ARCHIVED – Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, 2015

Message from the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

As the new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, it is with great pleasure that I present the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration 2015, including the levels plan for 2016.

I look forward to working with departmental officials, provincial and territorial partners, and stakeholders to build on the work and initiatives that the Government of Canada undertook in 2014–2015.

Throughout 2014–2015, the Department continued its work to make Canada’s immigration system faster, more flexible and more secure. The Government of Canada launched a number of new initiatives, while reforming other programs to better meet the needs of immigrants, employers and legitimate travellers. These initiatives included the Express Entry system, the Electronic Travel Authorization entry requirement and the continuation of Canada’s humanitarian tradition of welcoming refugees and the world’s most vulnerable.

Our Government will continue to renew and expand Canada’s refugee resettlement program—with an immediate focus on the Syrian crisis. Canadians have a long history of doing the right thing and welcoming to our country displaced people from all over the world in need of protection, security, and opportunity to rebuild their lives. And we will do so again as we work together with all levels of government as well as individuals and partner organizations to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees as swiftly as possible. In addition, we will also work towards speeding up family reunification and oversee the ongoing implementation of the new Electronic Travel Authorization entry requirement.

Canada is a country that was built in large part thanks to generous immigration programs and the entrepreneurial spirit of those who have chosen to make Canada their home. It is crucial that the Government of Canada’s programs and initiatives continue to adapt to Canada’s and the world’s changing needs, as they have throughout our history.

As we look ahead, it is vitally important that immigration continues to be representative of Canada’s compassion and humanitarianism. It is by finding a balance between compassion, efficiency and economic opportunity for all, and through diversity and humanitarianism, that immigration will continue to bring both economic and social rewards.

I thank departmental staff for the hard work they have undertaken to keep our system relevant and flexible and have no doubt they will approach the year ahead with the same dedication and professionalism.

The Honourable John McCallum, PC, MP
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship


The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into effect on June 28, 2002, replacing the Immigration Act of 1976. Under section 94 of the Act (see Annex), the Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Footnote 1 is required to table an annual report in Parliament on the Department’s immigration activities and initiatives. The report focuses on the selection of foreign nationals as permanent and temporary residents during the preceding calendar year. The legislation also requires an overview of federal-provincial/territorial agreements and joint initiatives, as well as a gender-based analysis of the impact of the Act. In addition, the report serves as a vehicle for announcing Canada’s immigration plan for the upcoming calendar year.

This report is divided into five sections.

Section 1 highlights future initiatives to strengthen Canada’s immigration system, as well as the 2016 immigration levels plan.

Section 2 provides key statistics relating to permanent and temporary residents admitted in 2014 and summarizes relevant initiatives in these areas.

Section 3 focuses on IRCC’s partnerships with the provinces and territories. It outlines the bilateral agreements currently in force between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments and describes major joint initiatives.

Section 4 provides a description of the Newcomer Settlement and Integration, Citizenship and Passport programs.

Section 5 describes IRCC’s framework for gender-based analysis, highlights gender-based analysis activities and provides a statistical overview of gender differences in relation to key immigration statistics.

Section 1: An Immigration System Grounded in Compassion and Economic Opportunity for All

The Government of Canada is implementing a new plan for immigration—one that is grounded in compassion and economic prosperity for all. The plan will make it easier for immigrants to build successful lives in Canada and contribute to the country’s economic success. The Government of Canada will take immediate steps to reopen Canada’s doors and will make reuniting families a top priority. When families are able to stay together, their integration into Canada and their ability to work and grow their communities all improve.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continues to modernize its services while improving the service it provides to clients—both Canadians and newcomers. By putting clients’ needs at the forefront, IRCC aims to enhance the performance and effectiveness of Canada’s immigration programs while also upholding the family, social, cultural and humanitarian objectives set out by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

The information in this section looks ahead to the Government of Canada’s new plan for the immigration system, as well as presents the 2016 immigration levels plan. 

Permanent Residence

Renewing and expanding a safe, secure and humane refugee program for Canada

Syrian Refugees

Canada has a long and proud tradition of providing protection to those who need it the most by granting refuge to thousands of the world’s most vulnerable people. Since March 2011, the unrest in Syria has led to more than four million Syrians seeking refuge in the neighbouring countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, resulting in significant humanitarian needs. 

In January 2015, Canada announced increased support for conflict-affected Syrians and Iraqis. The Government of Canada built on this commitment by significantly expanding Canada’s intake of refugees from Syria by 25,000, by the end of February 2016, through immediate government sponsorship and working with private sponsors. Additional funding will support increased refugee processing, sponsorship and resettlement services capacity in Canada. The Government will also provide funding to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to support the critical relief activities in the region. 

Additional Reforms to the Refugee System

Changes in 2012 to the in-Canada asylum system include the introduction of Designated Countries of Origin: countries that do not normally produce refugees, but do respect human rights and offer state protection. This approach and the overall functioning of the system is currently being evaluated and opportunities to make improvements are being examined with the goal of ensuring a safe but effective refugee determination system. The Government of Canada will seek the establishment of an expert human rights panel for the determination of designated countries of origin, along with a right to appeal decisions for citizens from these countries. 

Furthermore, the process for appointing individuals to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada will evolve to ensure that only those with subject matter expertise will be considered. In addition, the Government of Canada will fully restore the Interim Federal Health Program that provides limited and temporary health benefits to refugees and refugee claimants. 

Reuniting Families

Immigration has always been important to Canada’s economic growth. Reuniting families helps immigrants build successful lives in Canada and contributes to the economic success of all Canadians. Reuniting families will be a top priority for the Government of Canada moving forward. To do so, investments will be made to family class processing. The Government will also seek to provide more opportunities for applicants who have Canadian siblings by giving additional points under the Express Entry system. The maximum age for dependent children will be increased to 22 from 19, allowing more Canadians and permanent residents to bring their children to Canada. The Government will also move towards granting immediate permanent residency to new spouses entering Canada, thereby eliminating the conditional two-year waiting period.


The Government of Canada will make it easier and simpler for Canadian families to hire foreign workers to help them care for their loved ones. The Government will work with the provinces and territories towards developing a system of regulated companies to hire caregivers on behalf of families. This will make it simpler for families to hire caregivers and will protect caregivers by allowing them to change employers in the case of bad relations or abuse. The Government will also seek to modify the Temporary Foreign Workers Program to eliminate the $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee to hire caregivers.

Inviting in-demand, skilled immigrants to Canada

Express Entry

On January 1, 2015, IRCC launched Express Entry, an application management system designed to help Canada select skilled immigrants who are most likely to integrate fully into Canadian society. With most applications being processed in six months or less, candidates are able to quickly contribute to Canada’s economy and job market. The Express Entry system prevents backlogs and makes it possible to better coordinate application volumes with the annual immigration levels plan. The system will be reviewed to ensure that processing times are efficient.

