing eligibility criteria for federal settlement programs in the provinces and territories, with the exception of Quebec.

Bilateral engagement

Bilateral agreements define the roles and responsibilities of Canada and the given provinces and territories to support collaboration on immigration issues. These agreements (either broader framework agreements or agreements establishing Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) authorities only) are in place with nine provinces and two territories (Nunavut and Quebec are not included). In some cases, IRCC’s bilateral agreements also provide a framework for addressing regional pressures committing both orders of government to encourage immigration throughout the province including small, rural, and northern communities.

Under the PNP, provinces and territories have the authority to nominate individuals as permanent residents to address specific labour market and economic needs. Similarly, there are bilateral agreements with each of the four Atlantic provinces for the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) to address economic and demographic challenges in the region. Under the agreements, the Atlantic provinces can designate employers to participate in the AIP and endorse candidates who have an eligible job offer from a designated employer, which enables the candidate to apply to IRCC for permanent residency. IRCC has also signed Settlement and Integration Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with 10 provinces and territories (all excluding Quebec, Nunavut, and Alberta). These MOUs are key to formalizing relationships and enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of settlement programming at the bilateral level. Within the context of the MOU, IRCC and the given jurisdiction commit to a joint vision, principles, and objectives of a bilateral partnership, roles and responsibilities, reporting and accountability mechanisms, and a governance structure in the form of a local coordination working group.

Under the Canada-Quebec Accord relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens, Quebec has exclusive responsibility for the selection of economic immigrants destined for that province and can establish its own selection criteria for them. Quebec also has selection authority over resettled refugees, but shares the overall responsibility with the federal government, which identifies refugees for resettlement. The province has sole responsibility for the delivery of settlement and integration services within Quebec and receives an annual grant from the federal government. Quebec also has the authority to set its own immigration levels within the parameters of the Canada-Quebec Accord.

Table 3 in Annex 2 presents the breakdown of permanent residents admitted in 2022 by province or territory of destination and immigration category.

FPT Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration

The FPT Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration (FMRI)Footnote 17 meets annually to discuss immigration issues and priorities of interest across jurisdictions. It is guided by a vision for a flexible, timely, and effective immigration system that strengthens the positive economic and social benefits of immigration in all parts of Canada. The FMRI is also committed to collaborating on the fundamental pillars of the immigration system: immigration levels planning, economic immigration, and settlement and integration. The FMRI will review its priorities in the coming year to ensure they reflect current considerations.

In July 2022, FMRI Ministers met in New Brunswick to discuss advancing joint initiatives to respond to pan-Canadian immigration priorities and recommitted to improving the effectiveness of Canada’s immigration system to meet economic and regional needs and humanitarian obligations. FMRI Ministers welcomed IRCC’s first ever Multi-Year Allocation Plan, which includes an unprecedented 44% growth in Provincial Nominee Program allocations for 2023. The Forum expressed interest in working together to find efficiencies in processing and, specifically, to avoid duplication in PNP processing. FMRI Ministers recommitted to working together to deliver a more agile, client-centred economic immigration system where there is increased provincial and territorial involvement in the selection of economic immigrants. FMRI tables at various levels (Ministers and officials) were utilized to help rapidly share information and coordinate actions in response to humanitarian immigration actions, such as the federal introduction of the CUAET and the arrival of thousands of displaced Ukrainians.

In 2022, the FMRI working groups provided a forum for discussion and joint work by FPT officials on shared immigration priorities, including economic immigration, immigration levels planning, settlement, and integration. For example, the FMRI Economic Policy Working Group engaged on work to enhance the Express Entry system for selecting economic immigrants and developed strategies to support and facilitate processes to eliminate duplication in the processing of immigration applications.

International engagement

In 2022, Canada continued to provide leadership on global migration and international refugee protection issues. Canada actively engaged with other countries, international partners, and organizations to advance a range of migration and refugee protection issues.

Working with key multilateral partners and forums

As a member of international multilateral organizations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC), the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), and the Regional Conference on Migration, Canada promoted its objectives of safe and regular migration and upholding protection. Membership and participation within these organizations allows Canada to engage in informal international exchange and debate, and to influence international governance and decision-making mechanisms, including setting policy and program directions, budget setting practices, and evaluation, and audit exercises. Moreover, it also enhances Canada’s knowledge of global trends and approaches to managed migration and facilitates the advancement of Canada’s international priorities on migration, which include helping to ensure the orderly and safe management of migration, promoting international co-operation on migration issues, sharing approaches for successful immigrant and refugee integration, and assisting in the search for practical solutions to migration challenges.

In the spirit of international co-operation to advance protection, as well as safe and regular migration, Canada participated in a series of meetings initiated by the IGC and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development on member state responses to Ukrainian displacement. The joint initiative provided Canada with a forum to exchange experiences with European and other countries, international organizations, and academics on their respective temporary programs for Ukrainians, longer-term considerations, and lessons learned for responses to future urgent issues or crises.

