What is the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration?
The Annual Report on Immigration is an annual summary of Immigration in Canada that is tabled before the parliament on or before November 1 each year. The Report aims to inform the Canadian Parliament and Canadians of the key highlights relating to Immigration to Canada.
This formality is part of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (94, 1-2), according to which the Report should include descriptions of the following:
- Activities and initiatives taken regarding the selection of foreign nationals and cooperation with the provinces.
- Instructions given by the IRCC along with eligible foreign nationals, economic goals supported and foreign nationals invited to apply for permanent residency in each category.
- The number of foreign nationals who became permanent residents and projected numbers for the following year.
- The linguistic profile of foreign nationals who became permanent residents
- The federal-provincial agreements, each class listed in the agreement and persons who became permanent residents
- The number of temporary resident permits issued
- The number of persons granted permanent residency under each subsection
- A gender-based analysis of the impacts of this act.
The 2022 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration
The 2022 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration was released by the IRCC for the period ending December 31, 2022.
In his introductory message, the former Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, highlighted Canada’s role as a leading refugee resettlement country and the importance of Immigration to the country’s culture, economy and population growth.
The message also brought up the resilience of the Canadian immigration system in the face of the global pandemic, with the IRCC committing over $85 million to improve the performance and outcomes of its departments and partners across all areas.
406,000 permanent residents were brought in through the IRCC’s programs. The number of temporary work permit and study permit holders was marginally higher, with 415,000 and 445,000 permits issued, respectively.
The IRCC minister’s message also touched on Canada’s role as a human rights defender and the introduction of new refugee streams in response to the Afghan crisis and the danger posed to minorities such as women leaders, religious minorities, 2SLGBTQI+ individuals, journalists and persecuted individuals.
Key Highlights and Statistics for Immigration to Canada
The 2022 Annual Report on Immigration also covers some landmark numbers that were surpassed over the year. This includes:
- A total of 405,999 residents were welcomed into Canada in 2021. Of these, 191,338 transitioned from temporary to permanent residents.
- The IRCC issued 1,467,333 travel documents to visitors, students and temporary foreign workers.
- 221,919 permanent students were issued Citizenship in 2021-22.
- The IRCC also provided settlement services to 428,000 clients over the year.
Important milestones mentioned in the 2022 Annual Report on Immigration
Digital Platform Modernization program
The IRCC’s Digital Platform Modernization program is a multi-year initiative to improve the agency’s delivery through digital innovations.
The IRCC stepped up its modernization program in 2021 to counter the growing backlogs (1.8 million in November 2021) plaguing its inventories. The 2022 Annual report attributed the increasing number of backlogs to the unprecedented demand coupled with ongoing travel and border restrictions and the operational pressures faced by Immigration related agencies.
Importance of Immigration in sustaining Canada’s economic growth
The Report draws the relationship between Immigration and Canada’s continued economic growth. Immigration accounted for 90% of Canada’s labour force growth for the year and 75% of the population growth. Temporary and permanent residents were essential in meeting the needs of Canada’s labour market, which has been facing shortages in many sectors.
International residents also contributed $23.5 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Multi-year Immigration Levels Plan
In 2022, Canada released its 2022-24 Immigration Levels Plan, targeting over 431,645 permanent residents. To put it into perspective, Canada welcomed 405,999 permanent residents in 2021.
This continues the trend of Canada admitting at least 1% of the Canadian population as immigrants yearly.
New and Revised Pathways to Permanent Residency in 2021
The IRCC launched and revised several pathways to help achieve the targets of the Immigration Levels Plan. Some new policies include:
- A limited-time pathway to permanent residency for qualified temporary residents under the Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway program whose applications were received between May 6, 2021 and November 5, 2021.
- A pathway to permanent residence for refugee claimants working in Canada in the health sector during the pandemic. The applicants can opt to reside in Quebec or the rest of Canada if their application was received between December 14, 2020 and August 31, 2021.
- Pathway to permanent residence for families of the victims of PS 752 and EA302 air disasters.
- Two Pathways to permanent residence for certain Hong Kong residents.
- Access to permanent residence for out-of-status construction workers until January 2, 2023, or once 500 principal applicants have been approved for permanent residency.
Improvements to the Operational efficiency of IRCC programs
Backlogs are among the biggest concerns for an immigration system as busy and expansive as Canada’s. To tackle the issue, the IRCC has been leaning on digital innovations and systems to improve the system’s overall efficiency. Some major steps in 2021 were:
- Launch of the Permanent Resident Digital intake Portal on March 31, 2021, allowing clients to submit digital applications.