In 2015, provinces and territories were allocated a number of “enhanced nominations,” accessible via dedicated Express Entry Provincial Nominee Program streams. “Enhanced nominations” are processed online and are subject to Express Entry’s six-month or less processing standard (in 80% of cases). These nominations were allocated in addition to the “base nominations” which provinces and territories can still access through existing Provincial Nominee Program streams and processing standards.

To prepare for the launch of Express Entry in 2015, the Government of Canada began accepting applications under new caps for the Federal Skilled Workers Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program and Canadian Experience Class in May 2014. These measures helped to supplement the Canadian work force in areas where there were skills shortages, and helped to prevent backlogs and improve processing times. In 2016, the Government of Canada will complete processing of these applications, ensuring these economic immigrants can come to Canada and enter the Canadian labour market.

Immigrant Investors

In June 2014, following a comprehensive review and public consultations, the Government of Canada ended the existing federal Immigrant Investor and Entrepreneur programs, as they provided limited economic benefit to Canada.

In January 2015, the Government of Canada launched the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program, which seeks to attract a small number of immigrant investors who can make a real investment in the Canadian economy. The program aims to attract up to 60 immigrant investors who have a net worth of $10 million and who will provide an at-risk investment of $2 million for a period of approximately 15 years. Immigrant investors must also meet certain program eligibility criteria related to language proficiency and education. This will ensure that immigrant investors make a real and significant investment in the Canadian economy and that those admitted for permanent residence are well prepared to integrate into the Canadian business landscape and society.

Temporary Residence

Temporary Foreign Workers and International Students

Canada’s Temporary Economic Residents Program aims to facilitate the entry of temporary workers, students and visitors in a way that maximizes their contribution to Canada’s economic, social and cultural development and protects the health, safety and security of Canadians. The Government of Canada will examine ways to increase the transparency and integrity of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. Reforms will also be explored for the Canadian Experience Class Program to reduce barriers to international students. In particular, the Government of Canada will move to restore the residency time credit given to international students and other temporary residents to make it easier to become a Canadian citizen.

Facilitating Travel While Protecting the Health, Safety and Security of Canadians

Visa Requirements

Canada’s visa policy is based on a country-by-country assessment of a number of criteria that pertain to a country’s migration patterns or irregular migration, including the integrity of a country’s travel documents, safety and security issues, border management, human rights and bilateral relations. The Government of Canada will move to lift the current visa requirements imposed on Mexico.

Implementation of eTA

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a new entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals (apart from U.S. citizens and other specified exempt travellers) who are travelling to Canada by air. eTA allows Canada to pre-screen these travellers, which will streamline their arrival at the border, improve the safety and security of Canadians and protect the integrity of our immigration system. This entry requirement becomes mandatory on March 15, 2016. The Canada Border Services Agency’s related Interactive Advance Passenger Information program will enforce the eTA requirement by providing a “board/no-board” message to airlines for all travellers intending to fly to Canada. eTA mirrors the current U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization program and ensures a common approach to screening travellers from outside the North American perimeter. In the future, eTA could also be used to facilitate the temporary entry of low risk travellers from visa-required countries.

Biometric Screening

The use of biometrics (fingerprints and a digital photograph) for temporary resident applicants from 29 countries and one territory is improving identity management and the security and integrity of the Temporary Economic Residents Program. Biometric screening helps deter inadmissible persons from applying, assists officers in confirming identity, uncovers identity fraud and previous criminality, and facilitates the entry of genuine travellers. The Government of Canada will continue to develop the use of biometric screening to verify the identity of all visa- and permit-required temporary and permanent resident travellers seeking entry to Canada.

Biometric Information Sharing with the United States

Canada has developed an automated biometric query-based information sharing capability with the United States. Greater access to information on foreign nationals is contributing to better decisions on who should be rightfully admitted to this country by allowing Canadian officers to better identify those who have committed serious crimes or violated immigration law in the U.S., and make more informed decisions on visas, admissibility and immigration benefits. Using biometrics to confirm a client’s identity also prevents individuals from assuming different identities between one country and the other to gain fraudulent entry to immigration or asylum programs.

Visa Pause for Ebola

On October 31, 2014, Canadian visa officers temporarily paused the processing of visa applications from foreign nationals who have been physically present in a country designated by the World Health Organization as having widespread and intense transmission of the Ebola virus, which included Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. IRCC resumed processing visa applications from Liberia in May and from Sierra Leone in November 2015, following the World Health Organization declaration that the transmission of the Ebola virus has stopped. The visa pause remained in place for foreign nationals who had been in Guinea until December 2015, when the Department’s Ebola-related Ministerial Instructions were repealed.

Government of Canada Initiatives

Gender-Based Analysis

IRCC is the only federal department with a legislative requirement to carry out gender-based analysis. In accordance with IRPA, IRCC reports annually to Parliament on gender-based analysis and the impact of the Act (see section 5 of this report). More broadly, the Government of Canada is committed to better incorporating gender impacts in the development and implementation of policies. 

Service Delivery

IRCC has a global service delivery network that manages migration to Canada and provides a wide variety of services to foreign nationals, permanent residents and Canadians. The Government of Canada will aim to improve service delivery to its clients—Canadians and newcomers—by delivering easy online access to government services, establishing new performance standards for federal services, experimenting with new approaches and using the best available data to deliver programs that offer good value to Canadians. These initiatives will help IRCC enhance client service, keep pace with growing application volumes and remain internationally competitive across all of IRCC’s lines of business.

Canada’s Immigration Plan for 2016

Table 1 presents the 2016 levels plan, which outlines the anticipated number of permanent residents that will be admitted to Canada in 2016. The overall planned admission range is 280,000 to 305,000 people. The distribution among immigration programs is designed to support the Government of Canada’s priorities related to the accelerated resettlement of Syrian refugees and reunification of Canadians with their families, while also meeting economic objectives. The levels plan is informed by consultations with the provinces and territories, performance results, Government of Canada and departmental priorities, and operational capacities.

Table 1: Immigration Levels Plan 2016
Projected Admissions Low High
Federal-selected Economic Programs,
Provincial/Territorial Nominees, Family, Refugees,
Humanitarian Entrants and Permit Holders
249,300 272,500
Quebec-selected Skilled Workers Footnote * 25,500 27,000
Quebec-selected Business Footnote * 5,200 5,500
TOTAL 280,000 305,000

Section 2: Managing Permanent Immigration and Temporary Migration

Immigration to Canada can be either on a permanent basis or temporary in nature, such as to visit, study or work. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) handles large volumes of permanent and temporary resident applications across its extensive global processing network. The process of managing immigration files includes protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians. In collaboration with partners in the Public Safety portfolio (Public Safety Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service), as well as the Department of Justice and Health Canada, IRCC works to identify applicants who could pose security or health risks to Canadians. IRCC also works in partnership with other countries to mitigate risks and protect Canada from international threats.

To meet the admissions targets set out in the immigration levels plan, IRCC must balance pressures related to processing high volumes of applications for temporary residence, including work and study permits, and backlog reduction strategies for various permanent immigration programs. The Department allocates resources to meet operational targets while also maintaining service standards.

This section reports on the permanent resident admissions and temporary resident entries processed by IRCC in 2014.

