Mandate — Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) was created in 1994 to:

  • link immigration services with citizenship registration
  • promote the unique ideals all Canadians share and
  • help build a stronger Canada.

In 2013, IRCC assumed responsibility for the administration of the passport program.

Our mandate comes from the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act. The Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is responsible for the Citizenship Act and shares responsibility with the Minister of Public Safety for the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

IRCC also has primary responsibility for Passport Canada and the administration of the Canadian Passport Order and the Order Respecting the Issuance of Diplomatic and Special Passports.

Raison d’être

Canada is a country that has been positively impacted by immigration, welcoming over 21 million people since Confederation and home to over 200 ethnic communities. Immigration has been crucial in shaping Canada into the diverse and prosperous nation it is today and, looking forward, stands to be equally fundamental to Canada’s future social cohesion and economic prosperity. To this end, IRCC facilitates the entry of temporary residents, manages the selection, settlement and integration of newcomers, grants citizenship and issues passports to eligible citizens. The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is responsible for this organization.


IRCC and its partners will build a stronger Canada by:

  • Developing and implementing policies, programs and services that:
    • facilitate the arrival of people and their integration into Canada in a way that maximizes their contribution to the country while protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians;
    • maintain Canada’s humanitarian tradition by protecting refugees and people in need of protection;
    • enhance the values and promote the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship; and
    • reach out to all Canadians and foster increased intercultural understanding and an integrated society with equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, ethnicity and religion.
  • Advancing global migration policies in a way that supports Canada’s immigration and humanitarian objectives.

Vision for a stronger Canada

A stronger Canada – a safe and secure country with a shared bond of citizenship and values; a country that continues to support our humanitarian tradition and draws the best from the world to help build a nation that is economically, socially and culturally prosperous.

Operating context

Annually, through its key lines of business, IRCC interacts with millions of individuals, including those seeking temporary or permanent resident entry into Canada and subsequently settling into Canadian society, and those pursuing Canadian citizenship. The Department is responsible for passport services in support of individuals seeking to obtain or renew a Canadian passport or other travel document such as a certificate of identity or a refugee travel document.

IRCC works to facilitate the legitimate entry of visitors, economic immigrants, sponsored family members and those seeking protection in Canada, while protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians. The Department balances competing pressures, notably: responding to domestic labour market demands and an increasingly mobile work force; contributing to overall economic growth; and streamlining service delivery and enhancing the client experience, while responding to increasingly complex safety and security challenges. In addition, to ensure the successful integration of newcomers into the Canadian economy and society, IRCC engages regularly and extensively with federal partners, provinces and territories, as well as other stakeholders on a variety of key immigration-related topics, such as immigration levels planning, economic immigration, and settlement and integration of newcomers, including refugees and protected persons.

IRCC has established a wide-ranging transformation agenda that is based on optimizing current operations and building a foundation that sustains a new way of working. This transformation is aimed at augmenting the client experience by improving processing times, generating simpler and clearer processes and reducing inventories.

In recent years, the Department has experienced significant increases in some of its most important lines of business as many around the world seek to enter Canada temporarily or permanently, and eligible permanent residents eventually seek to become Canadian citizens. IRCC strives to effectively manage these requests to enter and remain in Canada, while working with stakeholders to ensure that newcomers have the best opportunities to succeed and that the Canadian economy and society reap the benefits of newcomer success.

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