Departmental Performance Report

For the period ending
March 31, 2016

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

ISSN 2371-3836

Table of Contents

Minister’s Message

As the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, I am pleased to present the Departmental Performance Report for 2015–2016.

It would be impossible to tell the story of Canada without emphasizing the role immigration has played in our nation’s history.

Canada is the country it is today thanks to the courage of those who have come from all over the world to make this land their home.

We recognize that diversity brings both economic and social rewards. We will continue to advance the humanitarian tradition for which we are known while building a nation that is economically prosperous and socially and culturally enriched.

In the coming year we will build on the many accomplishments outlined in this report. These include the remarkable national project of bringing more than 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada and helping them integrate into their new communities and the Canadian labour market. Our success in bringing Syrian refugees to Canada has been recognized around the world, confirming our reputation as an international leader in refugee resettlement.

We will continue to reflect Canadians’ open, accepting and generous nature in our immigration policies and in our approach to welcoming those seeking refuge from conflict and war. Canada will resettle refugees from Syria and other countries throughout the year and continue to give them the services they need to succeed.

The coming year will see the Department continue to reunite families more quickly. We are using best practices that will help us process large volumes of spousal sponsorship applications faster without compromising standard security and medical screening. We will also fine tune our economic programs to ensure Canada welcomes even more top talent and innovators from around the world.

We will enhance and modernize how we serve those who apply to immigrate to Canada, or who wish to become citizens or obtain a passport or travel document.

Quite simply, we will continue to improve our service to applicants. This will allow us to reduce processing times and meet the challenge of more and more people applying to come to Canada, whether it’s to immigrate permanently, to visit, study or work here temporarily, or to become Canadian citizens.

Our Passport Program, which issues approximately five million Canadian passports and travel documents every year, is another success story. The program had an overall client satisfaction rate of 96 percent in 2015–2016, with a remarkable 99.5 percent of applications processed within the service standards.

The Department’s accomplishments over the past year would not have been possible without the hard work of dedicated employees across Canada and in our missions around the world.

Modern, effective and efficient immigration and citizenship programs are crucial to Canada’s long-term success. We will uphold our tradition of an innovative and flexible immigration system that best meets the needs of our country while maintaining our humanitarian traditions.

I look forward to working toward this goal with departmental officials, my provincial and territorial counterparts and our many partners and stakeholders.

I am very proud of what the Department has accomplished and confident that we will continue to reach our objectives. When we come together to help those in need and to welcome newcomers, we build stronger communities and a stronger Canada.

The Honourable John McCallum, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Results Highlights

What funds were used?

$1,536,497,266

Actual spending

Who was involved?

6,191

Actual full-time equivalent staff

  • Between November 2015 and February 2016, as millions of Syrians continued to be displaced due to conflict in their home country, the Government of Canada worked with Canadians, including private sponsors, non-governmental organizations, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments and the private sector, to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada.
  • In 2015, the first year of operation for Express Entry:
    • 96% of applications received were processed within the new six-month service standard;
    • 23 rounds of invitations to apply for permanent residence were completed; and
    • 31,063 invitations to apply for permanent residence were issued.
  • 271,845 permanent residents were admitted in 2015, an increase over 2014 (260,404) and the highest admissions level since 2010.
  • 1,484,978 applications were processed in 2015 for persons seeking temporary resident visas to come to Canada, the most in our history.
  • 4.8 million passports were issued in 2015–2016, with 99.5% processed within service standards.
  • 252,602 citizenship grant and 61,254 confirmation of proof of citizenship decisions were rendered in 2015–2016.
  • On February 25, 2016, the Government tabled Bill C-6, An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act. The Bill proposes amendments that will repeal certain elements of the Citizenship Act, facilitate access to citizenship and further enhance program integrity.
  • As of April 1, 2016, the Interim Federal Health Program was fully restored to provide the same health-care coverage for all beneficiaries in Canada.
  • The Canadian Passport Order was amended to limit access to passports for national security reasons and to prevent the commission of a terrorism offence or sexual offences against children.

Section I: Organizational Overview

Organizational Profile

Minister: John McCallum
Deputy Head: Marta Morgan
Ministerial Portfolio:Footnote i

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Department: Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Statutory and Other Agencies: Citizenship Commission, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

Enabling Instruments: Section 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867, the Citizenship Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Canadian Passport Order.
Year of Incorporation/Commencement: 1994

Organizational Context

Raison d’êtreFootnote ii

In the first years after Confederation, Canada’s leaders had a powerful vision: to connect Canada by rail and make the West the world’s breadbasket as a foundation for the country’s economic prosperity. This vision meant quickly populating the Prairies, leading the Government of Canada to establish its first national immigration policies. Today, Canada is the product of its people. Government, laws, social beliefs and traditions all come from the people who live here. Newcomers have a strong desire to be part of their community, to be accepted and to prove they can be successful. When we welcome and integrate newcomers, we strengthen Canadian society. Immigration also brings families together. As more Canadians travel the world, some build their families abroad. The reunification of these families in Canada is a priority for the Government of Canada. Today, Canada’s immigration system balances compassion with economic opportunity. Immigrants come to Canada as skilled workers fuelling growth, as entrepreneurs and as innovators helping Canada to compete in the global, knowledge-based economy, as family members (spouses, children, parents and grandparents) to be reunited with their families, and as refugees seeking protection in a welcoming country. Others come temporarily to visit, to study or to work for a short term, and all contribute to the growth and prosperity of our country.

Responsibilities

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) selects and welcomes, as permanent and temporary residents, foreign nationals whose skills contribute to Canadian prosperity, as well as reunites family members.

The Department maintains Canada’s humanitarian tradition by welcoming refugees and other people in need of protection, thereby upholding its international obligations and reputation.

IRCC, in collaboration with its partners, conducts the screening of potential permanent and temporary residents to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians. IRCC is also responsible for the issuance and control of Canadian passports and other documents that facilitate the travel of Canadian citizens and residents.

Lastly, the Department builds a stronger Canada by helping all newcomers settle and integrate into Canadian society and the economy, and by encouraging, granting and providing proof of Canadian citizenship.

IRCC offers its many programs either directly or through contract, grant and contribution agreements or in partnership with other government departments. Services are offered on the IRCC Web site, as well as at 25 in-Canada points of service and 61 points of service in 52 countries. As of March 31, 2016, there were 136 visa application centres in 96 countries, 138 application support centresFootnote iii in the United States of America, as well as a panel physicians network operating around the world. Settlement and integration services are offered through a network of over 500 service provider organizations (SPOs) across Canada. The Department also works with Service Canada as its principal passport service delivery partner, leveraging the latter’s extensive network of centralized passport processing centres and walk-in sites (34 Service Canada full-service regional passport offices and 153 receiving agent sites). IRCC also partners with Global Affairs Canada (GAC), which provides passport services abroad.

Strategic Outcomes and Program Alignment Architecture

  • Strategic Outcome 1: Migration of permanent and temporary residents that strengthens Canada’s economy
    • Program 1.1: Permanent Economic Residents
      • Sub-Program 1.1.1: Federal Skilled Workers
      • Sub-Program 1.1.2: Federal Skilled Tradespersons
      • Sub-Program 1.1.3: Quebec Skilled Workers
      • Sub-Program 1.1.4: Provincial Nominees
      • Sub-Program 1.1.5: Live-in Caregivers
      • Sub-Program 1.1.6: Canadian Experience Class
      • Sub-Program 1.1.7: Federal Business Immigrants
      • Sub-Program 1.1.8: Quebec Business Immigrants
    • Program 1.2: Temporary Economic Residents
      • Sub-Program 1.2.1: International Students
      • Sub-Program 1.2.2: Temporary Work Authorization
      • Sub-Program 1.2.3: International Experience Canada
  • Strategic Outcome 2: Family and humanitarian migration that reunites families and offers protection to the displaced and persecuted
    • Program 2.1: Family and Discretionary Immigration
      • Sub-Program 2.1.1: Spouses, Partners and Children Reunification
      • Sub-Program 2.1.2: Parents and Grandparents Reunification
      • Sub-Program 2.1.3: Humanitarian and Compassionate and Public Policy Considerations
    • Program 2.2: Refugee Protection
      • Sub-Program 2.2.1: Government-Assisted Refugees
      • Sub-Program 2.2.2: Privately Sponsored Refugees
      • Sub-Program 2.2.3: Blended Visa Office-Referred Refugees
      • Sub-Program 2.2.4: In-Canada Asylum
      • Sub-Program 2.2.5: Pre-Removal Risk Assessment
  • Strategic Outcome 3: Newcomers and citizens participate in fostering an integrated society
    • Program 3.1: Newcomer Settlement and Integration
      • Sub-Program 3.1.1: Settlement
        • Sub-Sub-Program 3.1.1.1: Language Training
        • Sub-Sub-Program 3.1.1.2: Community and Labour Market Integration Services
      • Sub-Program 3.1.2: Grant to Quebec
      • Sub-Program 3.1.3: Immigration Loan
      • Sub-Program 3.1.4: Resettlement Assistance Program
    • Program 3.2: Citizenship for Newcomers and All Canadians
      • Sub-Program 3.2.1: Citizenship Awareness
      • Sub-Program 3.2.2: Citizenship Acquisition, Confirmation and Revocation
    • Program 3.3: Multiculturalism for Newcomers and All CanadiansFootnote *
      • Sub-Program 3.3.1: Multiculturalism Awareness
      • Sub-Program 3.3.2: Federal and Public Institutional Multiculturalism Support
  • Strategic Outcome 4: Managed migration and facilitated travel that promote Canadian interests and protect the health, safety and security of Canadians
    • Program 4.1: Health Protection
      • Sub-Program 4.1.1: Health Screening
      • Sub-Program 4.1.2: Medical Surveillance and Notification
      • Sub-Program 4.1.3: Interim Federal Health
    • Program 4.2: Migration Control and Security Management
      • Sub-Program 4.2.1: Permanent Resident Status Documents
      • Sub-Program 4.2.2: Visitors Status
      • Sub-Program 4.2.3: Temporary Residents Permits
      • Sub-Program 4.2.4: Fraud Prevention and Program Integrity Protection
      • Sub-Program 4.2.5: Global Assistance for Irregular Migrants
    • Program 4.3: Canadian Influence in International Migration and Integration Agenda
    • Program 4.4: Passport
    • Program 5.1: Internal Services (Supports all SO’s)

Operational Environment and Risk Analysis

Operational Environment

In 2015–2016, the Department managed and responded to a number of emerging issues, especially later in the fiscal year, including:

  • priority given to the Syrian refugee situation; and
  • a considerably increased levels commitment and related investments in the 2016 Immigration Levels Plan—representing the highest level of immigration since World War I.