Permanent Residents

The Government of Canada, in consultation with the provinces and territories, plans admissions of permanent residents each year in order to uphold the objectives for immigration as set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Permanent residents are persons who have been admitted to live in Canada on a permanent basis and who have the right to work and study in Canada, but have not become Canadian citizens. To maintain this status and not become inadmissible, they must continue to meet residency requirements and not violate the conditions of their status by reason of serious criminality, security, human or international rights violations, organized crime, or misrepresentation. As defined in IRPA, there are three basic classes of permanent residents: economic, family and refugees. The following is an overview of permanent resident admissions in 2014.

Admissions of Permanent Residents in 2014

Canada admitted 260,404 new permanent residents in 2014, an increase over 2013 (258,953), but a slightly lower level than the average number of admissions from 2010–2014 (261,339). Of those, 63.4% were economic immigrants (along with their spouse/partner and dependants), 25.6% were in the family reunification category and 11.0% were in the humanitarian category (including refugees). Each year, some applicants arrive within the same year in which they receive their visa, while others arrive the following year. For this reason, IRCC reports on both the number of visas it issued in 2014 as well as the number of people who arrived in Canada during that year (admissions). Table 2 provides a detailed breakdown of the 2014 admissions by immigration category. More statistical information on admissions in 2014 can be found in IRCC’s Facts and Figures 2014.

Table 2: New Permanent Residents Admitted in 2014
Immigrant Category 2014 Plan Admission Ranges
2014 Plan Admission Ranges
Number Admitted in 2014
Federal Skilled Workers Footnote 2 Footnote *†  41,500 47,800 38,701
Federal Business Footnote *†  6,000 7,400 4,464
Canadian Experience Class 14,000 15,000 23,786
Caregiver Program Footnote 3 14,400 17,500 17,692
Provincial Nominee Program 44,500 47,000 47,628
Quebec-selected Skilled Workers Footnote *†  26,000 27,000 28,922
Quebec-selected Business Footnote *†  5,000 5,500 3,896
Subtotal Economic Class: Principal Applicants - - 78,107
Subtotal Economic Class: Spouses and Dependants - - 86,982
Total Economic 151,400 167,200 165,089
Spouses, Partners and Children Footnote 4 45,000 48,000 45,389
Parents and Grandparents and Other 18,000 20,000 18,150
Other Family Class Footnote 5 - - 3,122
Total Family 63,000 68,000 66,661
Protected Persons in Canada and Dependants Abroad Footnote 6 11,000 12,000 10,976
Government-assisted Refugees 6,900 7,200 7,573
Blended Visa Office Referred Refugees 400 500 177
Privately Sponsored Refugees 4,500 6,500 4,560
Public Policy – Federal Resettlement Assistance 200 300 8
Public Policy – Other 100 200 800
Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations Footnote 7 2,500 3,000 4,528
Total Humanitarian 25,600 29,700 28,622
Permit Holders 0 100 31
Category not stated - - 1
TOTAL 240,000 265,000 260,404

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Research DataMart (RDM) as of June 2015.

Additional IRCC data are also available through the Quarterly Administrative Data Release. Any numbers in this report that were derived from IRCC data sources may differ from those reported in earlier publications; these differences reflect typical adjustments to IRCC’s administrative data files over time. As the data in this report are taken from a single point in time, it is expected that they will change over time as additional information becomes available.

Highlights of Economic Class Admissions in 2014

The Economic Class includes federal and Quebec-selected skilled workers, federal and Quebec-selected business immigrants, provincial and territorial nominees, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and caregivers, as well as spouses, partners and dependants who accompany the principal applicants in any of these economic categories. In 2014, Canada admitted 165,089 permanent residents in Economic Class programs. This is an 11.4% increase from 2013, and falls within the planned admission range of 151,400 to 167,200. There was also a 25.6% increase in the number of permanent resident applications received in Economic Class programs compared to 2013. IRCC issued 160,995 visas (for overseas applicants) and authorizations (for applicants already in Canada) for permanent residence in this category in 2014.

Through the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) Program, Canada admits skilled immigrants with the experience needed to contribute to the Canadian economy. Selection is based on a points system that assesses education, age, work experience, official language proficiency, pre-arranged employment in Canada and adaptability. The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) facilitates the entry of skilled tradespersons, emphasizing practical training and work experience. There were 38,701 FSW Program admissions in 2014, including admissions to the FSTP, which is lower than the planned range of 41,500 to 47,800. IRCC continued to carefully manage the number of new applications accepted in 2014 for processing in various economic programs through the issuance of Ministerial Instructions. Ministerial Instructions, issued under the authority of section 87.3 of IRPA, enable the Minister to direct visa officers to process applications in select immigration categories in a manner that supports the attainment of the Government of Canada’s immigration goals. This strategically focuses IRCC’s processing capacity by, for example, reducing (or temporarily stopping) new application intake to address backlog pressures or requiring that applicants have experience in an occupation that is in demand. Effective January 1, 2015, the 15th set of Ministerial Instructions repealed all processing eligibility criteria for new applications in the FSW Program, FSTP and the CEC Program, in preparation for the launch of the new Express Entry application management system.

Under the CEC Program, 23,786 people were admitted as permanent residents in 2014, a significant increase from 2013. The program enables some skilled temporary foreign workers and international student graduates with at least one year of full-time work experience to stay in Canada permanently. Section 87.3 Ministerial Instructions were issued in May 2014 to manage the intake of applications to the CEC Program.

The Provincial Nominee Program provides provinces and territories with a mechanism to respond to their particular economic needs by allowing them to nominate individuals who will meet specific local labour market demands, and to spread the benefits of immigration across Canada by promoting immigration to areas that are not traditional immigrant destinations. The number of provincial nominee admissions in 2014 was 47,628, slightly above the 44,500 to 47,000 planned admission range and an increase of 19.3% compared to 2013.

On November 30, 2014, the Government of Canada reformed the Live-in Caregivers Program, now renamed the Caregiver Program. The changes included the introduction of two new permanent residence streams for caregivers, as well as the transitional grandfathering of the Live-in Caregivers Program. In 2014, IRCC admitted 17,692 caregivers for permanent residence, which was slightly higher than the planned admissions target of 14,400 to 17,500.

A total of 4,464 admissions in 2014 were through the IRCC Federal Business Immigrants Program, which included 3,788 people as immigrant investors, 353 as entrepreneurs and 314 as self-employed persons. The total admissions for this category were below the planned admission range of 6,000 to 7,400.

Highlights of Family Reunification Admissions in 2014

Canada has one of the most generous family reunification programs in the world Footnote 8. Canadian citizens and permanent residents may sponsor spouses or partners, dependent children, parents, grandparents and other close relatives to become permanent residents as Family Class immigrants.

In 2014, IRCC admitted 66,661 permanent residents to Canada in the Family Class, which is within the planned admission range of 63,000 to 68,000, but represents a 16.3% decrease compared to 2013. IRCC issued 68,075 visas and authorizations for permanent residence in the Family Class. While not a pathway to permanent residence, the super visa allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to visit Canada for up to two years at a time, with the visa being valid for 10 years. In 2014, IRCC issued 17,276 super visas.

