The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused a backlog of Canadian immigration applications. The early part of 2022 will see a shift in Canadian immigration prioritizing applicants already in the country. Canada is constantly updating travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it too is affecting immigration.
Still, Canada is steadfast in its priorities of improving the country’s economy, reuniting separated families, and assisting in humanitarian efforts through immigration. Unfortunately, COVID-19 remains the biggest issue with Canada meeting its immigration objectives.
Canada is coming off one of the most prosperous years for the Express Entry program. The Express Entry was launched in 2015 and this year, it is likely to see some major alterations.
Canada has invited more Canadian Experience Class and Provincial Nominee Program candidates over the last year to the country. This is due to individuals in these classes being more likely to relocate to Canada as soon as possible compared to individuals from the Federal Skilled Worker Program. By inviting more Canadian Experience Class applicants, the country could reach its immigration target.
It is believed Canada will make two announcements in 2022 regarding their immigration plans. The plans should set out the country’s targets for new permanent residents. In addition, the announcements will outline the programs in which the new immigrants will arrive under.
As it stands, Canada wants to welcome 411,000 new immigrants this year. In 2023, Canada hopes to welcome 421,000 new arrivals. The good news for hopeful immigrants is that Canada could revise those numbers to increase number of new arrivals.
The first announcement will be made before or on February 10 when Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024 is tabled. Initially, the announcement was supposed to be made in September 2021, but it was delayed due to the Canadian election.
In the autumn, a second announcement will be made regarding immigration plans. The second announcement, which is set for November 1, will be the usual autumn immigration announcement.
As previously noted, there is the potential for increased levels of immigration due to a variety of factors. These factors include Canada’s growing labor shortages, a backlog of applications, and the Canadian government’s promise to resettle 40,000 Afghan refugees. If Canadian employers and communities agree with the possibly welcoming further immigrants this year and next, then new levels could be put into place.
As noted, there are backlogs in terms of immigration applications. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the immigration application inventory to rise to 1.8 million immigration applications. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has asked for improved processing times to be put in place in the months ahead.
Canada will introduce the TEER System to replace the NOC Skill Levels program. By the autumn of 2022, the Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) System will be used to classify occupations. All applicants for immigration must be aware of the change, because it will affect the immigration and foreign worker eligibility in some cases.
The government is determined to make Canadian citizenship applications free. This was first promised in 2019 prior to the pandemic, but Canada was forced to shift immigration policies due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The country’s immigration department is also determined to allow all citizenship candidates including families to submit their applications online.
A Trusted Employer System could be launched as the Canadian government has eyed this type of program for a number of years. The Trusted Employer System for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) will allow trusted employers to fill employment vacancies quickly through the scheme if it comes into effect. The TFWP is a priority for the Canadian government and could be launched by the end of 2022.
Canada is aiming to accept 40,000 Afghan refugees. Dating back to August 2021, this has been a top priority for Canada as the country offers humanitarian aid in the form of resettlement.
In addition, the Parents and Grandparents Program will continue to admit 23,500 immigrants under the scheme in 2022. However, this could be amended. Canadian travel rules are constantly evolving due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of January 15, 2022, travelers looking for entry into Canada must be fully vaccinated before arriving on Canadian soil. This includes family members, temporary foreign workers, and international students over the age of 18.