To support Canada’s response to migration and displacement from Afghanistan, IRCC also participated in the European Union Agency for Asylum’s Expert Platform on safe pathways for Afghans. The Platform was established in October 2021 to promote European and global coordination on regular and safe channels for Afghans in need of protection, with regular follow-up meetings. The Government of Canada continues to work closely with other partners such as the IOM, UNHCR, NATO, the G7, the United States and other countries in the region to respond to the situation in Afghanistan.

Canada continues to collaborate with Five-Country Ministerial counterparts from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom to address common migration challenges. Hosted by the United States, Canada and other Five-Country Ministerial counterparts attended the Five-Country Ministerial meeting in September 2022 in Washington, DC, to discuss strengthening and enhancing regular migration pathways as a means to address irregular migration (see Communiqué).

Through the GFMD’s Working Group on Public Narratives on Migration, which Canada co-chairs with the Government of Ecuador and the GFMD Mayors Mechanism (representing local governments), Canada has taken a leadership role in co-leading a multi-stakeholder, global social media communications campaign, called It Takes A Community (ITAC). The ITAC campaign promotes balanced narratives, and works to combat discrimination and racism toward migrants and refugees. Building off the success of the 2021 ITAC campaign, the second phase of ITAC has held a series of events for communications practitioners and the public, and has focused on Central and South America in order to better tailor conversations and efforts to match regional dynamics and contexts.

Canada’s contribution to the Global Compact for Migration and the Global Compact for Refugees

Canada actively engaged with other countries and international organizations to support the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and to help enable its further implementation. Canada continued to exchange best practices, contributed to strengthened migration systems via capacity building initiatives, and advocated for the GCM in its bilateral and multilateral engagements. In May 2022, Canada was pleased to participate in the first International Migration Review Forum to review progress to date and chart the path forward to advance the implementation of the GCM’s 23 objectives. Canada’s delegation was among the largest and most diverse at the forum, which included an academic, a migrant representative, and a settlement service provider representative, as well as representatives of a local city government —the delegation was mainly female and included racialized persons. This reflected Canada’s commitment to the whole-of-society approach promoted by the GCM. Canada has also continued to act as champion of the GCM in support of the creation of safe and regular global migration pathways.

In 2022, Canada remained a world leader in refugee resettlement and labour complementary pathways, furthering the Global Compact on Refugees objective to expand refugee access to solutions. Canada served in international leadership roles, including Chair of the Global Task Force on Refugee Labour Mobility and Chair of the Central America and Mexico Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework or Marco Integral Regional para la Protección y Soluciones Support Platform, and as a founding partner of the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative. Canada’s international engagement also continued to support asylum system capacity building initiatives and the development of refugee solutions.

Bilateral and regional engagement with international partners

In 2022, IRCC continued to advance Canada’s strategic migration and refugee protection objectives through active engagement in regional and bilateral activities, as well as the delivery of capacity building assistance. Through this engagement, IRCC promoted greater international alignment with Canada’s views on migration and refugee protection, and supported broader Canadian bilateral relationships and foreign policy goals. IRCC exchanged best practices with key partners abroad and in missions in Ottawa, which helped to improve IRCC’s policies and programs internationally.

In 2022, IRCC:

Hemispheric co-operation — Americas region

Continuing its long history of multilateral and bilateral engagement in the Americas, Canada worked in close collaboration with the United States in 2022 on migration and refugee protection issues in the western hemisphere. This work built on the bilateral 2021 Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership, as well as trilateral commitments on migration and protection made with the United States and Mexico at the 2021 North American Leaders Summit (NALS). These commitments included advancing a regional response to the challenges of migration and forced displacement in the Americas, identifying opportunities for coordinated action related to capacity building and addressing the root causes of irregular migration, and strengthening asylum and protection systems.

In June 2022, Canada endorsed the U.S-led Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection along with 20 other signatory countries at the 9th Summit of the Americas. The Declaration, which originated as a NALS 2021 commitment, sets out shared principles to address the challenge of irregular migration and forced displacement in the Americas. In support of efforts to implement the Declaration, Canada additionally committed in October 2022 to lead two Declaration “Action Package Committees,” one on “Investing in Asylum” and one on “Refugee Resettlement and Complementary Pathways,” which Canada is co-leading with Guyana.

In 2022, Canada also engaged with Central American countries, Mexico, and the United States through the Regional Conference on Migration forum to work together to deter irregular migration and ensure regular pathways for protection and regular permanent and temporary migration.

Also in 2022, Canada continued to fund international capacity building projects in Central America and Mexico to promote safe, orderly, and regular migration to address irregular migration and forced displacement in the hemisphere, and to support the ability of host countries to manage the increased cross-border movement. These projects cover a wide range of human mobility themes, including promoting regular migration pathways, with a focus on labour mobility and ethical recruitment; promoting socioeconomic integration of migrants, refugees, and returnees; supporting the regularization of migrants; strengthening migration governance, asylum and protection systems; facilitating migrant and refugee access to services; and promoting balanced narratives on migration.