In the last months of the fiscal year, IRCC focused much of its efforts on the Syrian refugee commitment, redistributing all available resources as needed and working around the clock to coordinate Government efforts to resettle 25,000 refugees in a short time frame.

IRCC’s business was also affected by shifting and unpredictable global trends, including increased forced migration and involuntary displacement (in particular Syria), as well as a fragile global economy. The Department’s budget was stretched by absorbing components of the cost of numerous initiatives and a Government-wide operating budget freeze with increasing costs for accommodations, systems and salaries. As well, IRCC responded to a significant increase in workload, driven by an accumulation of changes in legislation, policies and programs (from IRCC and partner departments and central agencies) paired with increasing volumes and a focus on improving services in all business lines.

Risk Analysis

One of IRCC’s most significant risks in recent years relates to the pace and scope of change in the Department’s policies, programs and operations. The changes have been so transformative and fast paced that while they have driven the modernization of IRCC’s service delivery and workplace—creating efficiencies and innovation—they have also stretched capacity and exposed the Department’s outcomes, objectives, program integrity and work force to new risks. Mitigation strategies have centred on creating efficiencies (such as the automation of routine decision making to free up resources to make higher-risk decisions); improving client self-service options like integrated voice response, e-services and IRCC’s updated Web site; and strengthening program integrity through improved information sharing, increased fraud-related penalties and increased efficiencies in the processing system.

An ongoing risk to IRCC’s business arises from the fact that the delivery of the immigration program is a shared jurisdiction between federal, provincial and territorial governments while also relying directly on federal government partners, particularly the Canada Border Services Agency, Employment and Social Development Canada and GAC. The complexity of the immigration and settlement systems means that decisions made by IRCC or any of its partners or stakeholders can significantly affect relationships, performance results and the ability to meet objectives for all stakeholders. As such, IRCC works closely with other federal departments and agencies, as well as third-party SPOsFootnote iv and other public stakeholders, to deliver the immigration program efficiently and effectively, including strengthening joint governance structures, service standards and reporting requirements.

In part due to its widespread partnerships, IRCC holds and manages extensive databases of sensitive information, including personal data, intellectual property, organizational information, information provided by other government departments, provinces, territories and international partners, and information associated with research sometimes owned by the private sector. This can expose IRCC to risks surrounding the confidentiality, availability and integrity of its information holdings, so staff awareness and training on good information management, information sharing and privacy practices are key.

Lastly, natural disasters and international crises can lead to unpredictable migration flows that may require Canada’s intervention and specialized support for resettlement. They can also lead to risks to the health and safety of Canadians or to the temporary closure of operational infrastructure. In 2015–2016, the Department continued to improve its emergency response and business continuity plans and procedures to help it respond efficiently and effectively when emergencies arose. For example, the Syrian refugee resettlement initiative launched an unprecedented coordinated response within IRCC and with its partners, with IRCC leading Government efforts to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees in a matter of months. IRCC used every available resource at its disposal, making every effort to achieve this objective and continue to meet targets and service standards. The ongoing commitment is expected to occupy the time and efforts of IRCC employees and resources well into 2016–2017.

Key Risks
Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to the Organization’s Programs

Managing a Significant Policy and Program Change Agenda

There is a risk that IRCC may not be able to implement key pieces of its extensive transformative change agenda and meet existing operational objectives.

Continued to monitor and align with the Government of Canada’s medium- and long-term strategic policy agenda (in transition in 2015–2016) and considered effective operational solutions. Key examples are the Syrian refugee commitment, examining admissions levels and repealing certain grounds for revocation of Canadian citizenship.

Prioritized and leveraged resources to improve responsiveness and flexibility of the service delivery network to emphasize IRCC’s commitment to providing excellent client service.

Continued to improve the client experience through improved processes and more e-services and self-service options.

All programs, including internal services.

Safeguarding Integrity of Information/Data

There is a risk that IRCC’s critical, sensitive or private information could be stolen or inadvertently compromised, lost or improperly shared, which could have a significant impact on IRCC’s service delivery, clients and reputation.

Continued implementation of GCDOCSFootnote v across the Department to improve internal information sharing and file and version control.

Conducted learning and awareness activities to strengthen information management and privacy protection knowledge in the work force.

All programs, including internal services.

Maintaining Program Integrity in Response to Increasingly Complex Security Risks

There is a risk that IRCC will not be adequately equipped to make defensible decisions or to detect or prevent increased attempts to defraud external programs and services, which could undermine the integrity of IRCC’s programs and lead to a loss of public confidence.

Worked closely with partners to advance development of policies to support the implementation of an expanded biometric screening program that will supplement existing biographic checks and significantly reduce the chance that one individual could pose as or be mistaken for another individual.

Continued work with enforcement partners to prevent fraud and uncover large-scale fraud trends.

Developed additional and more comprehensive quality assurance and control measures throughout the processing network to better manage threats and risks and identify areas presenting greater potential for fraud.

Implemented a biometric-based information sharing capability with the United States.

All programs, including internal services.

Depending on Partners to Support Delivery of Programs and Services

Given IRCC is dependent on complex partnerships to support policy and program development, as well as to deliver its internal and external services, there is a risk that partners may not engage or deliver services in an efficient and timely manner, which could impact achievement of IRCC’s strategic outcomes and operational objectives.

Worked closely with partners and stakeholders to develop and advance multilateral initiatives such as the International Civil Aviation Organization Public Key Directory border engagement tools that will contribute to increasing the security and facilitation of international air travel.

Enhanced partnerships with the private sector to increase consistency in support provided to clients and in outcomes across jurisdictions. For example, IRCC worked closely with settlement service providers to be sure that regular, non-Syrian government-assisted refugees received comparable levels of service to Syrian government-assisted refugees.

Established and maintained strong performance requirements for third-party settlement and resettlement service providers, and maintained program integrity through compliance monitoring and quality assurance on agreements.

All programs, including internal services.

Responding to Cumulative Natural Disasters/Emerging Events

There is a risk that severe or cumulative natural disasters or emerging world events could affect IRCC’s operations or infrastructure in ways that could overburden or shut down its program delivery system, endanger employees and Canadians, and undermine the Department’s and Canada’s reputations.

Maintained an active crisis management working unit to mitigate spikes in operational demands caused by political unrest.

Maintained and improved security, emergency response and business continuity plans and procedures to allow IRCC to respond to unexpected events more effectively and efficiently.

Led government efforts to resettle thousands of Syrian refugees in Canada in a short time frame. Redistributed resources accordingly to meet this ambitious commitment.

All programs, including internal services.

Organizational Priorities

In the 2015–2016 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP), IRCC identified three priorities, one representing an ongoing and sustained effort to continue improving and modernizing client service and two supporting ongoing efforts on how the Department realizes its mandate and program outcomes (people management, and promoting management excellence and accountability). With the transition of governments in November 2015, the Department adopted two new priorities for the balance of the fiscal year and accelerated work on Syrian refugee resettlement and family reunification.

The work identified under the Department’s priorities represents only some of the Department’s many accomplishments during the 2015–2016 fiscal year; these accomplishments are highlighted in section III of this report. In 2016–2017 and beyond, the Department will continue its work in all areas, including ongoing improvements to ensure the continuation of faster processing, responsiveness to the labour market and the selection of those best placed to succeed in Canada. The Department’s plans for all of its programs can be found in the 2016–2017 RPP.

For more information on organizational priorities, see the Minister’s mandate letter.

Priority: Refugee Resettlement (new priority)

Resettling refugees is about offering protection to the displaced and persecuted while enabling them to bring their experiences, hopes, dreams and skills to Canada to help build an even richer society. In support of this, the Department achieved the following under the initiatives identified below:

Initiative to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees

In response to the Syrian refugee crisis, the Government of Canada resettled more than 25,000 government- and privately sponsored Syrian refugees between November 2015 and the end of February 2016. Given that the original goal included privately sponsored refugees, the Government of Canada also committed to resettle a total of 25,000 government-sponsored Syrian refugees by the end of 2016.

Canada has committed to resettling a total of 44,800 refugees in the 2016 calendar year, the majority of which will be Syrian but will also include government- and privately sponsored refugees from other nationalities.

