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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

IRCC announces number of 2023 arrivals

by Michael Scott

In the face of growing criticism of the numbers of new landings in Canada, IRCC has released the number of actual arrivals for 2023. According to recently reported numbers, 471,550 new permanent residents landed last year. This number represents an increase of 33,950 over 2022’s number of 437,600. The number of actual landings exceeds the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025, which planned to welcome 465,000.

The number of landings includes landings from Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Programs, and their accompanying spouses/partners and dependent children. The total included the number of final decisions made on applications. 1,646,300 applications were finalized including extensions, which represented an increase of 503,330 over 2022. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility Program were included in this number. 1,089,600 study permits were finalized including extensions, which is beyond the recently imposed caps. For 2024 the cap announced is 360,000, which is a decrease of 35 per cent from 2023. The IRCC data shows that 293,000 newcomers became Canadian Citizens in 2023, an increase of 13,900 over the same report period (April – December) or 279,100.

It is possible that the numbers projected in the Immigration Levels Plan will be adjusted downward with the recent steps to cut back on study permits and set lower caps. At present, the department is working to meet the target of 485,000 for 2024 with a long-range target of 500,000 per annum. At present IRCC has not placed any cap on the number of permanent residents who can be landed in Canada, but there is a chance of this occurring as the opposition Conservatives question the ruling Liberal government who, themselves, are taking measures, to decrease arrivals primarily because of criticism about the negative impact on arrivals on the limited housing resources in the country. IRCC has already announced its intention to issue just 360,000 study permits per year although the cap does not include study permit renewals for graduate level students.

The number of applications in process is something that we are all aware has been an issue over the past few years. As of December 31, 2023, the application inventory included 2,221,000 applications of which 949,500 were in the backlog. IRCC has been working to decease the backlog with a target of 80 per cent in all processing streams. The numbers are significant, but IRCC demonstrated its ability to manage the backlog by finalizing the backlog by 5.2 million. The client inventory includes 702,000 active permanent residents with a backlog of 308,900 or 44 per cent of the total inventory.

Temporary resident applications show that, at present, there are 1,257,000. Of this number 590,800 work permits, study permits, and temporary resident visas are in the backlog. IRCC reports that 61 per cent of visitor visas (TRV) are currently in the backlog as compared with 18 per cent of study permits.

In terms of the backlog, we can take the new Minister, Marc Miller, at his word. His department is working to reduce the backlog and at the same time meeting the demands for increased immigration. Yes, it seems that the political winds in Canada are blowing against increased arrivals, but the problem is that the critics have forgotten that Canada needs immigration for a vibrant economy and that, as a people, we do not replace ourselves with low birth rates. I am not worried about the new arrivals, and I hope the anti-immigration fervour dies down and reason prevails.

Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Immigration Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with Immigration Connexion International Ltd. Contact him at 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: mscott.ici@gmail.com.