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Canada Breaks Immigration Record in 2023

Canada experienced a groundbreaking year in immigration in 2023, surpassing previous records for admitting new permanent residents. According to data released by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the country welcomed a total of 471,550 new permanent residents, exceeding the projected quota of 465,000 outlined in the Immigration Levels Plan 2023–2025.

Increase in Permanent Residents

This increase marks a significant rise from the 437,600 permanent residents admitted in 2022. The influx of newcomers was facilitated through various immigration categories, including Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), along with their accompanying family members.

Finalization of Temporary Residence Petitions

In addition to permanent residency, IRCC also finalized a substantial number of temporary residence petitions in 2023. The department processed 1,646,300 work permit applications, reflecting a notable increase from the previous year. Similarly, there was a significant rise in study permit approvals, with 1,089,600 permits granted in 2023.

Citizenship Acquisition

Furthermore, a significant number of individuals obtained Canadian citizenship during the year, with 293,000 foreigners becoming citizens between April 1 and December 31, 2023.

Future Immigration Plans

Looking ahead, IRCC aims to maintain this momentum by welcoming 500,000 new permanent residents between 2025 and 2026. The agency continues to prioritize economic immigration programs like Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program to meet these targets.

Challenges with Application Backlog

Despite the impressive numbers, IRCC faces challenges in managing its application backlog. As of December 31, 2023, the department had over 2.2 million applications in its portfolio, with nearly half considered to be in backlog status. This backlog spans various categories, including permanent residency, temporary residency, and citizenship applications.


In conclusion, Canada’s record-breaking immigration numbers in 2023 reflect its commitment to welcoming newcomers and supporting economic growth and diversity. Despite challenges, IRCC remains dedicated to facilitating immigration pathways for individuals seeking to make Canada their home.

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