Following the Budget 2021 funding received for assistance to address the Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis, Canada has been providing capacity building assistance to countries that host large populations of refugees and migrants from Venezuela including Panama, Peru, and Colombia. Projects focus on strengthening asylum systems and supporting regularization of refugees and migrants, supporting socioeconomic integration, and promoting balanced narratives on migration.

Canada-Ukraine migration relationship

Since 1992, Canada and Ukraine have enjoyed a strong relationship anchored by close people-to-people ties and shared values. With the establishment of the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) on March 17, 2022, the Government of Canada put in place special measures to help Ukrainians in and outside Canada following Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. IRCC and Ukraine also progressed on key topics of mutual interest, including work to establish a new Youth Mobility Agreement, and opportunities for future collaboration on migration. The Canada-Ukraine Mobility Working Group, established in 2021, will reconvene once the situation in Ukraine allows, to allow for continued exchanges on migration matters of common interest.

Anti-Racism at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

In 2022, the IRCC Anti-Racism Task Force expanded its strategic actions to advance racial equity in departmental policies, operations, and people management practices.

Anti-Racism Strategy 2.0
  • Vision

    Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) maximizes the benefits of its programs to Canadians and newcomers through the elimination of racism in its policies, programs, service delivery and people management.

  • Outcomes
    • Clear corporate governance and accountability for anti-racism initiatives
    • Racism-free people management policies and staffing practices
    • Enhanced integration of anti-racism with policy/program design and service delivery
    • Better alignment of intersectional approaches and anti-racism with stakeholders’ and service delivery partners’ equity perspectives
    • Evidence-informed decision-making supported by anti-racism lens
  • Guiding Principles
    • Holistic
    • Sustainable
    • Evidence-based
    • Accountable
    • Intersectional
    • Empowering
    • Inclusive


  • Leadership Accountability
    • Embed anti-racism work permanently in IRCC’s structure at all levels
    • Ensure senior management is accountable for results on an ongoing basis
  • Equitable Workplace
    • Remove barriers to career advancement of racialized employees
    • Create a workplace culture where all is included, feel welcome and respected
  • Policy/Program Design
    • Establish a baseline understanding of biases and gaps within existing policy and program designs and program guidance of service delivery
  • Service Delivery
    • Establish a baseline understanding of systemic racism and bias in program delivery operations and operational decision-making of officers
  • Data and Research
    • Increase the availability of disaggregated data and anti-racism analyses
    • Strengthen the integration of anti-racism, GBA Plus and Reconciliation lenses


Anti-Racism Systems Change Management

Shifting the conditions that hold racial and other inequities in place by implementing structural change in policies/programs and practices, relational change in power dynamics and transformative change in culture and mental models.

Collaboration and Consultation

Collaboration with other federal government organizations to advance anti-racism in public service. Consultation with external stakeholders, including non-profits, other levels of government, unions, academic and legal community for Strategy iteration.

In July 2022, the Department published Anti-Racism Strategy 2.0 (2021–2024) to bring into focus and complement the top-down and bottom-up initiatives by all branches within the organization to advance racial equity and inclusion for all employees and clients. The Strategy strengthened the overarching structure of multiple departmental actions to empower employees and equip them with the required resources and tools, while establishing mechanisms of management accountability to create long-lasting culture change.

IRCC has also identified measurable goals, timeframes for results, key responsible departmental stakeholders, and accountability mechanisms to drive anti-racism actions along the identified pillars of work streams and build momentum for creating sustainable and holistic institutional change in workplace practices, policies, program outcomes, and service delivery. The key practices in these areas included anti-racism coaching and training for leaders and staff; monitoring the movement toward new workforce representation targets at all levels; and career development programs for Indigenous, Black, and racialized employees. Additionally, the Strategy commits to racial impact assessment tools for policy and service delivery; disaggregated data and intersectional research to build a strong evidence base in support of anti-racism work; and program integrity and risk management tools for addressing bias in operational decision-making.

Gender and diversity considerations in immigration

Gender-Based Analysis (GBA) Plus is a tool for understanding how multiple factors, such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, income, language, indigeneity, and age shape health, social, and economic outcomes for people and influence access to programs and services. It is used in the design and implementation of policies, programs, and other initiatives so that they are more inclusive and responsive to people’s different needs.

IRCC remains committed to working toward the full implementation of GBA Plus throughout its business lines to ensure that its initiatives are developed with equity, diversity, and inclusion in mind. In 2022, IRCC conducted an internal gap analysis to better understand how GBA Plus can be embedded and mainstreamed into the Department’s work. The exercise seeks to address areas like governance, data collection, performance monitoring, results reporting, training, and competency development.

