More than 120,000 temporary residents to transition to permanent residents of Canada in 2022

New data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) shows that 124,950 temporary residents will transition to permanent residents in 2022.

The numbers show permanent residence changes among people who last had a study permit, a work permit under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP), or a work permit under the International Mobility Program (IMP). These programs can provide benefits to potential permanent residents when they decide to apply for PR.

Data from Statistics Canada shows that temporary residents have put down roots in their communities and are able to integrate more easily into the labor force.

Additionally, by spending time in Canada before applying for a PR, they can deepen their knowledge of English or French, which puts them in a position to earn more than applicants who apply before or after landing in Canada. Neither speak the language.

international mobility program

Last year, 97,665 people became permanent residents after transitioning from IMP. The IMP includes several types of work permits that do not require a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs) are covered under IMP. The data shows that 52,725 PGWP holders became permanent residents, accounting for the largest share of IMP participants who got PR status.

The PGWP allows newly graduated international students in Canada to live and work anywhere in the country for up to three years (depending on the duration of their program of study) if they have completed their program at a designated educational institution.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

There were 7,555 people who transitioned from the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to PR. Foreign workers under the TFWP require their employer to obtain an LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada. An LMIA is a document that proves that hiring foreign workers will have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labor force.

study permit holder

The data for 2022 also shows that 19,730 new permanent residents last held a study permit.

Canada is now host to over 800,000 international students. Generally, PR aspirants get PGWP first to gain work experience in Canada. However, it is still possible to transition directly from study permit to PR for candidates who meet the eligibility criteria of an economic class route. This is also true for those who are sponsored under the Family Squares program, or achieve a PR through the Humanitarian Program.

Economic immigration programs can help transition from TR to PR

Many economic immigration programs reward candidates with Canadian experience. For example, within the Express Entry Application Management System a candidate will receive additional points in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) for Canadian work or study experience.

Major routes to PR include the Atlantic Immigration Program or regional economic immigration programs such as the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilots. There are also programs that target specific labor shortages such as the Caregiver Pathway.

Lower TR to PR change than in 2021

The number of temporary residents expected to become permanent residents in 2022 is down from 191,360 in 2021. For example, 157,695 people who were in Canada as part of the IMP became permanent residents and 10,985 came from the TFWP. Study permit holders account for 22,680 of the new permanent residents.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, border closures and travel restrictions made it more difficult for newcomers to immigrate from abroad as permanent residents. IRCC then turned its attention to potential PRs already living in Canada. A remedy came in February 2021 when IRCC conducted the largest ever Express Entry draw of 27,332 candidates in a CEC-only draw.

In January 2021, IRCC paused Express Entry draws for candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. However, the department continued to hold draws for candidates in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) until September 2021 and for the Provincial Nominee Program. Under the CEC, candidates are required to have one year of Canadian work experience and must have lived in the country for at least one of the previous three years.

The government also introduced an additional route that allowed temporary residents to transition to permanent residents. The program had six streams for candidates with experience in high-demand professions such as healthcare and a pathway for international students. Three programs were for English and French speakers while the other three were exclusively for French speaking temporary residents. This program ran from May to November 2021.

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