On November 28–29, 2015, IRCC and the Special Coordinator for Syrian Refugee Resettlement met with other government departments, provinces and territories, municipalities and key resettlement and settlement stakeholders from across Canada to exchange information and coordinate planning to help welcome refugees into local communities. Ongoing communications continued with all stakeholders including the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Settlement Working Group and the National Settlement Council.

In December 2015, the Department, in partnership with the Office of the Governor General, held a Forum on Welcoming Syrian Refugees to Canada to highlight Canada’s diversity, inclusion and volunteerism efforts. Following the Forum, Minister McCallum encouraged companies across Canada to contribute, either through financial donations or in-kind offers of support, and to expand their role in the hiring, training and retention of refugees in their workplaces. Also, the Community Foundations of Canada launched the Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees, raising over $6 million from corporate Canada to provide housing, job training and skills development support for recently arrived Syrian refugees.

As part of the new Welcoming Communities Initiative, IRCC developed, in collaboration with provinces and territories, a Community Partnership Settlement Plan process. The process, launched on March 10, 2016 on the IRCC Web site, offered a self-assessment checklist and key criteria to guide municipalities in the development of their own community plans. In addition, IRCC also developed health summaries on Syrian and Iraqi refugees, which helped inform various stakeholders to assist them in settling these refugees.

In 2015–2016, supplementary funding in the amount of $60.6 million was made available from the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) for non-governmental organizations. One important initiative was the open intake process, launched in January 2016, for the creation of eight new RAP centres in areas across the country that welcomed a large number of refugees and where there was a shortage of services.

The Department also organized a Canadian-hosted event in Geneva, Switzerland, in conjunction with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Pledging Conference for Syrian refugees, showcasing Canada’s Syrian resettlement initiative.

In addition to the above work and in order to protect the health and safety of Canadians throughout the initiative, IRCC undertook necessary health and security screening activities.

IRCC took a risk-based approach to health screening requirements for refugees by quickly securing regulatory approval from Health Canada to use rapid syphilis and human immunodeficiency virus tests for Syrian immigration medical exams (IMEs). This helped to significantly reduce the time needed for processing IMEs as only those with a positive rapid test were sent for the more time-consuming confirmatory blood tests.

The Department also worked with its federal partners (the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Department of National Defence) to ensure security processes and standards were maintained throughout. Background checks and other security screening processes involved: document verification; immigration interviews; biometric enrolment; assessment for inadmissibility on the grounds of national security or serious criminality; identity confirmation and document revalidation prior to departure; real-time risk assessments during the transportation phase; and, lastly, on-arrival screening.

Innovating to improve integration of Syrian refugees

In 2015–2016, IRCC implemented 35 small-scale pilots to support the social and labour market integration of Syrian refugees under the themes of informal language learning, community connections, employment and leveraging technology. Over 2,000 Syrian refugees across the country benefited from these pilots. Activities included: skills assessment and employment referrals at temporary lodging sites; sessions on mental health, parenting and healthy relationships; children and family activities, such as art creation; and youth activities such as improving computer literacy. These pilots are being evaluated and results will be shared broadly.

This initiative aligns with Program 2.2, Refugee Protection; Program 3.1, Newcomer Settlement and Integration; Program 4.1, Health Protection; and Program 4.2, Migration Control and Security Management. The work began in November 2015.

A coordinated response to refugee and humanitarian crises

In addition to its Syrian resettlement commitment, IRCC continued work to meet multiyear commitments to resettle Eritrean, Congolese, Colombian, Iraqi and Bhutanese refugees as well as refugees based out of Turkey. This work was accomplished through continued engagement with provinces, service providers, stakeholders, other federal departments and international governments and organizations.

Also in 2015–2016, supplementary funding in the amount of $6.8 million was allocated for settlement service providers to hire new settlement workers, language assessors and other staff to provide services such as child care.

On April 1, 2016, the Government also restored the Interim Federal Health (IFH) Program to provide health-care coverage for all eligible beneficiaries in Canada, and plans are in place to expand coverage for certain pre-departure medical services, by April 1, 2017, for refugees who have been identified for resettlement.

This initiative aligns with Program 2.2, Refugee Protection, and work is ongoing.

Summary of Progress

IRCC’s resettlement accomplishments have positioned Canada as a global leader in refugee resettlement, as well as a strong and innovative partner to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Once resettled, Canada’s Settlement Program provides newcomers with services that facilitate their participation in the social, cultural and economic spheres of Canadian society. IRCC acted quickly in 2015–2016 to ensure Syrian refugees would have access to critical settlement services to facilitate their integration.

Priority: Fostering Family Reunification (new priority)

When newcomers and their families stay together, it fosters their social and economic integration into Canada, thereby contributing to Canada’s social and economic prosperity. In support of this, the Department achieved the following under the initiatives identified below:

Conditional permanent residence

The Department undertook an examination of conditional permanent residence with a view to identifying options. As outlined in the Department’s Forward Regulatory Plan, a proposal on this priority is expected to be published for public comment before the end of 2016.

This initiative aligns with Program 2.1, Family and Discretionary Immigration, and work began in November 2015.

Maximum age for dependants

The Department began work on a regulatory amendment to increase the maximum age of dependent children to allow more Canadians and permanent residents to bring their children to Canada. As outlined in the Department’s Forward Regulatory Plan, a proposal on this priority is expected to be published for public comment before the end of 2016.

This initiative aligns with Program 2.1, Family and Discretionary Immigration, and work began in November 2015.

Application caps, processing times and express entry

In February 2016, the Department doubled the cap on applications for parents and grandparents from 5,000 to 10,000. Also in 2015–2016, the Department began addressing application processing times in the spousal class, as well as reducing inventory. The Department is also examining other lines of business to achieve faster processing times and increased efficiency. Potential changes were also considered to the Express Entry system to provide more opportunities and incentives for applicants who have Canadian siblings.

This initiative aligns with Program 2.1, Family and Discretionary Immigration, and work began in November 2015.

Summary of Progress

In addition to the achievements identified above, this priority was also reflected in the 2016 Immigration Levels Plan, tabled in March 2016, which laid out an increase in the levels target for family immigration (spouses, partners, children, parents and grandparents) from 68,000 in 2015 to 80,000 in 2016.

Priority: Improving and Modernizing Client Service (ongoing)

Continuous innovation in service excellence allows IRCC to improve services in all of its business lines while adding value for money for Canadians. An enhanced client service experience, among many other factors, improves Canada’s international competiveness in attracting the best and brightest to the country. The Department strives to provide easy, efficient and timely services to those wishing to come to Canada for the purposes of immigration, work, study or travel, and for those applying for Canadian citizenship or for travel documents such as passports. The Department achieved the following under the initiatives identified below:

Communicating service standards and real-time processing information

In 2015–2016, IRCC improved how processing times are communicated to clients on its Web site, providing more accurate and timely information with a user-friendly design. The Department met close to 80% of established service standards within their performance target, which included meeting the new six-month service standard for the Express Entry application system for 96% of applications received. Service standards were also implemented for citizenship grants received on or after April 1, 2015, increasing the number of priority services with established service standards.

Incorporating client opinion into service improvements

The Department now regularly analyzes service feedback received through a client feedback mechanism available on its Web site. The mechanism, launched in November 2014, helps to identify and address systemic service issues and implement relevant service improvements. In 2015–2016, the Department also conducted client satisfaction surveys on immigration, citizenship and passport programs to measure the impacts of client service initiatives.

This initiative is linked to all IRCC programs. This priority was established in April 2011 and is ongoing.

More online and user-friendly services

In 2015–2016, IRCC expanded its offering of online applications and other user-friendly services. This included:

  • the new Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for visa-exempt foreign nationals, which is a simple, inexpensive online process that takes clients just minutes to complete;
  • an electronic application for International Experience Canada (IEC) that streamlines two application processes (IEC and work permit) into one, thereby reducing client effort;
  • an online portal for Grants and Contributions Call for Proposals;
  • commencement of work on a process to provide more self-serve case status information for applications in most IRCC lines of business; when complete, clients will be able to register their paper applications online so that they can receive correspondence online and view self-serve status updates; and
  • completion of plain language revisions to several client letters to ensure communication is clear and consistent.

This initiative is linked to all IRCC programs. Work began in spring 2013 and is ongoing.

Summary of Progress

Administering client satisfaction surveys, monitoring client feedback and putting in place strong service management practices has provided the foundation for addressing client expectations of simple, timely and secure services that uphold program integrity. In improving client service, IRCC has also enhanced the operational performance and competitiveness of Canada’s immigration, settlement, citizenship and passport programs.

Priority: Emphasizing People Management (ongoing)

IRCC recognizes that success rests with a diverse and highly competent work force. Founded in sound stewardship of human resources management and excellence in people management, IRCC employs successful and targeted recruitment and retention efforts, meaningful employee training, employee development and feedback, and promotion of healthy and respectful workplaces. The Department achieved the following under the initiatives identified below:

Syrian refugee resettlement mobilization

From November 2015 to February 2016, IRCC mobilized all available resources to support the successful Government of Canada effort to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees. More than 200 IRCC employees were sent overseas to assist with efforts on the ground in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Many employees, including employees from non-operational sectors, offered to leave their substantive work to temporarily support refugee resettlement, which involved long hours and spending the holidays away from their families. While these employees were helping with this work, other employees maintained day-to-day operations. To support this mobilization, IRCC processed over 1,300 human resources actions, hired 149 temporary employees, and created and maintained an inventory of more than 900 IRCC employees who offered to work on the project.