In 2022, IRCC also worked with partner departments in the development of Canada’s first five-year 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan, which is a coordinated, whole-of-government approach that seeks to improve Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and additional sexually and gender diverse (2SLGBTQI+) lives and contribute to a more equitable Canada. IRCC, along with other government departments, works in collaboration with Women and Gender Equality Canada to fulfill and report on the Action Plan’s commitments to embed 2SLGBTQI+ issues into the work of the Government of Canada.

In November 2022, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration released its twelfth report, titled Promoting Fairness in Canadian Immigration Decisions. The report examined outcomes in the Canadian immigration system indicating systematic and unjustifiable disadvantage to certain populations based on characteristics such as race and country of origin. The Department is working to address the Report’s findings and recommendations, which include conducting a comprehensive racial equity review of Canada’s immigration and refugee system, and ensuring the strict application of section 22(2) of IRPA so that the intention to settle in Canada does not interfere with obtaining temporary resident visas. IRCC is also conducting an independent assessment of electronic tools and providing mandatory and regular anti-racism training for visa officers.

Promoting equity within Canada’s immigration system is critical to ensuring Canada’s future as a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming country for everyone. Immigration has played a monumental role in strengthening Canada’s cultural diversity and economic resilience. It is expected to remain a primary driver of population and labour force growth over the coming decades. Fostering a welcoming society that rejects racism and discrimination in all its forms, and supports newcomers as visitors, workers, neighbours, family members, and friends, is critical to Canada’s social and economic success.

In 2022, IRCC made progress on several GBA Plus initiatives that were put in place during or before 2019.

GBA Plus Highlights at IRCC
  • Improving outcomes for 2SLGBTQI+ populations
  • Creating initiatives to support survivors and those at risk of gender-based violence
  • Facilitating resettlement and economic mobility in Canada
  • Supporting racialized newcomers
  • Advocating for gender and diversity on the international stage

Improving outcomes for diverse populations

The Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership

Established in 2020, the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership built on the success of the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Pilot by increasing the number of privately sponsored refugees from 15 to 50 per year. The Partnership was established in co-operation with the Rainbow Refugee Society to encourage more Canadians to support LGBTQI+ refugees and strengthen collaboration between LGBTQI+ organizations and Canada’s refugee settlement community.Footnote 18 In 2022, there were 40 admissions of refugees through this partnership. Additionally, the partnership was expanded in response to the Afghanistan crisis, providing for an additional 150 spaces per year between 2022 and 2024.

IRCC’s Sex and Gender Client Identifier Policy

In alignment with the Treasury Board Secretariat Policy Direction to Modernize the Government of Canada’s Sex and Gender Information Practices, IRCC established a departmental Sex and Gender Client Identifier Policy in 2021. The Policy sets out how a client’s sex or gender information should be collected, recorded, and displayed in the administration of all IRCC programs. As a result of past efforts under the Gender X Project, there has been significant work to implement the policy. For example, all IRCC lines of business allow clients to request a non-intrusive change of their sex or gender identifier, including Female (“F”), Male (“M”), and Another Gender (“X”) on any IRCC-issued document. Moving forward, IRCC will suppress the display of this gender-related information on documents and correspondence where there is no substantiated need to include it.

Gender-Based Violence Strategy

In June 2017, the Government of Canada announced It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, the federal response to gender-based violence. The initiative focuses on three main areas of action: prevention, support for survivors and their families, and the promotion of responsive legal and justice systems. Under this federal strategy, IRCC received $1.5 million in funding over five years (2017–22) to further enhance the Settlement Program, which delivers pre- and post-arrival settlement services to newcomers to Canada. The funding is being used to develop and implement a settlement sector strategy on gender-based violence (GBV) through a coordinated partnership of settlement and anti-violence sector organizations. In response to the increase in gender-based violence in the pandemic context, IRCC consulted with service provider organizations to better understand the situation for newcomers. As a result, IRCC issued guidance and information to organizations on the continuation of services considered essential, which included providing support to clients experiencing gender-based violence.

Canada’s federal Budget 2021 included additional funds to continue with enhancements to the Settlement Program to address gender-based violence. The Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Settlement Sector Strategy Project is a unique collaboration between settlement and anti-violence organizations to build the capacity of the sector to address gender-based violence for immigrants and refugees.

The GBV Settlement Sector Strategy Project’s capacity building approach has focused on raising awareness and sharing best practices within the settlement sector, in addition to strengthening collaboration with the anti-violence sector to meet the needs of diverse newcomers. The sector-specific resources that the Gender-Based Violence Settlement Strategy has developed include training webinars and a bilingual online course, Bridges to Safety. With this partnership project in place, organizations and settlement sector staff are receiving nationally consistent training and information to help them respond to GBV issues, and have increased their awareness of GBV-related information, training, and support. The initiative has also increased collaboration between the settlement and anti-violence sectors.