A total of 18,150 individuals were admitted as parents and grandparents in 2014, which was a 43.9% decrease from 2013, but within the planned admission range of 18,000 to 20,000. The decrease is the result of a fulfilled commitment under the Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification to admit 50,000 parents and grandparents over a two-year period (2012–2013), and 2014 admissions were at levels consistent with those in years prior to that backlog reduction effort. Phase 2 of this Action Plan builds on this commitment by continuing to admit a large number of parents and grandparents. Under Ministerial Instructions issued in June 2013, IRCC began accepting a maximum of 5,000 new applications per year.

In 2014, IRCC admitted 45,389 spouses, partners and children as permanent residents under the Family Class, which is within the planned admission range of 45,000 to 48,000.

Highlights of Humanitarian Admissions in 2014

IRCC plays a significant role in upholding Canada’s international obligations and humanitarian tradition by offering protection to refugees and persons in need of protection.

There are four main categories of refugees: government-assisted refugees, privately sponsored refugees, blended visa office referred refugees and persons who received protected person status in Canada as a result of a positive asylum claim. As of 2015, protected persons in Canada and dependants abroad were combined into a single line item for planning and reporting purposes. In 2014, a total of 28,622 people were admitted to Canada on humanitarian grounds, which includes refugees and people admitted for humanitarian and compassionate considerations as well as under public policies and is within the planned admissions range of 25,600 and 29,700.

In 2014, a total of 7,573 people were admitted as government-assisted refugees, which was 5.2% above the planned admission range of 6,900 to 7,200. An additional 4,560 privately sponsored refugees were resettled in Canada in 2014, near the bottom end of the 4,500 to 6,500 planned admission range. A total of 10,976 individuals received protected person status in Canada (including dependants abroad) in 2014, which falls slightly short of the planned admission range of 11,000 to 12,000. More information about Canada’s refugee resettlement programs and in-Canada asylum process can be found on the IRCC Web site.

IRPA authorizes the Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to consider the circumstances of and grant permanent resident status to individuals and their families who would not otherwise qualify in an immigration program. These discretionary provisions for humanitarian and compassionate consideration or for reasons of public policy provide the flexibility to approve deserving cases that come forward.

In 2014, a total of 4,528 people were admitted into Canada based on humanitarian and compassionate considerations, which is above the planned admission range of 2,500 to 3,000.

Admissions of Permanent Residents by Knowledge of Official Language in 2014

Table 3 shows the knowledge of official languages among permanent residents. Of the permanent residents admitted in 2014, 73% self-identified as having knowledge of English, French or both official languages, which is a six percentage point increase compared to 2013.

For economic immigrant principal applicants, 93% self-identified as having knowledge of at least one of the official languages in 2014, which is a two percentage point increase compared to 2013.

Table 3: Knowledge of Official Languages among Permanent Residents, 2014
Immigration Class English French Both Neither Not Stated Total
Family Class 31,160 3,882 3,066 28,553 0 66,661
Economic Immigrants—Principal Applicants 56,815 3,221 12,731 5,340 0 78,107
Economic Immigrants—Spouses and Dependants 52,899 4,596 5,656 23,830 1 86,982
Total Economic Immigration 109,714 7,817 18,387 29,170 1 165,089
Refugees 8,230 1,509 924 12,623 0 23,286
Other Immigrants 3,420 523 251 1,173 0 5,367
Category not stated 0 1 0 0 0 1
TOTAL 152,524 13,732 22,628 71,519 1 260,404
PERCENTAGE 59% 5% 9% 27% 0% 100%

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, RDM as of June 2015.

Admissions of Permanent Residents by Top 10 Source Countries in 2014

Canada’s immigration program is based on non-discriminatory principles, where foreign nationals are assessed without regard to race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or gender. Canada receives its immigrant population from over 200 countries of origin.

As Table 4 indicates, 60% of new permanent residents admitted in 2014 came from the top 10 source countries, which is an increase of two percentage points compared to 2013. The top 10 countries in 2014 are similar to 2013.

Table 4: Permanent Residents Admitted in 2014, by Top 10 Countries of Citizenship
Rank Country Number Percentage
1 Philippines 40,035 15%
2 India 38,341 15%
3 People's Republic of China 24,640 9%
4 Iran 16,781 6%
5 Pakistan 9,128 4%
6 United States of America 8,496 3%
7 United Kingdom and Colonies 5,764 2%
8 France 4,717 2%
9 Mexico 4,478 2%
10 Republic of Korea 4,463 2%
Total top 10 countries of citizenship 156,843 60%
Other countries of citizenship 103,561 40%
Total 260,404 100%

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, RDM as of June 2015.

Temporary Residents

In addition to selecting permanent residents, IRCC processes applications for the temporary entry of foreign workers, important to Canada’s economic growth; international students, attracted by the quality and diversity of Canada’s educational system; and visitors who come to Canada for personal or business travel.

These temporary residents contribute to Canada’s economic development by filling gaps in the labour market, enhancing trade, purchasing goods and services, and increasing cultural links.

IRCC’s global processing network handles both permanent and temporary resident applications. While IRCC plans admission ranges for permanent residents, temporary resident applications are processed according to demand.

Temporary Foreign Workers

The entry of temporary workers requiring a work permit is facilitated by the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) Program and the International Mobility Program. The TFW Program refers to streams under which foreign workers enter Canada at the request of employers following approval through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA, formerly called a Labour Market Opinion) issued by Employment and Social Development Canada. The LMIA allows an employer to fill acute labour shortages on a temporary basis by demonstrating that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job and that no qualified Canadians or permanent residents are available. The International Mobility Program includes streams in which foreign nationals are not subject to an LMIA, and whose primary objective is to advance Canada’s broad economic and cultural national interests.

In 2014, 95,086 individuals were admitted to Canada under the TFW Program and 197,924 under the International Mobility Program. In addition, 46,520 TFW Program and International Mobility Program work permit holders transitioned to permanent residence under an Economic Class program.

International Students

International students bring with them new ideas and cultures that enrich the learning environment within Canadian educational institutions. They also make a major economic contribution—international students spend more than $8 billion dollars in Canada annually. International students are well prepared for the Canadian labour market and can integrate quickly into Canadian society, primarily due to their Canadian educational credentials. In 2014, the number of student applications received was 176,802, an 11.1% increase compared to 2013. IRCC issued 127,698 new study permits for international students, a 4% increase from 2013. In addition, a total of 6,937 international study permit holders transitioned to permanent residence through the economic streams.

Tourists and Business Visitors

Tourists contribute to the economy by creating a demand for services in the hospitality sector. Business visitors allow Canadian businesses to benefit from their specialized expertise and international links. Under IRPA, all foreign nationals wishing to visit Canada must have a temporary resident visa before arriving in Canada, unless they are from countries specifically exempted or they benefit from certain other limited exceptions, for example, as accredited diplomats.