This initiative is linked primarily to Program 2.2, Refugee Protection but has impacted all IRCC programs. Work began in November 2015 and was completed in February 2016.

Recruitment, staffing and work force management

In 2015–2016, IRCC put in place measures such as more streamlined staffing processes and automated candidate inventories to support the Department in staffing people with the right mix of knowledge, skills and experience to meet its needs in a timely manner. This facilitated an easier transition to the Public Service Commission’s new direction in staffing, which focuses on increased flexibilities toward departmental recruitment.

IRCC continued to implement the recently introduced government-wide approach to employee performance management to support employees in continuing to maximize their performance in alignment with departmental priorities.

This initiative is linked to all IRCC programs. Work is ongoing.

Building the work force of the future

As part of its commitment to people management, departmental managers and human resources professionals partnered to develop and maintain a high-performing, adaptable and diverse work force. These efforts were aligned with the larger Government of Canada vision expressed through the ongoing Blueprint 2020 initiative. In 2015–2016, the Department:

  • worked with the Canada School of Public Service, as part of its enterprise approach to learning, to support employees in accessing the learning and development opportunities they need to succeed and advance in their careers;
  • continued to implement generic work descriptions that help maximize the flexibility and dynamism of the work force to meet shifting demands for immigration and citizenship services;
  • supported diversity by establishing a new employee network for persons with disabilities, supporting gender-based analysis in policy design and recognizing employees who promote inclusiveness;
  • fostered a healthy and supportive workplace through engagement in Blueprint 2020 and by responding to the findings of the 2014 Public Service Employee Survey; and
  • implemented a new policy for employee departures that focuses on simplifying the process.

This initiative is linked to all IRCC programs. Work is ongoing.

Summary of Progress

In 2015–2016, IRCC leveraged its capable and high-performing work force to support a successful transition to a new Government and advance its priorities, one of those being the commitment to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees. This effort earned IRCC the Public Service Award of Excellence in the large-scale special event or project category. Success with the Syrian refugee initiative is the result of the significant contributions of IRCC employees and hundreds of public servants from a number of federal government departments who worked alongside key partners, stakeholders, provincial, territorial and municipal governments and Canadians.

The IRCC Positive Spaces team was also recognized this year with an award for equity and diversity from the inter-departmental Positive Spaces Initiative. The Positive Spaces Initiative aims to create a safer, more tolerant, open-minded environment for all employees, including members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and questioning community. Recognition of the important work done by IRCC’s employees who have risen above expectations plays an important role in maintaining our innovative, productive and engaged work force.

IRCC’s effective management of its work force through a commitment to excellence in people management and a sound partnership between managers and human resources professionals positioned the Department to deliver on its mandate and Government priorities in 2015–2016 and to build a work force of the future.

Priority: Promoting Management Excellence and Accountability (ongoing)

In 2015–2016, IRCC continued to promote excellence and accountability in the management of its programs. In its annual Management Accountability Framework assessment report, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat noted that “overall, IRCC is a well-managed department.” The Department achieved the following under the initiatives identified below:

Improvements to information technology solutions

In 2015–2016, IRCC made progress in implementing information technology solutions to modernize its Grants and Contributions management, fee payment, citizenship grants and information management systems. New releases and upgrades were designed to improve efficiencies and more effectively share information and data within the Department.

This initiative is linked to all IRCC programs. Work was undertaken during the 2015–2016 fiscal year.

Employee learning across a variety of functional areas

In 2015–2016, the Department offered various learning and development opportunities in the areas of project management, risk management, conflict management, information management, performance management, access to information and privacy, and security. Learning opportunities were designed to meet the learning needs of individuals and various groups and therefore were offered in various formats, including online, in-person, coaching, classroom, working groups and committees. Ongoing learning is a key component of successfully managing the Department and its programs.

This initiative is linked to all IRCC programs. Work was undertaken during the 2015–2016 fiscal year.

Managing for excellence

In 2015–2016, IRCC developed a risk-based management control framework for memoranda of understanding (non-binding agreements) to ensure effective management of agreements in order to support partnerships that allow the Department to successfully deliver its programs.

The three-tiered project management certification program that was implemented in 2014 to enhance departmental knowledge of project management was continued through the 2015–2016 fiscal year. This training and certification improved the Department’s capacity to manage projects.

In 2015–2016, new procurement forms and related processes were developed and a new organizational structure was approved to create internal efficiencies and expedite the procurement process within the Department.

This initiative is linked to all IRCC programs. Work was undertaken during the 2015–2016 fiscal year.

Summary of Progress

IRCC continued to deliver on its programs by building on a strong, high-performing organization that is nimble, connected, engaged and ready to face new challenges. It is supported by strong management, oversight and accountability practices, strengthened compliance and monitoring, simplified internal rules and procedures, effective management with partners, as well as effective management of its financial, human, information, assets and accommodation resources. Additional details can be found in the Internal Services section below.

Section II: Expenditure Overview

Actual Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2015–16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015–16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
Difference
(actual minus planned)
1,464,667,008 1,464,667,008 2,438,250,534 1,536,497,266 71,830,258
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
5,818 6,191 373

Budgetary Performance Summary

Budgetary Performance Summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)
Programs and Internal Services 2015–16
Main Estimates
2015–16
Planned Spending
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
2015–16
Total Authorities Available for Use
2015–16
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2014–15
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2013–14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
1.1 Permanent Economic Residents 99,145,934 99,145,934 44,243,952 43,651,345 58,707,042 58,368,375 81,907,913 79,311,818
1.2 Temporary Economic Residents 24,278,038 24,278,038 53,069,957 25,945,027 33,441,423 29,371,737 28,817,691 20,831,035
2.1 Family and Discretionary Immigration 37,572,058 37,572,058 36,932,907 36,579,855 33,868,593 33,620,196 39,557,058 44,096,198
2.2 Refugee Protection 30,059,852 30,059,852 28,013,358 21,997,034 161,348,846 104,261,333 29,926,000 28,698,237
3.1 Newcomer Settlement and Integration 1,014,017,140 1,014,017,140 1,174,026,452 1,065,220,715 1,154,810,927 1,107,030,857 1,010,190,212 970,807,076
3.2 Citizenship for Newcomers and All Canadians 68,062,779 68,062,779 62,018,218 60,846,915 78,481,010 77,993,946 82,983,275 62,517,787
3.3 Multicultur-alism for Newcomers and All CanadiansFootnote vi 13,049,066 13,049,066 12,100,261 12,204,636 4,163,554 4,163,554 6,771,604 9,793,615
4.1 Health Protection 63,217,689 63,217,689 75,135,278 60,593,922 79,130,413 41,760,082 31,042,845 38,115,873
4.2 Migration Control and Security Management 124,537,482 124,537,482 154,340,892 148,165,559 129,784,021 108,005,276 104,056,335 93,642,100
4.3 Canadian Influence in International Migration and Integration Agenda 5,177,541 5,177,541 5,908,956 5,882,403 6,633,273 6,480,611 5,896,698 5,616,646
4.4 PassportFootnote vii -202,153,477 -202,153,477 -184,207,868 -171,474,181 464,617,759 -252,405,048 -287,387,229 -206,332,014
Internal Services Subtotal 187,702,906 187,702,906 189,249,864 177,523,121 233,263,673 217,846,347 226,988,706 231,596,325
Total 1,464,667,008 1,464,667,008 1,650,832,227 1,487,136,351 2,438,250,534 1,536,497,266 1,360,751,108 1,378,694,696

Planning assumptions and forecasts, including FTEs, as reported in planned spending, change over the course of the period between the time they are developed and the time actual resource usage is reported in the Departmental Performance Report (DPR). The difference between starting numbers (planned spending), which was developed in late 2014, and the actual usage is due to various factors such as changes in department and government priorities, additional funding received and operational activities.

In 2015–2016, an overall amount of $1,536.5 million was spent by IRCC, compared to a plan to spend $1,464.7 million that was identified in the 2015–2016 Main Estimates, for a shortfall of $71.8 million before adjustments of in-year authorities mainly through 2015–2016 Supplementary Estimates. Among the most significant factors that can explain this increase is the Syrian refugee initiative that was announced in fall 2015, for which the costs (operating and transfer payments) totalled $184.1 million in 2015–2016. Other initiatives such as the Expansion of Biometrics and the reform of the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) Program incurred costs totalling $15.3 million that were not included in the planned figures, as they received funding during 2015–2016 of $20.4 million. Among the most significant items that helped to reduce that shortfall was an additional surplus in the Passport Program of $50.2 million, a less than anticipated spending related to fee returns for cancelled Federal Skilled Worker and Immigrant Investor applications of $34.7 million, a less than anticipated cost of $18.2 million for the Interim Federal Health (IFH) Program, a transfer to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) of $10.2 million to support missions abroad and a $7.1 million surplus to account for the Multiculturalism Program transferred to Canadian Heritage.

Total authorities available for use increased during the year by $973.6 million from planned spending of $1,464.7 million to $2,438.3 million. This change is related to a $666.8 million increase in the Passport Program’s spending authority (comprised of an in-year authority of $202.2 million and $464.6 million available from previous years). Another $298.0 million was provided through the Supplementary Estimates, mostly for the response of the Canadian government to the Syrian refugee crisis ($295.6 million) but also to fund initiatives such as the expansion of biometric screening in Canadaʼs immigration system ($5.6 million), the implementation and administration of reforms to the TFW Program and the International Mobility Program (IMP) ($14.8 million) as well as for the Canada–Québec Accord relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens ($4.5 million). These were partly offset by other adjustments which included a reduction of $25.0 million for the fee return related to cancelled applications for the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) Program. It also included in-year funding adjustments of $8.8 million to account for technical adjustments and for the impact of machinery of government changes.