Canada’s Assistance to Women at Risk

Persecution on the basis of gender is one of the grounds upon which a person may be granted Canada’s refugee protection. Within the Government-Assisted Refugee stream, officers have the ability to tag cases as “Assistance to Women at Risk,” recognizing that women and girls are often particularly vulnerable in refugee situations. This feature is designed to provide resettlement opportunities to women who are at increased risk of discrimination and violence, including those who are in precarious situations where local authorities cannot ensure their safety. Some women may need immediate protection in the short term, while others are in ongoing dangerous circumstances. Applications may be prioritized on the basis of risk and vulnerability faced, and gender is one of a number of factors taken into account. In 2022, Canada resettled 2,087 vulnerable refugee women and children through this program.

Measures to support foreign national victims of family violence

Measures to support foreign national victims of family violence were introduced in 2019 and continued throughout 2021 and 2022 to help individuals escape abuse. These measures included:

  • An expedited, fee-exempt temporary resident permit for individuals who lack status, which also gives individuals access to a work permit and temporary health-care coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program. In 2022, 142 temporary resident permits were issued under this initiative.
  • An expedited process for victims of family violence or abuse to apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. In 2022, 118 applicants under this process were approved.

Marco Integral Regional para la Protección y Soluciones Support Platform

Forced displacement has grown significantly over the last few years in Central America and Mexico due to a variety of factors that have forced people to leave their homes, including violence, crime, and civil insecurity, as well as a number of other economic, political, and social factors. The Marco Integral Regional para la Protección y Soluciones (MIRPS) Support Platform was launched in December 2019 on the occasion of the first Global Refugee Forum.

The purpose of the platform is to support the efforts of MIRPS countries (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama) in offering protection and solutions for forced displacement in Central America and Mexico. Its members include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the European Union, France, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay, the United States of America, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Organization of American States. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) provides secretariat functions.

MIRPS countries set national action plans to articulate the needs and priorities for their efforts, including refugee protection, education, labour market considerations, health, and social protection. The Support Platform will help countries implement their action plans and serves as a mechanism for greater responsibility sharing between countries to address forced displacement challenges, as called for in the Global Compact on Refugees.

As Chair of the MIRPS Support Platform from July 2021 to September 2022, Canada helped countries achieve their goals by sharing relevant expertise and mobilizing resources. Canada’s efforts centred around the theme of “Protection and Empowerment of Women and Girls on the Move.” Activities drew attention to the international protection needs of forcibly displaced women and girls, as well as the need to uphold the human rights of other vulnerable populations in Central America and Mexico.

Equity Request for Quotations

IRCC is also funding 17 new projects to advance the Department’s commitments on anti-racism, mainstreaming gender equality, and GBA Plus within the settlement sector. These projects will enhance the capacity of the settlement sector to advance gender equality, and to identify and analyze the barriers, obstacles, and systemic inequities that racialized newcomers face as they settle and integrate into Canadian society. In addition, the projects will identify best practices that can contribute to improved integration outcomes for racialized newcomers.

Annex 1: Section 94 and Section 22.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

The following excerpt from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), which came into force in 2002, outlines the requirements for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to prepare an annual report to Parliament on immigration.

Reports to Parliament

94 (1) The Minister must, on or before November 1 of each year or, if a House of Parliament is not then sitting, within the next 30 days on which that House is sitting after that date, table in each House of Parliament a report on the operation of this Act in the preceding calendar year.

(2) The report shall include a description of

The following excerpt from IRPA outlines the Minister’s authority to declare when a foreign national may not become a temporary resident, which came into force in 2013, and the requirement to report on the number of such declarations.


22.1 (1) The Minister may, on the Minister’s own initiative, declare that a foreign national, other than a foreign national referred to in section 19, may not become a temporary resident if the Minister is of the opinion that it is justified by public policy considerations.

(2) A declaration has effect for the period specified by the Minister, which is not to exceed 36 months.

(3) The Minister may, at any time, revoke a declaration or shorten its effective period.

(4) The report required under section 94 must include the number of declarations made under subsection (1) and set out the public policy considerations that led to the making of the declarations.

Annex 2: Tables

Table 1: Temporary Resident Permits and Extensions Issued in 2022 by Provision of Inadmissibility

Description of Inadmissibility Provision Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Total Number of Permits in 2022 Male Female Gender X
Security (e.g., espionage, subversion, terrorism) 34 2 2 0 0
Human or international rights violations 35 6 6 0 0
Serious criminality (offence punishable by a term of imprisonment of at least 10 years in Canada or received a sentence in Canada of more than 6 months of imprisonment) 36(1) 464 410 54 0
Criminality (convicted or committed an indictable offence, or two summary offences) 36(2) 1,377 1,182 194 1
Organized criminality 37 1 1 0 0
Health grounds (danger to public health or public safety, excessive demand) 38 1 0 1 0
Financial reasons (unwilling or unable to support themselves or their dependants) 39 3 2 1 0
Misrepresentation 40 62 41 21 0
Cessation of refugee protection 40.1 0 0 0 0
Non-compliance with Act (e.g., no passport, no visa, work/study without authorization, medical check to be completed in Canada)Footnote 19 41 2,458 1,272 1,185 1
Inadmissible family member 42 5 0 5 0
Other provisionsFootnote 20   9,520 4,240 5,280 0
Total   13,899 7,156 6,741 2

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Consolidated Business Reporting as of May 15, 2023.