As of December 31, 2015, citizens from 147 countries and territories required temporary resident visas to visit Canada. In 2014, IRCC processed applications (new and extensions) from 1,518,439 persons seeking temporary resident visas to come to Canada, 82.7% of which were approved. IRCC continued to be successful in promoting the use of multiple-entry visas, which are valid for up to 10 years and allow applicants from visa-required countries to travel to Canada more frequently and on their own schedules. In 2014, a total of 1,015,454 multiple-entry visas were issued, which was a 109% increase from 2013. This increase was due to a policy change effective February 6, 2014 that automatically considered visitors to Canada eligible for a multiple-entry visa and a reduction in the processing fee of multiple-entry visas to match that of single-entry visas.

Public Policy Temporary Resident Visas

In 2014, a total of 385 visas were issued under the public policy authority provided in section 25.2(1) of IRPA that exempts certain foreign nationals from the inadmissibility provisions to facilitate their temporary entry. This public policy has been in place since September 2010 to advance Canada’s national interests while continuing to ensure the safety of Canadians.

Temporary Resident Permits

Under subsection 24(1) of IRPA, designated officers of IRCC and the Canada Border Services Agency are authorized to issue temporary resident permits to foreign nationals whom they believe are inadmissible or who do not meet the requirements of the Act under other programs. Temporary resident permits are issued for a limited period of time and are subject to cancellation at any time. They provide flexibility to address exceptional circumstances and can be used to further Canada’s national and international objectives.

IRCC continues to make an important contribution to the Government of Canada’s multifaceted efforts to combat human trafficking. Since May 2006, immigration officers have been authorized to issue temporary resident permits to foreign nationals who may be victims of this crime so that they have a period of time to remain in Canada and consider their options. In 2014, IRCC issued 34 temporary resident permits to victims of human trafficking. This figure includes 24 subsequent temporary resident permits that were issued to victims of human trafficking to maintain legal status in Canada.

Table 5 indicates the number of temporary resident permits issued in 2014, categorized according to grounds of inadmissibility under IRPA. In 2014, a total of 10,624 permits were issued, with 295 issued to foreign nationals who continued to maintain their status as permit holders from within Canada. Of the total, 85 temporary resident permits were authorized under instruction of the Minister.

Table 5: Temporary Resident Permits and Extensions Issued in 2014 by Provision of Inadmissibility
Description of Inadmissibility Provision under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Number of Permits in 2014
Security (espionage, subversion, terrorism) 34(1)(a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f) 12
Human or International Rights Violations 35(1)(a), (b) and (c) 2
Serious Criminality (convicted of an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment of at least 10 years) 36(1)(a), (b) and (c) 716
Criminality (convicted of a criminal act or of an offence prosecuted either summarily or by way of indictment) 36(2)(a), (b), (c) and (d) 5,807
Organized Criminality 37(1)(a) or (b) 2
Health Grounds (danger to public health or public safety, excessive burden) 38(1)(a), (b) and (c) 16
Financial Reasons (unwilling or unable to support themselves or their dependants) 39 9
Misrepresentation 40(1)(a), (b), (c) and (d) 14
Non-compliance with Act or Regulations (e.g., no passport, no visa, work/study without permit, medical/criminal check to be completed in Canada, not examined on entry)Footnote *† †  41(a) and (b) 3,895
Inadmissible Family Member 42(a) and (b) 43
No Return Without Prescribed Authorization 52(1) 108
Total   10,624

Source: IRCC Enterprise Data Warehouse as of September 23, 2015
Note: The statistics in this table include the number of temporary resident permits used to enter or remain in Canada in 2014.

Use of the Negative Discretion Authority

The negative discretion authority under subsection 22.1(1) of IRPA allows the Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to make a declaration that, on the basis of public policy considerations, a foreign national may not become a temporary resident for a period of up to three years. The legislative authority came into force in August 2013, with associated regulations coming into force in November 2013. Illustrative guidelines have been made available on IRCC’s Web site to inform the public about the types of behaviours or circumstances that may give rise to public policy concerns. Subsection 22.1(4) of IRPA requires the Minister to report annually on the number of declarations made under subsection 22.1(1) and set out the public policy considerations that led to the declarations. During the current reporting period, one declaration was made under subsection 22.1(1). The policy considerations that led to this decision align with public guidelines regarding certain behaviours, activities and circumstances that could attract the Minister’s attention when considering a 22.1(1) declaration, namely a foreign national’s promotion of violence and/or criminal activity and the counselling of others to engage in such activity.

Section 3: Federal-Provincial/Territorial Partnerships

Jurisdiction over immigration is a joint responsibility under section 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867, and effective collaboration between the Government of Canada and the provinces and territories is essential for the successful management of the immigration program. Provincial and territorial governments are the primary partners of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, the Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has the authority, with the approval of the Governor in Council, to enter into agreements with the provinces and territories to facilitate the coordination and implementation of immigration policies and programs. Table 6 below provides a list of the key bilateral agreements currently in force, with their signing and expiry dates. Framework agreements with eight provinces and one territory highlight immigration as a key area for bilateral collaboration and formalize how governments work together on this issue. Agreements for a Provincial Nominee Program are also in place with 11 jurisdictions (Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories and all provinces except Quebec), either as an annex to a framework agreement or as a stand-alone agreement.

Under the Provincial Nominee Program, provinces and territories have the authority to nominate individuals as permanent residents to address specific labour market and economic development needs. Under the Canada-Québec Accord relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens, Quebec has full responsibility for the selection of immigrants (except Family Class and in-Canada refugee claimants), as well as the sole responsibility for delivering reception and integration services, supported by an annual grant from the federal government. Quebec also establishes its own immigration levels, develops its own related policies and programs, and legislates, regulates and sets its own standards. The federal government is responsible for establishing admission requirements, setting national immigration levels, defining immigration categories, determining refugee claims within Canada, reuniting families and establishing eligibility criteria for settlement programs in the other provinces and territories. Table 7 presents the breakdown of permanent residents admitted in 2014 by province or territory of destination and immigration category.

Table 6: Federal-Provincial/Territorial Agreements Currently in Force
Agreement Date Signed Expiry Date
Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Agreement on Provincial Nominees November 22, 2006 (original signed in September 1999) Indefinite
Agreement for Canada-Prince Edward Island Co-operation on Immigration June 13, 2008 (original signed in March 2001) Indefinite
Canada-Nova Scotia Co-operation on Immigration September 19, 2007 Indefinite
Canada-New Brunswick Agreement on Provincial Nominees January 28, 2005 Amended: March 29, 2005 (original signed in February 1999) Indefinite
Canada-Québec Accord relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens February 5, 1991 Indefinite
Canada-Ontario Agreement on Foreign Workers June 17, 2015 June 16, 2020
Canada-Ontario Agreement on Provincial Nominees May 27, 2015 This agreement succeeds the expired Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement.
The new agreement expires on May 26, 2020.
Canada-Manitoba Immigration Agreement June 6, 2003 (original signed in October 1996) Indefinite
Canada-Saskatchewan Immigration Agreement May 7, 2005 (original signed in March 1998) Indefinite
Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration May 11, 2007 Indefinite
Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement April 7, 2015 (original signed in May 1998) April 6, 2020
Agreement for Canada-Yukon Co-operation on Immigration February 12, 2008 (original signed in April 2001) Indefinite
Canada-Northwest Territories Agreement on Provincial Nominees September 26, 2013 September 26, 2018

Under the Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Vision Action Plan for Immigration, jurisdictions commit to welcoming and supporting newcomers to join in building vibrant communities and a prosperous Canada. Implementation of the Vision Action Plan will improve Canada’s immigration program to the benefit of all regions.