Actual spending was lower than total authorities available by $901.8 million. The Passport Program’s portion associated with this reduction is $717.0 million, resulting from a surplus of $252.4 million in 2015–2016 which is added to its previous surplus of $464.6 million. These surpluses will fund the anticipated deficit forecast during the second half of the 10-year business cycle of the Passport Program where it is anticipated that the volume will be reduced significantly due to the shift to the 10-year passport.

A total of $135.0 million in operating expenditures was not used. Among the most significant factors explaining this positive variance is the surplus in operating expenditures for the Syrian refugee initiative, a less than anticipated cost for the IFH Program, the reprofiling of funds related to the Beyond the Border Action Plan and frozen funds resulting from government decisions. In addition, for various reasons, costs for initiatives such as reform of the TFW Program, the Expansion of Biometrics as well as certain internal services were lower than anticipated.

Lastly, a positive variance of $49.7 million in grants and contributions was achieved. Included in this surplus is a surplus of $37.0 million for the Syrian refugee initiative mainly attributable to unused contingency, Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) expenditures for hotels and International Organization for Migration overseas logistics and support being less than anticipated. The remaining surplus is mainly attributable to lower than planned expenditures in the Settlement Program and the RAP.

Departmental Spending Trend

Graph of departmental spending trends as described below.
Text version: Departmental Spending Trend Graph
Fiscal Year Sunset Programs – Anticipated
(dollars)
Statutory Voted Total
2013-14 0 -100,028 1,478,723 1,378,695
2014-15 0 -191,100 1,551,851 1,360,751
2015-16 0 -173,228 1,709,725 1,536,497
2016-17 0 -119,294 1,770,126 1,650,832
2017-18 0 -109,559 1,596,695 1,487,136
2018-19 0 275,477 1,624,984 1,900,461

Spending between 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 was fairly stable. A spike in expenditures occurred in 2015–2016 mostly due to the Government response to the Syrian refugee crisis for which $184.1 million was spent by IRCC. Items such as a reduced surplus in the Passport Program or increase in spending for the Beyond the Border initiative also contributed to this increase. These were partly offset by a reduction of a one-time salary item related to pay in arrears as well as a reduction in fee returns for cancelled applications with respect to the FSW Program.

The projected decrease in funding for 2016–2017 to 2017–2018 is mainly due to the decrease in funding for the Syrian refugee initiative and the end of the two-year funding for the reform of the TFW Program. The spike in costs from 2017–2018 to 2018–2019 is mainly related to the projected deficit of the Passport Program due to the anticipated drop in volume related to the 10-year passport as well as the ramping up of operating costs with respect to the biometrics expansion initiative. Sunset funding did not have a material impact on the overall spending trend.

Expenditures by Vote

For information on IRCC’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2016, which is available on the Public Services and Procurement Canada Web site.

Alignment of Spending with the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2015–2016 Actual Spending with the Whole-of-Government Framework (dollars)
Programs Spending Area Government of Canada Outcomes 2015–16 Actual Spending
1.1 Permanent Economic Residents Economic Affairs Strong economic growth 58,368,375
1.2 Temporary Economic Residents Economic Affairs Strong economic growth 29,371,737
2.1 Family and Discretionary Immigration Social Affairs A diverse society that promotes linguistic duality and social inclusion 33,620,196
2.2 Refugee Protection International Affairs A safe and secure world through international engagement 104,261,333
3.1 Newcomer Settlement and Integration Social Affairs A diverse society that promotes linguistic duality and social inclusion 1,107,030,857
3.2 Citizenship for Newcomers and All Canadians Social Affairs A diverse society that promotes linguistic duality and social inclusion 77,993,946
3.3 Multiculturalism for Newcomers and All Canadians Social Affairs A diverse society that promotes linguistic duality and social inclusion 4,163,554
4.1 Health Protection Social Affairs Healthy Canadians 41,760,082
4.2 Migration Control and Security Management Social Affairs A safe and secure Canada 108,005,276
4.3 Canadian Influence in International Migration and Integration Agenda International Affairs A safe and secure world through international engagement 6,480,611
4.4 PassportFootnote viii International Affairs A safe and secure world through international engagement -252,405,048
Total Spending by Spending Area (dollars)
Spending Area Total Planned Spending Total Actual Spending
Economic Affairs 123,423,972 87,740,112
Social Affairs 1,320,456,214 1,372,573,911
International Affairs -166,916,084 -141,663,104
Government AffairsFootnote ix 0 0

Financial Statements and Financial Statements Highlights

Financial Statements

The financial highlights presented within this DPR are intended to serve as a general overview of IRCC’s Consolidated Statement of Operations and Consolidated Statement of Financial Position as presented in IRCC’s unaudited financial statements. These are prepared in accordance with accrual accounting principles and, therefore, are different from the information published in the Public Accounts of Canada, which are prepared on appropriation-based reporting. The complete unaudited financial statements can be found on IRCC’s Web site.

Financial Statements Highlights

Condensed Consolidated Statement of Operations
Condensed Consolidated Statement of Operations (unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31, 2016
(dollars)
Financial Information 2015–16
Planned ResultsFootnote x
2015–16
Actual
2014–15
Actual
Difference
(2015–16 actual minus 2015–16
planned)
Difference
(2015–16 actual minus 2014–15 actual)
Total expenses 2,361,715,328 2,476,550,071 2,270,305,130 114,834,743 206,244,941
Total revenues 649,310,467 620,176,427 650,195,750 (29,134,040) (30,019,323)
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 1,712,404,861 1,856,373,644 1,620,109,380 143,968,783 236,264,264

Total departmental expenses have increased by $206 million (9%), from $2.3 billion in 2014–2015 to $2.5 billion in the current year. This increase can be attributed primarily to additional funding and spending to implement the Government’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Total expenses for 2015–2016 are $115 million (5%) higher than the planned results reported in IRCC’s 2015–2016 Consolidated Future-Oriented Statement of Operations. Again, the variance is mainly due to the additional spending against the Syrian refugee crisis, slightly offset by reduced spending on the Passport Program.

Transfer payments comprise a significant portion of the Department’s expenses (44% or $1.1 billion) followed by employee costs, which include salaries and benefits (31% or $774 million).

Most of the Department’s spending was under the Newcomer Settlement and Integration Program, comprising $1.1 billion (45%) of the Department’s expenses, of which 97% are transfer payments.

The charts below outline IRCC’s expenses by program and IRCC’s net cost of operations before government funding and transfers:

Graph of 2015-2016 expenses as described below.
Text version: 2015–2016 Expenses by Program
Expenses by program Percentage
Newcomer Settlement and Integration 45%
Passport 14%
Migration Control and Security Management 9%
Refugee Protection 5%
Citizenship for Newcomers and All Canadians 4%
Permanent Economic Residents 4%
Temporary Economic Residents 3%
Family and Discretionary Immigration 3%
Internal Services 10%
OtherGraph 2 footnote * 3%
Graph of net cost of operations as described below.
Text version: Net Cost of Operations Before Government Spending and Transfers (in millions of dollars)
Net Cost of Operations Before Government Spending and Transfers Millions of dollars
Planned 2015–16 1,712
Actual 2015–16 1,856
Actual 2014–15 1,620

Departmental total revenues amounted to $1,238 million in 2015–2016, of which 49% ($610 million) stemmed from passport revenues and 34% ($425 million) stemmed from immigration service fees.

Departmental revenues earned on behalf of government (50% of total revenues, or $617 million) increased by $36 million (6%) compared with the previous year’s revenues. The variation is attributable to:

  • increases in revenues from the right of permanent residence (49% or $40 million) resulting from a volume increase in landing fees and two new user fees that became effective in February 2015, as well as revenues from immigration service fees (5% or $20 million) resulting from a net increase in volumes; and
  • decreases in revenues from citizenship service fees (29% or $21 million) and from right of citizenship (15% or $3 million) resulting from an increase in the minimum residency period for applying for citizenship (from three to four years).

Departmental respendable revenues (50% or $620 million) decreased by $30 million (5%) compared with the previous year’s revenues. The $29 million variation between the 2015–2016 planned results and actual revenues is mainly due to a decrease of 7% in passport demand volumes.

The charts below outline all of IRCC’s revenues:

Graph of 2015-2016 revenues as described below.
Text version: 2015–2016 Revenues by Type
Revenues by Type Percentage
Passport respendable revenues 49%
Immigration service fees 34%
Right of permanent residence 10%
Citizenship service fees 4%
IEC respendable revenues 1%
Other revenuesGraph 4 footnote * 2%
Graph of total revenues as described below.
Text version: Total Revenues (in millions of dollars)
Total revenues Millions of dollars
Planned 2015–16 1,370
Actual 2015–16 1,238
Actual 2014–15 1,232
Condensed Consolidated Statement of Financial Position
Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited)
As at March 31, 2016
(dollars)
Financial Information 2015–16 2014–15 Difference
(2015–16 minus
2014–15)
Total net liabilities 356,123,163 402,280,049 (46,156,886)
Total net financial assets 337,106,317 332,904,241 4,202,076
Departmental net debt 19,016,846 69,375,808 (50,358,962)
Total non-financial assets 165,984,090 165,674,900 309,189
Departmental net financial position 146,967,244 96,299,092 50,668,152

Total net liabilities have declined by $46 million (11%) due to a $38 million decrease in Immigrant Investor Program liabilities and a $13 million decrease in accounts payable and accrued liabilities, both partially offset by a $4 million increase in vacation pay and compensatory leave.