Table 2: Permanent Residents Admitted in 2022 by Top 10 Source Countries

Rank Country Total NumberFootnote 21 Percentage (%) Males Females


















































United States of America











Total Top 10





All Other Source Countries










Source: IRCC, Chief Data Office (CDO), Permanent Residents Data as of March 31, 2023.

Table 3: Permanent Residents Admitted in 2022 by Intended Destination and Immigration Category

Immigration Category NL PE NS NB QC ON MB SK AB BC YT NT NU Not stated Total
Federal Economic – High SkilledFootnote 22
















Federal Economic – CaregiverFootnote 23
















Federal Economic – BusinessFootnote 24
















Agri-Food Pilot
















Atlantic Immigration Pilot Programs
















Provincial Nominee ProgramFootnote 25
















Rural and Northern Immigration
















Federal Economic – Public PoliciesFootnote 26
















Quebec Skilled Workers
















Quebec Business Immigrants
















Total Economic
















Sponsored Spouses, Partners and Children
















Sponsored Parents and Grandparents
















Sponsored Family – OtherFootnote 27
















Total Family
















Refugees and Protected Persons in-Canada
Protected Persons in-Canada and Dependants of Protected Person
















Blended Visa Office-Referred Refugees
















Government‑Assisted RefugeesFootnote 28
















Privately Sponsored Refugees
















Total Refugees and Protected Persons in-Canada
















Humanitarian and Other
Humanitarian and OtherFootnote 29
















Total Humanitarian and Other





















68,715Footnote 30











Provincial/Territorial Distribution
















Source: IRCC, CDO, Permanent Resident Data as of March 31, 2023.

Table 4: Permanent Residents Admitted in 2022

Immigration Category 2022 Planned Admissions Range 2022 Admissions
Low High Female Male Gender XFootnote 31 Total

Federal Economic – High SkilledFootnote 32







Federal Economic Pilots – Caregivers,Footnote 33

Agri-Food and Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, Economic Mobility Pathways Project







Federal Economic – BusinessFootnote 34







Federal Economic – Public PoliciesFootnote 35







Atlantic Immigration Pilot







Provincial Nominee ProgramFootnote 36







Quebec Skilled Workers and BusinessFootnote 37

See the Quebec Immigration Plan





Economic Total







Spouses, Partners and Children







Parents and Grandparents







Family – OtherFootnote 38







Family Total







Protected Persons in-Canada and Dependants Abroad







Blended Visa Office-Referred Refugees







Government-Assisted RefugeesFootnote 39







Privately Sponsored Refugees







Refugees and Protected Persons Total







Humanitarian and Other TotalFootnote 40














Source: IRCC, CDO, Permanent Resident Data as of March 31, 2023.

Table 5: Permanent Residents by Knowledge of Official Language, 2022Footnote 41

  English French French and English Neither Not Stated Total
Economic – Principal applicants 104,082 6,903 23,658 822 376 135,841
Female 45,550 2,806 10,206 243 193 58,998
Male 58,532 4,097 13,451 579 183 76,842
Gender X 0 0 1 0 0 1
Economic – Partners and dependants 78,440 12,096 9,744 16,903 2,636 119,819
Female 40,374 6,543 5,487 8,502 1,490 62,396
Male 38,066 5,553 4,257 8,401 1,146 57,423
Gender X 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total Economic 182,522 18,999 33,402 17,725 3,012 255,660
Female 85,924 9,349 15,693 8,745 1,683 121,394
Male 96,598 9,650 17,708 8,980 1,329 134,265
Gender X 0 0 1 0 0 1
Family reunification – Principal applicants 55,499 4,085 4,014 13,915 301 77,814
Female 31,266 2,457 2,133 7,871 158 43,885
Male 24,230 1,628 1,881 6,043 143 33,925
Gender X 3 0 0 1 0 4
Family reunification – Partners and dependants 8,780 1,232 285 8,737 490 19,524
Female 5,466 680 156 5,918 254 12,474
Male 3,314 552 129 2,819 236 7,050
Total Family Reunification 64,279 5,317 4,299 22,652 791 97,338
Female 36,732 3,137 2,289 13,789 412 56,359
Male 27,544 2,180 2,010 8,862 379 40,975
Gender X 3 0 0 1 0 4
Refugees and protected persons in-Canada – Principal applicants 19,668 1,790 1,400 10,999 1,293 35,150
Female 7,276 943 607 4,875 466 14,167
Male 12,388 844 793 6,121 826 20,972
Gender X 4 3 0 3 1 11
Refugees and protected persons in-Canada – Partners and dependants 12,629 1,375 751 21,291 3,146 39,192
Female 7,129 763 415 11,847 1,738 21,892
Male 5,500 612 336 9,444 1,408 17,300
Gender X 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total Refugees and Protected Persons in Canada 32,297 3,165 2,151 32,290 4,439 74,342
Female 14,405 1,706 1,022 16,722 2,204 36,059
Male 17,888 1,456 1,129 15,565 2,234 38,272
Gender X 4 3 0 3 1 11
All other immigration – Principal applicants 3,247 795 340 549 152 5,083
Female 1,783 569 189 328 99 2,968
Male 1,464 226 151 221 53 2,115
All other immigration – Partners and dependants 2,941 682 393 911 189 5,116
Female 1,563 305 193 501 76 2,638
Male 1,377 377 200 410 113 2,477
Gender X 1 0 0 0 0 1
Total All Other Immigration 6,188 1,477 733 1,460 341 10,199
Female 3,346 874 382 829 175 5,606
Male 2,841 603 351 631 166 4,592
Gender X 1 0 0 0 0 1