Specifically, the vision identifies key outcomes that describe what success will look like for the immigration program and sets out guiding principles by which the immigration program will be jointly managed through intergovernmental partnership. IRCC will continue to work closely with the provinces and territories in several key areas over the next three years:

  • implementing Express Entry, and promoting Canada’s immigration programs;
  • immigration levels planning and consultation framework;
  • strengthening the design, management and accountability of economic immigration programs;
  • implementing “Helping Immigrants Succeed – an FPT Action Plan for Settlement and Integration”
  • developing a pan-Canadian language strategy; and
  • improving the settlement outcomes of refugees and protected persons through targeted initiatives.

Given the success of the Vision Action Plan 2012–2015, IRCC undertook work with the provinces and territories to develop shared priorities and actions for the FPT Vision Action Plan 2016–2019 for the approval of FPT ministers responsible for immigration in early 2016.

The FPT Settlement Working Group developed an implementation plan for the Helping Immigrants Succeed: An FPT Action Plan, which was approved by FPT assistant deputy ministers in May 2015. In an effort to avoid duplication, the Working Group has worked closely with the FPT Language Forum and the Foreign Qualification Recognition Working Group to identify opportunities for bilateral and multilateral action in the implementation plan’s three priority areas: improving employment outcomes so that jobs obtained are commensurate with education and experience; focusing on language for newcomers not in the labour force; and improving social connections. In support of these efforts, work is also being coordinated with the FPT Internationally Educated Health Professionals Task Force.

As IRCC has done since the launch of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications in 2009, the Department is working closely with Employment and Social Development Canada, Health Canada and provincial and territorial partners and stakeholders, through the Foreign Qualification Recognition Working Group, to implement the Framework and its guiding principles. These principles of fairness, transparency, consistency and timeliness aim to improve assessment processes for internationally trained workers in regulated occupations and will enable newcomers to fully use their education, skills and work experience in the labour market. In 2014, the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications was renewed through a new Action Plan, which also includes improving the ability of internationally trained individuals to have their qualifications assessed prior to arriving in Canada.

Table 7: Permanent Residents Admitted in 2014, by Destination and Immigration Category

Permanent Residents Admitted in 2014
Immigration Category NL PE NS NB QC ON MB SK AB BC YT NT NU Not Stated Total
Federal Skilled WorkersFootnote 9 Footnote *† † †  101 25 284 92 0 23,932 389 492 7,960 5,279 3 5 1 0 38,563
Federal Business Footnote 10 Footnote *† † †  0 13 41 10 0 1,846 21 9 172 2,352 0 0 0 0 4,464
Canadian Experience Class 31 25 172 125 51 12,932 150 364 6,693 3,208 10 24 1 0 23,786
Caregiver Footnote 11 16 3 49 42 549 9,410 102 224 3,537 3,728 12 13 7 0 17,692
Provincial Nominee Program 454 1,432 1,399 2,107 19 2,727 12,188 8,789 11,171 7,042 227 70 3 0 47,628
Quebec-selected Skilled Workers Footnote *† † †  - - - - 28,922 - - - - - - - - - 28,922
Quebec-selected Business Footnote *† † †  - - - - 3,896 - - - - - - - - - 3,896
Total Economic 603 1,502 1,952 2,376 33,437 50,888 12,850 9,889 29,591 21,625 252 112 12 0 165,089
Permanent Residents Admitted in 2014
Immigration Category NL PE NS NB QC ON MB SK AB BC YT NT NU Not Stated Total
Spouses, Partners and Children Footnote 12 111 56 383 205 9,020 19,262 1,426 1,068 6,507 7,273 40 28 10 0 45,389
Parents and Grandparents and Other 5 4 53 23 1,400 9,818 371 136 2,429 3,883 8 20 0 0 18,150
Other Family Class Footnote 13 1 1 20 16 701 1,577 34 29 348 391 1 2 1 0 3,122
Total Family 117 61 456 244 11,121 30,657 1,831 1,233 9,284 11,547 49 50 11 0 66,661
Permanent Residents Admitted in 2014
Immigration Category NL PE NS NB QC ON MB SK AB BC YT NT NU Not Stated Total
Protected Persons in Canada and Dependants Abroad Footnote 14 2 1 17 5 2,494 6,960 43 31 927 490 2 4 0 0 10,976
Government-assisted Refugees 159 45 181 189 1,462 2,760 435 484 1,024 834 0 0 0 0 7,573
Blended Visa Office Referred Refugees 0 4 11 0 0 76 13 6 53 14 0 0 0 0 177
Privately Sponsored Refugees 5 8 26 5 772 1,672 1,004 139 718 190 0 0 0 21 4,560
Public Policy – Federal Resettlement Assistance 0 0 0 0 0 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8
Public Policy – Other 0 0 0 1 134 429 1 0 140 94 0 0 0 1 800
Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations 9 5 27 17 871 2,356 42 41 782 371 2 1 0 4 4,528
Other Humanitarian Footnote 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 4
Total Humanitarian 175 63 262 217 5,733 14,260 1,539 701 3,648 1,993 4 5 0 26 28,626
Permanent Residents Admitted in 2014
Immigration Category NL PE NS NB QC ON MB SK AB BC YT NT NU Not Stated Total
Permit Holders 1 0 0 0 2 9 3 0 7 5 0 0 0 0 27
Category not stated 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Permanent Residents Admitted in 2014
Immigration Category NL PE NS NB QC ON MB SK AB BC YT NT NU Not Stated Total
TOTAL 896 1,626 2,670 2,837 50,294 95,814 16,223 11,823 42,530 35,170 305 167 23 26 260,404
PERCENTAGE 0% 1% 1% 1% 19% 37% 6% 5% 16% 14% 0% 0% 0% 0% 100%

Notes: Numbers presented in this table are up to date and may differ from numbers previously published by IRCC.
Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, RDM as of June 2015.

Section 4: Integration of Newcomers and Canadian Citizenship

Immigration is fundamental to the development of Canada’s economy, society and culture. To create a stronger nation benefiting both newcomers and Canadians, Canada is one of the few countries with a managed immigration program directed toward newcomers ultimately becoming full citizens. The successful settlement and integration of new immigrants to Canada is an important objective of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

Specific performance-related information regarding the programs below can be found in the most recently published Departmental Performance Report.