The chart below outlines IRCC’s net liabilities:

Graph of total net liabilities as described below.
Text version: Total Net Liabilities as at March 31, 2016
Total Net Liabilitites as at March 31, 2016 Percentage
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 78%
Immigration Investor Program 7%
Vacation pay and compensatory leave 7%
Employee future benefits 8%

Total net financial assets have increased by $4 million (1%) due to a $1 million net increase in accounts receivable and advances and a $3 million increase in loans receivable.

The chart below outlines IRCC’s net financial assets:

Graph of total net financial assets as described below.
Text version: Total Net Financial Assets as at March 31, 2016
Total Net Financial Assets as at March 31, 2016 Percentage
Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund 78%
Accounts receivable and advances 5%
Loans receivable 12%
Inventory held for resale 5%

Section III: Analysis of Programs and Internal Services

Section III offers program performance overviews, including financial and full-time equivalent information, of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) programs. Sub-program performance, financial and full-time equivalent information can be found in the Supplementary Information e-tables.

Program 1.1: Permanent Economic Residents

Rooted in objectives outlined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), the focus of this program is on the selection and processing of immigrants who can support the development of a strong and prosperous Canada, in which the benefits of immigration are shared across all regions of Canada. The acceptance of qualified permanent residents helps the Government meet its economic objectives, such as building a skilled work force, addressing immediate and longer-term labour market needs, and supporting national and regional labour force growth. The selection and processing of applications involve the granting of permanent residence to qualified applicants, as well as the refusal of unqualified applicants.

Performance HighlightsFootnote xi

Express Entry

Canada has moved away from a first-in, first-out processing method in favour of inviting only the top-ranked candidates to apply for permanent residence based on their Express Entry profile. Launched on January 1, 2015, Express Entry is designed to more quickly and efficiently welcome economic class immigrants who best meet Canada’s labour market needs.Footnote xii

Based on early results of a small volume of applications, processing times lie well below the 6-month standard, at an average of 4.4 months across all Express Entry programs.

  • Express Entry is aligned with IRCC’s client service goals, including a six-month processing service standard in 80% of cases.
  • In the first year of operation (January 1, 2015 to January 3, 2016), there were 23 rounds of invitations to apply for permanent residence, with 31,063 invitations to apply for permanent residence issued through Express Entry. Invitations were issued to foreign nationals eligible for all four of the participating immigration programs, and 21,651 or approximately 70% of the individuals who received an invitation submitted a complete application for permanent residence.
  • As of January 3, 2016, there were almost 64,000 eligible foreign nationals in the Express Entry pool. Additionally, 9,739 individuals (principal applicants and their families) had already landed as of January 3, 2016.

In 2015–2016, IRCC continued progress on a review of Express Entry. Areas identified for potential changes include, but are not limited to, job offer points, labour market impact analysis requirements, and incentives for former international students, francophone immigrants and applicants who have Canadian siblings.

Provincial Nominees

The ongoing renewal of federal-provincial-territorial agreements has helped to clarify the roles and responsibilities of federal, provincial and territorial governments, particularly with respect to the integrity of the Provincial Nominees Program. IRCC also continues to work with provinces and territories to ensure program design is aligned with economic and regional labour market needs. Performance results in this program continue to be positive. For example, the latest data availableFootnote xiii show that 49.4% of provincial nominee principal applicants have employment earnings at or above the Canadian average, five years after landing, which is above the target set for the program.

Evaluation of the Canadian Experience Class

The Department completed its Evaluation of the Canadian Experience Class, which was published on November 19, 2015. Key findings were generally positive, showing that permanent residents selected under this program are rapidly becoming economically established and integrating into Canadian society, with little reliance on social assistance or IRCC-funded settlement services. The Department will monitor closely the human capital profile of permanent residents selected under the program.

Federal Business Immigrants Program

The Department continues to test new approaches to business immigration that support innovation and economic growth, as we move from high-volume legacy programs to targeted pilot programs.

  • The Start-Up Visa pilot program was launched in 2013 to attract innovative entrepreneurs who will establish businesses with high growth potential. It continued to experience growth in demand in 2015–2016 and has helped to launch 27 start-ups in Canada, primarily in the high-tech sector. A review of the program began in late 2015–2016, with results expected in 2016–2017 to inform a decision as to whether the program will be made permanent.
  • Another pilot, the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital pilot program, tested demand in 2015 for an immigration program requiring a substantial at-risk venture capital investment to support the growth of Canadian businesses. The results of this pilot are currently under review.
Human Resources (FTEs) and Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) – Program 1.1
Resource Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Total Authorities
(available for use)
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
2015–16
FTEsFootnote xiv - 458 - 491 33
Spending 99,145,934 99,145,934 58,707,042 58,368,375 -40,777,559

Actual spending in 2015–2016 for Program 1.1 was lower than planned spending by $40.8 million due to the following items:

  • less than projected fee returns stemming from the cancellation of applications. The reduction compared to the planned spending is $28.2 million for Federal Skilled Workers and $6.5 million for Federal Business Immigrants;
  • this is partially offset by refunds of previous year revenue of $4.0 million that were not planned; and
  • the remaining authorities of $10.1 million were adjusted to fund other programs.
Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Migration of permanent and temporary residents that strengthen Canada’s economyFootnote xv 1. Rank within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) of employment rate for all immigrants ≤ 5 7
The benefits of immigration are shared across all regions of Canada 2. Percentage of economic permanent resident principal applicants who settle and are retained outside the Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver census metropolitan areas (CMAs) three years after landing > 40% 37.5%Footnote xvi
Economic immigrants support the long-term economic goals of Canada 3. Employment earnings of economic principal applicants relative to the Canadian average, five years after landing 100% 112.27%
Immigration increasingly contributes to Canada’s economic growth 4. Percentage of economic permanent resident admissions relative to overall permanent resident admissions 64.9% 62.7%
Temporary residents’ transitions to permanent residence strengthen Canada’s long-term economic goals 5. Number of temporary resident principal applicants who transition to permanent residence in economic immigration categories 30,000–35,000Footnote xvii 47,861

Performance Indicator AnalysisFootnote xviii

  1. According to OECD figures, Canada’s foreign-born employment rate decreased slightly from 71% in 2013 to 70% in 2014 (the most recent year for which OECD data are available). Canada’s rank among OECD countries declined from sixthFootnote xix to seventh place during the same time frame. This is below the target of less than or equal to fifth place.
  2. The percentage of new permanent residents who settled and are retained three years after landing outside Canada’s three largest CMAs increased from 36.5% in 2012 to 37.5% in 2013. Although this number is slightly lower than the 40% target, it has increased by 13% over the last five years.
  3. Economic permanent resident principal applicants are selected for their ability to become economically established in Canada. Average entry employment earnings for these applicants are well above the average of all immigrants and have surpassed the Canadian average by 12% five years after landing.
  4. The percentage of economic permanent resident admissions relative to the overall permanent resident admissions was 62.7% in 2015. This is lower than the planned target of 64.9% for economic admissions due in part to increased refugee landings following changes in Government direction in November and December.
  5. In 2015, a total of 47,861 temporary resident principal applicants transitioned to permanent residence under an economic class program, which is 36.7% above the target range. Temporary residents are an important source of growth for Canada’s labour force, as their Canadian experience improves their overall integration.

Program 1.2: Temporary Economic Residents

Rooted in objectives outlined in IRPA, the focus of this program is to establish and apply the rules governing entry into Canada of foreign nationals authorized for temporary work and international students. Temporary economic migration enhances Canada’s trade, commerce, cultural, educational and scientific activities, in support of our overall economic and social prosperity and national interests. The selection and processing involve the issuance of temporary resident visas (TRV), work permits and study permits to qualified applicants, as well as the refusal of unqualified applicants.

Performance Highlights

International Students

The temporary economic residents program maintained an application processing service standard that is well above the targets established for 2015–2016.

The Department engaged with provinces and territories, as well as educational stakeholders, to advance Canada's position as a world-class destination for international students through the implementation of new reporting requirements for students and institutions. In 2015, there were 221,486 student entries, an increase of 4.5% over 2014.Footnote xx

Temporary Foreign Workers and International Mobility programs

The Department continued to implement a new employer compliance regime for the International Mobility Program (IMP) to ensure the program is used as intended. Reforms to the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) Program and the IMP strengthened the compliance regime in order to better protect the Canadian labour market and foreign workers. The number of work permit holders for both programs in 2015 totalled 249,500.

The Department also identified key sectors that would benefit from Labour Market Impact Assessment exemptions created under the IMP (such as television/film, performing arts), in recognition of the contribution that their cultural and creative industries bring to the Canadian labour market and the economy.

IRCC continued to support Employment and Social Development Canada in its work to eliminate the $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee for employers hiring caregivers and its work with provinces and territories to develop a system of regulated companies to hire caregivers on behalf of families.

International Experience Canada

In 2015–2016, IRCC continued to engage with key stakeholders such as provinces, territories, academic networks, employers and the travel sector to promote International Experience Canada (IEC) participation to Canadian and international youth. For 2015–2106, the ratio of IEC foreign participants to Canadian participants was three to one (3:1). In order to increase reciprocity, IRCC focused on enhancing international opportunities for Canadian youth and building awareness of the IEC Program within Canada. Also, since November 2015, the IEC application process has been fully integrated into the Global Case Management System.