Source: IRCC, CDO, Permanent Resident Data as of March 31, 2023.

Annex 3: Temporary migration reporting

Temporary resident permits

Under subsection 24(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), an officer may issue a temporary resident permit (TRP) to a foreign national who is inadmissible or who does not otherwise meet the requirements of the Act, to allow that individual to enter or remain in Canada when it is justified under the circumstances. TRPs are issued for a limited period of time and are subject to cancellation at any time.

Table 1 in Annex 2 illustrates the number of TRPs issued in 2022, categorized according to grounds of inadmissibility under IRPA. In 2022, a total of 13,899 such permits were issued.

Temporary resident permits for victims of human trafficking

Special TRPs are issued to out-of-status foreign national victims of human trafficking in Canada as a protection measure. The TRP provides them with temporary resident status in Canada, and allows them to obtain a work permit and access health care through the Interim Federal Health Program. In 2022, IRCC issued 169 TRPs to victims of human trafficking and their dependants. This number is included in the overall number of TRPs issued in 2022 (as per Table 1 in Annex 2).

Public policy exemptions for a temporary purpose

In 2022, a total of 119 applications for temporary residence were granted under the public policy authority provided under subsection 25.2(1) of IRPA for certain inadmissible foreign nationals to facilitate their temporary entry into Canada as visitors, students, or workers. The public policy exemption has been in place since September 2010 to advance Canada’s national interests while continuing to ensure the safety of Canadians.

Use of the negative discretion authority

In 2022 the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship did not use the negative discretion authority under subsection 22.1(1) of IRPA. This authority allows the Minister to make a declaration that, on the basis of public policy considerations, a foreign national may not become a temporary resident for a period of up to three years.

Annex 4: Ministerial instructions

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) provides the legislative authority for Canada’s immigration programs and contains various provisions that allow the Minister to issue special instructions to immigration officers to enable the Government of Canada to best achieve its immigration goals. These instructions are typically issued for limited periods of time and can touch on a diverse range of issues.

As required by section 94(2) of IRPA, the following table provides a description of the instructions given by the Minister in 2022 and the date of their publication.

Title Description Date of Publication Coming into Force

Ministerial Instructions Amending the Ministerial Instructions with respect to the Rural and Northern Community Immigration Class

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration gives the annexed Ministerial Instructions Amending the Ministerial Instructions with respect to the Rural and Northern Community Immigration Class under section 14.1 of IRPA.

September 15, 2022

September 24, 2022

Ministerial Instructions 56 (MI56): Amendments to the National Occupation Classification for the Caregiver Program, Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and Agri-Food Pilot

Effective November 16, 2022, new Ministerial Instructions were issued to amend the:

Ministerial Instructions respecting the Express Entry system that came into effect on July 26, 2022;

Ministerial Instructions (MI32): Caregiver Program that came into effect on June 18, 2019;

Ministerial Instructions (MI33): Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot that came into effect on September 1, 2019; and Ministerial Instructions (MI35): Agri-Food Pilot that came into effect on May 15, 2020.

These Instructions amend references to the National Occupational Classification 2016 with corresponding references to the National Occupational Classification 2021, the nationally recognized taxonomy of occupations used by IRCC to determine the occupational eligibility criteria for these immigration pathways.

November 16, 2022

November 16, 2022

Ministerial Instructions 51 (MI51): Ministerial Instructions with respect to the submission of online applications for temporary resident visas and other documents due to reduced processing capacity during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic

These Instructions apply to new applications for temporary resident visas, work permits and study permits, submitted to IRCC on or after the coming into force of these Instructions.

All applications for a temporary resident visa (including a transit visa), a work permit, or a study permit submitted by foreign nationals who are outside Canada at the time of application must be submitted using electronic means (apply online).