Newcomer Settlement and Integration

In accordance with the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, the Employment Equity Act and IRPA, programming is developed based on policies that support the settlement, resettlement, adaptation and integration of newcomers into Canadian society. Ultimately, the goal of integration is to encourage newcomers to contribute to Canada’s economic, social, political and cultural development. All permanent residents are eligible for settlement and integration programs. Programming is delivered by third parties (including provincial and municipal governments, school boards and post-secondary institutions, settlement service organizations and other non-governmental actors, and the private sector) across the country.

Grants and contributions to not-for-profit organizations, the private sector, provincial and municipal governments, non-federal public institutions, and individuals seek to advance overarching program objectives.

Canadian Citizenship

The purpose of the Citizenship Program is to administer citizenship legislation and promote the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) administers the acquisition of Canadian citizenship by developing, implementing and applying legislation, regulations and policies that protect the integrity of Canadian citizenship and allow eligible applicants to be granted citizenship or be provided with a proof of citizenship. In addition, the program promotes citizenship, to both newcomers and the Canadian-born, through various events, materials and projects. Promotional activities focus on enhancing knowledge of Canada’s history, institutions and values, as well as fostering an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship.


IRCC is accountable for the Passport Program, and collaborates with Service Canada and Global Affairs Canada to provide passport services that enable eligible Canadian travellers to access other countries. Through an extensive service delivery network in Canada and abroad, the program disseminates information, collects and processes Canadian travel document applications, authenticates applicants’ identity and determines eligibility, and issues secure Canadian travel documents. The program also performs activities to ensure that fraud and misuse of travel documents are prevented and detected. The Canadian passport is an internationally recognized and respected travel and identification document for Canadians who travel abroad, and is relied upon in Canada and by foreign governments to support the bearer’s claim to Canadian citizenship. The program operates on a full cost-recovery basis from fees charged for travel document services. Fees are collected in the Passport Canada Revolving Fund and are efficiently managed to ensure value-for-money for Canadians.

Section 5: Gender-Based Analysis of the Impact of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Our Approach to GBA+

The objective of gender-based analysis is to ensure that women and men benefit equally from public policy decisions. The Department continues to be a leader in the application of gender-based analysis and has been recognized for doing so by Status of Women Canada, one of the core departments responsible for the Government of Canada’s Departmental Action Plan on Gender-based Analysis. Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) refers to a process for examining a policy, program or initiative for its varying impacts on diverse populations of women and men, girls and boys. GBA+ goes beyond gender to consider diversity and aspects of identity such as age, education, language, culture, ethnicity, geography, income, sexual orientation, ability and Aboriginal identity.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to integrate GBA+ across the Department; this includes the support of a dedicated gender-based analysis unit as a focal point for providing guidance and promoting GBA+ within the Department. In addition, the Department continues to collect and generate sex-disaggregated data and disseminate research to support policy and program development.

Permanent Residents Highlights

IRCC has noticed a slight increase in the number of female principal applicants across economic programs. In 2014, the gap between male and female principal applicants was only 8,413, which represents a 61% decrease from 2004 where the difference was 21,629. This suggests that these programs are successfully recognizing the human capital of female immigrants. This is an important trend, and IRCC will continue to monitor its economic immigration programs to ensure that they welcome qualified men and women.

Figure 1: Economic Immigration – Principal Applicants by Gender 2004–2014

figure 1: described below
Text Version: Figure 1: Economic Immigration – Principal applicants by gender 2004-2014
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Male 38,405 42,254 37,584 35,189 37,942 39,066 45,311 38,093 40,535 38,282 43,250
Female 16,776 19,364 18,135 18,633 23,360 24,938 30,777 26,263 27,721 26,465 34,842

Economic Class Highlights

Federal Skilled Workers Program

Over the last few years, the Federal Skilled Workers Program has shown a narrowing of the gender gap and therefore is successfully recognizing the skills and experiences of women, as reflected through admissions.

From 2004–2008, the average number of female skilled workers was 51,944, compared to an average of 58,299 males. The difference in the average is 6,354. From 2009–2014, however, this difference in average decreased to 4,103, demonstrating a narrowing in the gender gap among skilled workers. In 2014, 48% of skilled workers (including spouses, dependants and principal applicants) were female, and 39% of skilled workers were female principal applicants. These figures include Quebec Skilled Workers. This is an increase from 2004 when the percentage of female principal applicant skilled workers was 28%. 

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class continues to show a decline in female representation. It is one of the only immigration categories where the number of female principal applicants is not showing signs of increasing. In 2009, the first year of the program, 41% of principal applicants were female. In 2010 and 2011 the number of female principal applicants dropped to 36%. In 2014 this number further declined to 34%. 

Provincial Nominee Program

The number of admissions through the Provincial Nominee Program has increased significantly over the past decade, and in that time, the percentage of female principal applicants admitted to Canada has steadily increased from 21% in 2004 to 34% in 2014. In 2014, a total of 22,607 females were admitted under the Provincial Nominee Program, which includes principal applicants and spouses and dependants.

Family and Humanitarian Category Observations

Family Class

Among spouses and partners, the largest category within the family class, there is a slight trend toward greater gender parity. In 2004, 64% of all spouses and partners were female. This proportion declined steadily over time, reaching 59% in 2014. Conversely, the number of male spouses and partners admitted through the family class increased from 36% in 2004 to 41% in 2014. This suggests that the increasing number of female principal applicants in the economic class may be having an influence on the gender balance of spousal sponsorship.


Gender parity continues to be present in Canada’s refugee programs. Among resettled refugees that were admitted to Canada in 2014, 52% were male and 48% were female. The proportion of male and female refugee claims made in Canada has also remained steady over the last few years. In 2014, 55% of refugee claims made in Canada concerned males and 45% concerned females.

Temporary Residents Overview

While the representation of females is showing an increase in select programs on the permanent side, IRCC data suggest the reverse trend on the temporary side where fewer females are entering Canada. 

Temporary Foreign Workers Program and International Mobility Program

In 2014, the proportion of female workers with a valid work permit under the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) Program and the International Mobility Program was 37%, a decrease from 39% in 2007. Workers under the TFW Program are subject to a Labour Market Impact Assessment from Employment and Social Development Canada, whereas workers under the International Mobility Program are exempt from this requirement. In 2014, the proportion of female workers who held a Labour Market Impact Assessment was 26%, a decrease from 36% in 2007. The proportion of female workers exempt from the requirement was 43%, similar to 2007.

The drop in female applicants to the TFW Program may be reflective of changes in certain low-skilled movements such as reductions in the number of (female-dominated) live-in caregivers and increases in the number of (male-dominated) agricultural workers over this period. Further analysis will be undertaken to confirm these trends.

Foreign Students

The ratio of male to female study permit holders has remained fairly constant over the past few years. In 2014, 45% of study permit holders were female and 55% were male. 

Top Source Countries

The Philippines, India and China are still among Canada’s top source countries for permanent immigration. While the majority of these top source countries generally maintain an even balance between male and female admissions, the Philippines and China have shown trends where more females are admitted as permanent residents than males. In 2010, the ratio of males to females from the Philippines was 44% to 56% and in 2014 this ratio was 39% males to 61% females. For China, the ratio was 51% males to 49% females in 2010 and 45% males to 55% females in 2014. This reveals an increase in female permanent resident admissions among two of the largest top source countries.