Human Resources and Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) – Program 1.2
Resource Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Total Authorities
(available for use)
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
2015–16
FTEs - 270 - 376 106
Spending 24,278,038 24,278,038 33,441,423 29,371,737 5,093,699

Actual spending in 2015–2016 for Program 1.2 was higher than planned spending by $5.1 million due to the following items:

  • funding to continue to implement and administer reforms to the TFW Program and the IMP was not included in the planned spending and was accessed through 2015–2016 Supplementary Estimates “C”. The actual spending under Program 1.2 for this initiative is $3.9 million;
  • the actual net revenue for IEC was higher than planned by $0.7 million; and
  • the remaining authorities used ($1.9 million) were adjusted from other programs.
Performance Results
Expected Result Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Canada benefits from the timely entry of temporary economic residents 1. Percentage of international student applications finalized within the established service standard New: 80%
Extensions: 80%
New: 93%
Extensions: 97%
2. Percentage of work permit applications (submitted overseas) finalized within the established service standardFootnote xxi 80% 90%
3. Percentage of IEC applications from foreign nationals finalized within service standardsFootnote xxii 80% 84%

Performance Indicator Analysis

  1. In 2015, a total of 93% of new applications and 97% of applications for extensions were finalized within the established service standard. These results are well above the service standard targets of 80%.
  2. In addition, 90% of work permit applications submitted overseas were finalized within the established service standards. This is much higher than the 80% target.
  3. The IEC performance is monitored and reported based on calendar year activities. For consistency with the Departmental Performance Report (DPR) User Fees Table, applications finalized are reported by fiscal year in the table above. Applications were finalized 84% of the time within the established service standard of eight weeks during fiscal year 2015–2016. These results are slightly above the target of 80% as set out in the 2015–2016 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP).

Program 2.1: Family and Discretionary Immigration

IRCC’s family and discretionary programs support the Government of Canada’s social goals for immigration. The program’s objectives are to reunite family members in Canada, and to allow for the processing of exceptional cases. Family Class provisions of IRPA enable Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada to apply to sponsor eligible members of the Family Class, including spouses and partners, dependent children, and parents and grandparents. Discretionary provisions in the legislation are used in cases where there are humanitarian and compassionate considerations or for public policy reasons. These discretionary provisions provide the flexibility to approve exceptional and deserving cases not anticipated in the legislation and to support the Government of Canada in its humanitarian response to world events and crises. Eligibility assessment and processing involve the granting of permanent or temporary residence to qualified applicants, as well as the refusal of unqualified applicants.

Performance HighlightsFootnote xxiii

Protecting vulnerable women

In 2015–2016, the Department worked toward further strengthening the integrity of family sponsorship, including through enhanced protection of vulnerable women in the immigration system. The Government received and responded to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration’s report Strengthening the Protection of Women in Our Immigration System. Concretely, this led to a number of changes to increase protection against early and forced marriage and vulnerability, such as an increase in the minimum eligible age of a spouse or partner, and ensuring marriages are based on free and informed consent.

Maximum age of dependants

The Department began work on a regulatory amendment to increase the maximum age of dependent children from under 19 to under 22. This increase would allow more Canadians and permanent residents to bring their children to Canada.

Permanent residency for new spouses entering Canada

In February 2016, the Department doubled the annual cap for the number of applications accepted for parents and grandparents from 5,000 to 10,000.

The Department also undertook an examination of conditional permanent residence with a view to identifying options. As outlined in the Department’s Forward Regulatory Plan, a proposal on this priority is expected to be published for public comment before the end of 2016.

Application processing times for family sponsorship

The Department began work in the winter of 2016 to reduce the inventory of applications for Family Class spouse/partner sponsorship, which will assist the Department in reducing processing times in the future. The 2016 Immigration Levels Plan included an ambitious higher target of 60,000 (compared to 48,000 in 2015) for the reunification of spouses and partners, which will support family reunification in the coming years. Moving forward, the Department will look for ways to improve processing times for all sponsorship applications, by examining current practices to find efficiencies and by easing the administrative burden for both clients and IRCC officers.

Human Resources and Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) – Program 2.1
Resource Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Total Authorities
(available for use)
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
2015–16
FTEs - 353 - 415 62
Spending 37,572,058 37,572,058 33,868,593 33,620,196 -3,951,862

Actual spending in 2015–2016 for Program 2.1 was lower than planned spending by $4.0 million and authorities were subsequently adjusted to fund other programs.

Performance Result
Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Canada reunites families in Canada and provides residence in Canada for deserving cases in exceptional considerationsFootnote xxiv 1. Number of admissions for total Family Class, humanitarian and compassionate grounds, and public policy grounds 66,900–73,200 69,911

Performance Indicator Analysis

  1. In 2015, family and discretionary admissions were 69,911, exceeding the lower end of the target range by 3,011 admissions, or 4.5%. This is a decrease from 71,997 in 2014 and 86,669 admissions in 2013, and is largely the result of a decline in parent and grandparent admissions.

Program 2.2: Refugee Protection

The Refugee Protection Program is in the first instance about saving lives and offering protection to the displaced and persecuted. One arm of the program starts overseas, where refugees and persons in refugee-like situations are selected by Canadian visa officers to be resettled as permanent residents to Canada. Flowing from Canada's international and domestic legal obligations, the in-Canada asylum system evaluates the claims of individuals seeking asylum in Canada and grants protected person status when a positive decision is rendered by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).

Performance HighlightsFootnote xxv

In-Canada asylum system

In 2012, Canada’s asylum system was reformed to include the development of a Refugee Appeal Division at the IRB, accelerated processing time lines and limited access to appeal measures for asylum claimants from designated countries of origin, and changes to human smuggling and biometrics requirements.

In 2015–2016, an evaluation of the changes was conducted. Overall, the evaluation noted some positive results. Specifically, new system claimants received a positive or negative decision about five times faster than claimants under the former system, and removals of failed asylum claimants took place faster under the new system. Prompt decision making assists successful claimants in integrating into Canadian society, and effecting timely removals ensures that the program is not misused by those who do not meet the definition of the term “refugee” as set out by the Refugee Convention.

On July 23, 2015, the Federal Court found that barring asylum claimants from Designated Countries of Origin from accessing an appeal is inconsistent with section 15(1) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees equal rights to protection and benefits for every individual in Canada regardless of national or ethnic origin and other protected grounds. As a result, asylum claimants from these countries are now permitted to appeal negative decisions at the Refugee Appeal Division of the IRB. The Government’s appeal of the Federal Court decision was discontinued.

The Government has reviewed the findings of the three-year evaluation and is exploring ways to further improve the asylum system, including examining the future of the Designated Country of Origin regime.

Refugee resettlement

In affirmation of Canada’s humanitarian commitment to assist refugees in need of international protection, the overseas component of the Refugee Protection Program seeks to provide individual protection solutions to refugees. The hallmark achievement in 2015–2016 is the successful initiative to resettle more than 25,000 Syrian refugees between November 2015 and the end of February 2016. As a result, IRCC far exceeded its initial resettlement goals for 2015–2016.Footnote xxvi In addition, IRCC continued work to meet multiyear commitments to resettle Eritrean, Congolese, Colombian, Iraqi and Bhutanese refugees as well as refugees based out of Turkey.

Continued engagement with provinces, service providers, stakeholders, other federal departments, and international governments and organizations is key to the success of the resettlement program. The open-intake call for proposals (CFP) to expand the network of Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) service provider organizations (SPOs) has resulted in eight new centres that will receive Syrian government-assisted refugees in 2016–2017. Furthermore, IRCC continues to engage with stakeholders to address increasing demand for access to the Blended Visa Office-Referred Refugees Program.

Human Resources and Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) – Program 2.2
Resource Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Total Authorities
(available for use)
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
2015–16
FTEs - 311 - 475 164
Spending 30,059,852 30,059,852 161,348,846 104,261,333 74,201,481

Actual spending in 2015–2016 for Program 2.2 was higher than planned spending by $74.2 million due to the following items:

  • the funding to implement the Government’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis was not included in the 2015–2016 planned spending and was accessed through 2015–2016 Supplementary Estimates “B”. The actual spending for this initiative under Program 2.2 is $71.6 million; and
  • the remaining shortfall of $2.6 million was subsequently covered through realignment of funding from other programs.
Performance Result
Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Canada protects refugees in need of resettlement 1. Percentage of resettled refugees in the world that Canada resettles (dependent on actions of other countries) 8–12% 15%

Performance Indicator Analysis

  1. In 2015, Canada resettled 19,571 refugees. This is approximately 15% of the 134,000 refugees admitted for permanent resettlement through the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) worldwide. This is a substantial increase in refugee resettlement over 2014, when Canada’s total resettlement was 12,310. Canada resettles refugees through the assistance of the UNHCR or private sponsors.

Program 3.1: 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. 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.

Performance HighlightsFootnote xxvii

New settlement policy directions

Following consultations with partners and stakeholders across Canada in 2014, key settlement priorities, such as providing work-focused language training and extending community partnership networks like Local Immigration Partnerships, were developed for future settlement programming. Although the national CFP to establish contribution agreements with service providers to deliver on the new programming priorities was put on hold in fall 2015 due to the Government’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis, IRCC will resume the process in 2016–2017, with an aim to introduce new programming in 2017–2018.