The following foreign nationals who are outside Canada and submitting applications for temporary resident visas, work permits, and study permits may submit these applications by any other means that is made available or specified by the Minister for that purpose:

Foreign nationals who, because of a disability are unable to meet a requirement to make an application, submit any document or provide a signature or information using electronic means;

Foreign nationals who hold an identity or travel document described in paragraph 52(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations that was issued by a country, that does not prohibit travel to Canada, that the foreign national may use to enter the country of issue and that is of the type issued by that country to non-national residents, refugees or stateless persons who are unable to obtain a passport or other travel document from their country of citizenship or nationality or who have no country of citizenship or nationality; and

Foreign nationals applying for a work permit who are intending to perform work under an international agreement or arrangement between Canada and one or more countries concerning seasonal agricultural workers.

March 29, 2022

April 1, 2022

Ministerial Instructions 52 (MI52): New Ministerial Instructions regarding the processing of certain work permit applications

Authority for Ministerial Instructions is derived from section 87.3 of the Act. The Instructions are being issued to ensure that the processing of applications is conducted in a manner that, in the opinion of the Minister, will best support the attainment of the immigration goals established by the Government of Canada.

The Instructions are consistent with objectives as laid out in section 3 of the Act. Specifically, in order to pursue the maximum social, cultural and economic benefits of immigration aligned with the goals of the new caregiver permanent residence pilots, a moratorium on new caregiver temporary foreign worker intake outside Quebec is necessary to control arrivals without a clear pathway for permanent residence.

These Instructions complement the June 18, 2019 Ministerial Instructions, made pursuant to section 14.1 of the Act, to establish two new economic permanent residence classes for in-home caregivers.

April 7, 2022

April 22, 2022

Ministerial Instructions regarding the Parent and Grandparent Visa super visa

These instructions are issued in accordance with ministerial authority found in section 15(4) of IRPA and have been prepared in such a way as to promote consistency toward all affected applicants across all points of service, including visa offices, Ports of Entry, and in-Canada Case Processing Centres.

July 4, 2022

July 4, 2022

Ministerial Instructions 53 (MI53) and 54 (MI54): Parents and Grandparents

Effective October 6, 2022, new Ministerial Instructions for the 2022 calendar year were issued to amend the previous Ministerial Instructions that came into effect on January 1, 2022 (MI50). These instructions provide authority to accept into processing up to 30,000 applications received as part of the 2021 intake. These instructions also provide authority to invite randomly selected sponsors and receive up to 15,000 new applications as part of the 2022 intake.

October 6, 2022

October 6, 2022

Ministerial Instructions 57 (MI57): Ministerial instructions with respect to the processing on a priority basis of applications for work permits and the related applications for temporary resident visas and electronic travel authorizations

Canadian workers are among the most highly educated and highly skilled workers in the world. The goods they produce and the services they provide are respected the world over. That said, Canada needs to be able to access the skills and expertise of talented workers from around the world to enable Canadian firms to succeed in the global marketplace. Once here, these talented workers can drive innovation and help Canadian firms to grow and prosper — leading to more jobs for Canada’s middle class and a stronger economy for all.

As part of the Global Skills Strategy, the Government of Canada has committed to process on a priority basis applications for work permits meeting the conditions established by these instructions as well as, as the case may be, the related applications for temporary resident visas and electronic travel authorizations.

Therefore, pursuant to section 87.3 and subsections 92(1.1) and (2) of IRPA, I give these instructions as, in my opinion, these instructions will best support the attainment of the immigration goals established by the Government of Canada by supporting the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy.

October 20, 2022

November 5, 2022

Ministerial Instructions 58 (MI58): New Ministerial instructions regarding the processing of certain work permit applications

Authority for Ministerial instructions is derived from section 87.3 of the Act. The instructions are being issued to ensure that the processing of applications is conducted in a manner that, in the opinion of the Minister, will best support the attainment of the immigration goals established by the Government of Canada.

The instructions are consistent with objectives as laid out in section 3 of the Act. Specifically, in order to pursue the maximum social, cultural and economic benefits of immigration aligned with the goals of the new caregiver permanent residence pilots, a moratorium on new caregiver temporary foreign worker intake outside Quebec is necessary to control arrivals without a clear pathway for permanent residence.

These instructions complement the June 18, 2019, Ministerial instructions, made pursuant to section 14.1 of the Act, to establish two new economic permanent residence classes for in-home caregivers.

These instructions revoke and replace the New Ministerial instructions regarding the processing of certain work permit applications signed on April 22, 2022. They take effect on November 16, 2022.


Ministerial Instructions 61 (MI61): Ministerial instructions for the submission of online applications for permanent resident visas and other documents

In support of IRCC’s commitment to reducing inventories and processing times, MI 61 came into force on September 23, 2022, requiring that applications for permanent resident visas, permanent resident status, and sponsorship applications under various immigration streams be submitted electronically. These instructions identify which IRCC applications must now be submitted online and provide the dates on which the requirement comes into force for each program. The instructions will expire on December 31, 2023.

September 23, 2022

September 23, 2022

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