- Use of Advanced Data Analytics for efficient decision-making for Permanent Resident applications under the Spouse/ Common-Law Partner in Canada class.
- Digitization of paper-based applications to help distribute and process applications across various departments. The IRCC digitized 108,000 applications in 2021.
Immigration statistics for various programs under the IRCC
Temporary Resident programs
Travel restrictions and border closures severely limited the number of temporary residents arriving with electronic travel authorization (eTA) or Temporary resident visas(TRV). In all, the IRCC issued 813,306 eTAs and 654,027 TRVs through 2021.
- Visitors- including tourists, business travellers and other temporary visitors accounted for 962,506 of all TRV and eTAs issued in 2021.
- International Students- The IRCC issued study permits to 445,776 International students in 2021.
- Temporary Foreign Workers- Canada had 103,552 work permit holders through the Temporary Foreign Workers Program and 313,294 work permit holders under the International Mobility Program in 2021.
- The Global Skills Strategy for foreign workers with specialized skills and experience welcomed over 38,500 temporary workers in 2021.
Economic Immigration was the largest source of permanent residents in 2021, with 62% (252,971) of all admissions coming from this category. They have been vital for the growth of Canada’s labour force in recent times.
Federal Economic Immigration program
These programs use the popular Express Entry system to manage applications and select candidates. It includes the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. 139,459 permanent residents were admitted through these three programs in 2021.
Regional Economic Immigration program
Unlike the Federal economic immigration program, the Provincial Nominee program requires the cooperation of provinces. They cater to the labour needs of communities across Canada that don’t have the same pull as big cities.
54,020 newcomers were admitted through the Provincial Nominee program in 2021
This initiative helps Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsor family members for permanent residency. A total of 81,423 individuals were admitted under this category in 2021. The Family Reunification can be broken down into:
- Spouses, partners and children program- 69,685 admissions in 2021
- Parents and grandparents program- 11,738 parents and grandparents admitted in 2021
Refugees, protected persons and humanitarian Immigration
Canada admitted 60,228 refugees and protected persons as permanent residents in 2021, maintaining its reputation for humanitarian aid.
Canada also had the honour of being the global leader in resettling refugees in 2021 for the third time, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Canada received approximately 25,000 asylum claims in 2021 from foreign nationals fearing persecution. The IRCC also introduced a new pathway to permanent residence for asylum claimants working in the healthcare sector across Canada.
Increase in Francophone Immigration outside Quebec
2021 also proved to be a stellar year for francophone Immigration outside Quebec. According to the Annual Report, almost all provinces and territories witnessed an increase in French-speaking permanent residents compared to previous years.
The provinces-wise breakdown of the numbers is as follows.
|Province/ Territory||French-speaking Permanent residents admitted|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||25|
|Prince Edward Island||20|
The IRCC implemented its Anti-Racism strategy for 2021-23 with the following objectives:
- Creating an Equitable Work Culture- with anti-racism awareness and cultural understanding to create a supportive workplace.
- Workforce Reflecting Canada- through increased representation at intermediate and Senior levels, along with eliminating barrios in staffing.
- Equitable Policy and Operations Practices- reduced disparities between clients in both experience and outcomes.
- Leadership Accountability at all Levels
Gender and Diversity in Immigration
The IRCC also committed to making its policies and inner workings in line with a Gender-Based Analysis (GBA Plus). This means inclusivity and understanding of factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, income, language, etc. and how they affect the outcomes of people and their access to policies and programs.
Some achievements of the IRCC in pursuit of its GBA Plus initiatives were:
- Admission of 12 refugees through the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership that supports LGBTQI organizations and refugee settlement communities in Canada.
- The IRCC introduced a departmental Sex and Gender Client Identifier Policy that shows how a client’s sex/gender information should be collected, recorded and displayed.
- Resettling 995 vulnerable refugee women and children under Canada’s Assistance to Women at Risk Program in 2021.
Canada also led the world in gender upliftment and diversity internationally by becoming a ‘Champion country’ of the Global Compact for Migration that shares best practices in gender-responsive migration management.
The IRCC also co-launched and headed a global communications campaign with the Global Forum on Migration and Development to bring about a more balanced narrative on migration by sharing inclusive stories about migrant contributions worldwide.