2023: A preview of Canadian immigration

Immigration Levels Plan Target for 2023

Canada has set a record-high immigration target within the Immigration Levels Plan for 2023, suggesting that IRCC believes it can manage the backlog while also welcoming a high number of newcomers.

By immigration category, the 2023 Immigration Levels Plan target (465,000) breaks down as follows.

  • Express Entry: 82,880
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP): 105,500
  • Parents and Grandparents: 28,500
  • Spouses/Partners and Children: 78,000

Previewing 4 key Canadian immigration pathways 

  • Provincial Nominee Programs in 2023

PNPs are crucial to helping Canada address specific labour market needs that are becoming more prominent across the country. Accordingly, 2023 is expected to see Canada welcome just under 23,000 more PNP immigrants than Express Entry candidates.

  • Express Entry in 2023

IRCC is expected to introduce ‘targeted’ Express Entry draws in 2023. ITAs will be issued based on candidates who have specific occupational experience, language skills and/or educational backgrounds.

  • Parents and Grandparents Program in 2023

In 2023, Canada will remain committed to family reunification. This is evident in the popularity of Canada’s Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP). The PGP, combined with other immigration pathways such as the Super Visa, will look to welcome more than 28,000 newcomers next year according to Canada’s latest Immigration Levels Plan.

Note: No official details are yet available regarding the exact selection process IRCC will use for the PGP in 2023.

  • International Students in 2023

In October, IRCC announced an amendment to its off-campus work hours policy for international students in Canada.

From November 15, 2022, until the end of 2023, “international students who are in Canada and have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will be allowed to work over 20 hours per week off-campus while class is in session.”

Immigration significantly benefits Canada’s population and labour force, which should continue in 2023.

For instance, the expected increase of newcomers to Canada through both PNPs and targeted Express Entry draws should allow Canada to relieve more of the pressure currently hindering the country’s labour market. As more capable skilled immigrants enter the country, especially those working in high-demand occupations, Canada will benefit economically through the natural cycle of spending that occurs when people are employed.

Additionally, temporarily lifting the off-campus work hours rule means more international students may come to Canada over time, as this move is expected to make Canada an even more attractive international student destination. Should this lead to more international students also staying in Canada after graduation, this work hours policy change will mean that more foreign students eventually contribute to the improvement of Canada’s economy and labour market (much like the Express Entry and PNP immigrants described above).

Accordingly, immigration in 2023 should provide many reasons for all Canadians to be more hopeful for a prosperous labour force and economic future in this country.