More Than 411, 000 New Permanent Residents By The End of 2022?

As the new year begins, Canada is celebrating and reflecting on its immigration achievements of 2021. Canada set the lofty goal of welcoming 401,000 new permanent residents by the end of the year. Despite the difficult restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the goal was achieved. Not only is this number unprecedented, but it is also the highest in Canadian history.

The accomplishment has energized the Canadian government to establish the goal of welcoming another 411,000 permanent residents by the end of 2022. However, it is predicted that this number may even be higher due to the country’s growing labour shortages, previous application backlogs, and the federal government’s commitment to resettle 40,000 Afghan refugees.


It is impossible to address the forecast of immigration to Canada in 2022 without touching on COVID-19. The pandemic has directly affected immigration in Canada, especially in light of the new Omicron variant. As a result, much like in 2021, the immigration mandate will continue to prioritize economic development, reuniting families, and assisting those with humanitarian needs. However, considering the various travel restrictions, Canada’s is focused on prioritizing employment programs and applicants already within the country.

The Atlantic Immigration Program

Previously called the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, the program was first launched in 2017. As of January 1, 2022, it became a permanent pathway. Atlantic Canada, which comprises four east-coast provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, has struggled with labour shortages due to their ageing populations and the pandemic pushing people towards early retirement. This program allows designated employers to hire skilled workers for jobs they have been unable to fill locally. It also ensures job security for immigrants arriving in Atlantic Canada because jobs are already secured before they settle. To mitigate application delays, a digital application system has been implemented.

Changes to the National Occupation Classification (NOC)

Significant changes to the National Occupation Classification (NOC), Canada’s national reference for occupations, will be implemented in Fall 2022. These changes are meant to reflect the country’s evolving economy and labour market. Previously, NOC had four skill type categories, mainly focused on education level. This is set to be replaced by the Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) system, which has six categories.

Statistics Canada explains the two reasons why the skill type model is being implemented. First, the TEER system aims to provide a clearer outline of the education and work experience required to work in an occupation. Second, the skill type model creates obvious categorizations between low- and high-skilled jobs.

More information about these changes is expected to come on February 10, when Minister Sean Fraser is scheduled to table Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024.