Applying Gender-Based Analysis to Key Program and Policy Areas—Highlights

IRCC continues to integrate gender-based analysis in the development and application of policies and programs. IRCC’s Gender-Based Analysis Policy states that gender-based analysis must be applied to all areas of IRCC, including, but not limited to, policy and program development, decision-making processes, program management, communications, service delivery protocols, and research and evaluation. In 2014–2015, IRCC applied gender-based analysis to a wide range of proposed initiatives, including (but not limited to) the following:

Policy and Program Development

Express Entry

Under Express Entry, Canada is able to proactively recruit skilled immigrants who best meet Canada’s labour market needs from a large pool of candidates rather than simply processing those who apply first. Express Entry is a gender-neutral system and no negative impacts on the representation of immigrant women are anticipated. The points candidates can receive for their education, work experience, official language proficiency and age are the same for men and women. Women can submit their profile to Express Entry as a principal applicant or they can be included in their spouse’s or common-law partner’s profile as an accompanying spouse.

Under Express Entry, women accompanying their spouse or common-law partner who are educated, have work experience in Canada, or proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages, will provide additional points to their spouse’s or partner’s profile and can increase their rank in the pool, which, in turn, can increase their chances of being invited to apply for permanent residence.

It is anticipated that, due to the implementation of Express Entry in January 2015, more female principal applicants will be observed in 2015 and onward in the three federal economic permanent resident programs to which Express Entry applies.

The Caregiver Program reforms that help remove women from vulnerable situations

A gender-based analysis was conducted for the Live-in Caregivers Program. The main findings indicated that while it is a helpful route to permanent resident status for many women, the program’s design was also one that may place this population in potential situations of vulnerability due to the live-in requirement. On November 30, 2014, the Government of Canada introduced reforms to the Caregiver Program, including two new caregiver pathways without a live-in requirement.

Gender-Based Decision Making

Since 2010, IRCC visa officers have been provided with information on a gender-based analytical framework to guide decision making on refugee resettlement applications received abroad. Officers are equipped with tools and procedures to assess the gender aspects of refugee resettlement applications. Key considerations presented include the following: i) gender is a legitimate ground for fearing persecution; ii) women often experience persecution differently than men; iii) persecution based on sexual orientation has a gender dimension; and iv) Canada ensures that vulnerable women refugees who are in need of urgent protection receive protection on an equal basis with men through the Women at Risk Program.

In the event of a sudden change in country conditions, the Minister may exempt certain nationals from the bar on accessing a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment. Situations that could qualify for an exemption may include gender-based assessments of country conditions.

The Metrics of Success is the centrepiece of the performance measurement framework for the reformed asylum system. It is a comprehensive set of data and statistical indicators that aim to assess the overall efficiency of the reforms in achieving their goals; that is, striking the ideal balance between providing timely protection to those in need while simultaneously deterring abuse of the system. A gender-based analysis conducted with the Metrics of Success concluded that the reforms to the asylum system had no quantifiable effects on gender.


IRCC routinely develops and collects gender-disaggregated data, undertakes GBA and incorporates gender considerations into evaluations. Gender-disaggregated data are featured in a number of evidence-based tools produced by IRCC, including the Labour Force Dashboard which regularly monitors the performance of male and female immigrants in the Canadian labour market. This kind of monitoring is key to identifying emerging trends which show that core-aged (25–54) female immigrants are experiencing specific challenges entering and integrating into the Canadian labour market.

In addition, IRCC undertakes policy-relevant research focused specifically on understanding the role of gender in newcomer integration. For example, one project concluded that education and knowledge of official languages at landing, as well as earnings, were higher among (female) spouses of (male) economic principal applicants than among married women in the Family Class. Another study on immigrants’ competencies shows that immigrant men and women had similar proficiency levels in literacy and problem solving in technology-rich environments, although men had higher proficiency in numeracy than women, especially among recent immigrants. A project examining the number of years required to reach the average income of the Canadian-born concluded that francophone female immigrants reached the average income of Canadian-born women more quickly than francophone male immigrants were able to reach the average income of Canadian-born men.

These gender-specific research findings and monitoring of emerging trends help to inform IRCC’s ongoing policy and program development efforts.

The Way Forward

IRCC will continue to use research and evaluation to monitor and explore ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its GBA+ function across the Department to contribute to the realization of the fundamental Canadian value of gender equality.


Immigration continues to be a critical component in contributing to Canada’s long-term economic growth and sustainability. As such, the Government of Canada is implementing a new plan for immigration, one that is grounded in compassion and economic prosperity for all. The Government of Canada has plans to renew and expand the refugee program, as well as make reuniting families one of its top priorities. It continues to modernize and improve the services it provides to Canadians and newcomers. It will also continue to enhance the performance and effectiveness of Canada’s immigration programs while upholding the family, social, cultural and humanitarian objectives set out by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Annex: Section 94 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

The following excerpt from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which came into force in 2002, outlines the requirements for IRCC to prepare an annual report to Parliament on immigration.

Reports to Parliament

94. (1) The Minister must, on or before November 1 of each year or, if a House of Parliament is not then sitting, within the next 30 days on which that House is sitting after that date, table in each House of Parliament a report on the operation of this Act in the preceding calendar year.

(2) The report shall include a description of

  • (a) the instructions given under section 87.3 and other activities and initiatives taken concerning the selection of foreign nationals, including measures taken in cooperation with the provinces;
  • (b) in respect of Canada, the number of foreign nationals who became permanent residents, and the number projected to become permanent residents in the following year;
    • (b.1) in respect of Canada, the linguistic profile of foreign nationals who became permanent residents;
  • (c) in respect of each province that has entered into a federal-provincial agreement described in subsection 9(1), the number, for each class listed in the agreement, of persons that became permanent residents and that the province projects will become permanent residents there in the following year;
  • (d) the number of temporary resident permits issued under section 24, categorized according to grounds of inadmissibility, if any;
  • (e) the number of persons granted permanent resident status under each of subsections 25(1), 25.1(1) and 25.2(1);
    • (e.1) any instructions given under subsection 30(1.2), (1.41) or (1.43) during the year in question and the date of their publication; and
  • (f) a gender-based analysis of the impact of this Act.

The following excerpt from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act outlines the Minister’s authority with respect to negative discretion, which came into force in 2013, and the requirement to report on its use.

Negative discretion

22.1 (1) The Minister may, on the Minister’s own initiative, declare that a foreign national, other than a foreign national referred to in section 19, may not become a temporary resident if the Minister is of the opinion that it is justified by public policy considerations.

(2) A declaration has effect for the period specified by the Minister, which is not to exceed 36 months.

(3) The Minister may, at any time, revoke a declaration or shorten its effective period.

(4) The report required under section 94 must include the number of declarations made under subsection (1) and set out the public policy considerations that led to the making of the declarations.

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