Innovative practices for Syrian refugees

In 2015–2016, IRCC implemented 35 small-scale pilots to support the social and labour market integration of Syrian refugees under the themes of informal language learning, community connections, employment and leveraging technology. Over 2,000 Syrian refugees across the country benefited from these pilots. Activities included: skills assessment and employment referrals at temporary lodging sites; sessions on mental health, parenting and healthy relationships; children and family activities, such as art creation; and youth activities such as improving computer literacy. These pilots are being evaluated and results will be shared broadly.

Settlement

In 2015–2016, more than 296,000 unique clients received information and orientation services, which included an overview of Canada, Canadian law and justice, and information about rights and freedoms.

New pre-arrival settlement programming was introduced following a pre-arrival CFP in 2014. IRCC continued to assess the implementation of these new pre-arrival services in 2015–2016.

In 2015–2016, consultations in 10 communities across Canada and policy discussions with stakeholders were held with an aim to advance policy directions on Francophone Immigration consistent with the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013–2018: Education, Immigration, Communities.

Language training

IRCC advanced federal-provincial-territorial collaboration with a more strategic and coordinated approach to the design and delivery of language training in Canada, noting that the Syrian refugee crisis impacted these ongoing collaborative efforts. Newcomers continued to show signs of settling and integrating into Canadian society. In 2015–2016, a total of 40.64% of language training clients completed Canadian Language Benchmark level four or higher (in listening and speaking), which is the level of language proficiency required to obtain Canadian citizenship. This result is well above the target of 10%Footnote xxviii that was set in the 2016–2017 RPP.

Community and labour market integration services

IRCC continued to deliver the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program over 2015–2016, including identifying and developing additional pilot locations for the program. Candidate referrals and placement commenced in September 2015 with approximately 80 placements made over 2015–2016.

Grant to Quebec

The Comparison of reception and linguistic, cultural and economic integration services for immigrants offered by Canada and Quebec 2015 was tabled at the Comité MixteFootnote xxix meeting on June 18, 2015.

Human Resources and Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) – Program 3.1
Resource Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Total Authorities
(available for use)
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
2015–16
FTEs - 325 - 319 -6
Spending 1,014,017,140 1,014,017,140 1,154,810,927 1,107,030,857 93,013,717

Actual spending in 2015–2016 for Program 3.1 was higher than planned spending by $93.0 million due to the following items:

  • the funding to implement the Government’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis was not included in the 2015–2016 planned spending. The actual spending for this initiative under Program 3.1 is $1.8 million for vote 1 and $100.6 million for vote 5. Funding was accessed through 2015–2016 Supplementary Estimates “B” and “C”;
  • the 2015–2016 planned spending did not include funding of $4.5 million for the Canada-Quebec Accord relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens, which was completely spent. Funding was accessed through 2015–2016 Supplementary Estimates “C”;
  • a surplus of $6.8 million for the Settlement Program was mainly due to unanticipated/undeclared surpluses by recipient organizations;
  • a surplus of $3.6 million for RAP was mainly due to the fact that efforts were focused on processing Syrian refugees; and
  • the remaining authorities of $3.5 million were subsequently adjusted to fund other programs.
Performance Results
Expected Result Performance Indicators TargetsFootnote xxx Actual Results
NewcomersFootnote xxxi contribute to Canada's economic, social and cultural development 1. Percentage difference of labour force participation of newcomers residing in Canada 10 years or less, in comparison with the Canadian-born (for core working age, 25–54 years) A difference of no more than 12% below the Canadian average 9.9% below the Canadian average
2. Percentage difference of newcomers who are 15 years and older, who in the past 12 months volunteered—or participated at least monthly—in a group, association or organization, in comparison with the Canadian-born population A difference of no more than 10% below the Canadian average 7.6% below the Canadian average
3. Percentage difference of newcomers residing in Canada 10 years or less, who are 15 years and older and who have a somewhat strong or a very strong sense of belonging to Canada in comparison with the Canadian-born population A difference of no more than 3% below the Canadian average 1.5% above the Canadian average

Performance Indicator Analysis

  1. The actual result for the first indicator exceeded the target. Data indicate the percentage of newcomer labour force participation is 78.2% compared to that of Canadian-born at 88.1%.
  2. The actual result for the second indicator exceeded the target. Data indicate the percentage of newcomers volunteering and participating in groups, associations or organizations is 50.8% compared to that of Canadian-born at 58.4%.
  3. The actual result for the third indicator exceeded the target. Data indicate that the percentage of newcomers who have been in Canada for less than a decade and have a strong sense of belonging to Canada is 92.3%, while the percentage of Canadian-born with a sense of belonging is 90.8%.

Program 3.2: Citizenship for Newcomers and All Canadians

The purpose of the Citizenship Program is to administer citizenship legislation and promote the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. 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.

Performance HighlightsFootnote xxxii

Fairness in the Citizenship Act

On February 25, 2016 the Government tabled Bill C-6, An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act. The Bill proposes amendments that will repeal certain elements of the Citizenship Act, facilitate access to citizenship and further enhance program integrity.

Proposed amendments introduced by Bill C-6 would remove the citizenship revocation based on national interest grounds provisions in the Citizenship Act that treat Canadians with dual citizenship differently than other Canadians. They would also provide greater flexibility for applicants to meet the requirements for citizenship and help immigrants achieve citizenship faster. As an enhanced program integrity measure, the proposed changes would also authorize the Minister to seize documents that, on reasonable grounds, are believed to be fraudulent.

Processing times

The Department also worked to identify ways to continue to improve processing through administrative enhancements and sustainably keep processing times low for both citizenship grants and proofs. More specifically:

  • IRCC is processing 80% of citizenship grant applications received as of April 1, 2015, within 12 months, while also working to eliminate the inventory of older applications. The inventory has already been greatly reduced to around 80,000 cases as of the end of 2015–2016. This represents a 67% decrease from approximately 245,000 cases at the end of 2014–2015; and
  • for citizenship proofs, as of the end of fiscal year 2015–2016, the overall processing time for 80% of citizenship proof applications was five months, compared to seven months at the end of 2014–2015. Low intake in citizenship grant applications provided flexibility to realign resources to process proof applications, which helped reduce processing times.
Citizenship awareness

In accordance with the findings from the Evaluation of the Citizenship Awareness Program, the Department began to increase its citizenship awareness activities in 2015–2016. Citizenship judges delivered close to 400 presentations to approximately 90,000 participants across the country.

Citizenship acquisition, confirmation and revocation

By June 11, 2015, all provisions in the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, (An Act to amend the Citizenship Act), were in force. One of the new provisions was the physical presence requirement, according to which permanent residents must be physically present in Canada for four years within the previous six years prior to applying for citizenship. In addition, they must also be physically present for a minimum of 183 days in each of four of six years. Prior to June 11, 2015, applicants required a minimum of three years of residence in Canada within the previous four years.

As part of new regulation-making authorities, the Department developed and implemented regulations to clarify the evidence required for citizenship applications, improve service to clients and strengthen program integrity.

The Department, through its regular performance reporting processes, has developed specific performance indicators to cover the Citizenship Program’s key outcome areas, including awareness of the responsibilities and privileges associated with Canadian citizenship; desire and successful uptake of Canadian citizenship by newcomers; the integrity of the Citizenship Program; and the value attached to Canadian citizenship. As data are not available at this time, results will be reported in the future.

Human Resources and Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) – Program 3.2
Resource Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Total Authorities
(available for use)
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
2015–16
FTEs - 720 - 1,000 280
Spending 68,062,779 68,062,779 78,481,010 77,993,946 9,931,167

Actual spending in 2015–2016 for Program 3.2 was higher than planned spending by $9.9 million due mainly to realignment of resources that was required to be able to achieve a 12-month processing time for citizenship grants as well as to maintain efforts toward reducing citizenship grant inventory.

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Canadian citizenship is a valued status: newcomers have a desire to become Canadian, and established Canadians are proud of their citizenship 1. Take-up rates of citizenship among eligible newcomers ≥ 75% 85.6%
2. Percentage of Canadians who are proud to be Canadian ≥ 80% 87%
The integrity of Canadian citizenship is protected 3. Percentage of applicants referred to a citizenship hearing with judges and/or citizenship officers to protect the integrity of citizenship 5–10%Footnote xxxiii 4.6%

Performance Indicator Analysis

  1. The 2011 National Household Survey reported that 85.6% of eligible newcomers acquired citizenship, exceeding the 75% target. New figures for this indicator will be available following completion of the 2016 Census.
  2. The 2013 General Social Survey reported that 87% of survey participants were proud to be Canadian. A new figure for this indicator will be available following completion of the 2018 General Social Survey.
  3. In 2015–2016, a total of 4.6% of applicants were referred to a citizenship hearing with a citizenship judge or a citizenship officer. The result is slightly lower than the target of 5%. This is partly due to the change in June 2015, which instituted a strict requirement for physical presence for new applications. Prior to this date, there was more discretion involved in assessing the residence requirement, which led to more hearings.

Program 3.3: Multiculturalism for Newcomers and All Canadians

On November 4, 2015, the Government of Canada announced that, effective immediately, the Minister of Canadian Heritage would be responsible for multiculturalism. This IRCC DPR reports on the financial aspect of the Multiculturalism Program only until November 4, 2015. All program performance and financial information after November 4, 2015 is reported in the Canadian Heritage DPR.

Human Resources and Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) – Program 3.3
Resource Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Total Authorities
(available for use)
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
2015–16
FTEs - 52 - 23 -29
Spending 13,049,066 13,049,066 4,163,554 4,163,554 -8,885,512

Actual spending in 2015–2016 for Program 3.3 was lower than planned spending by $8.9 million due to the following items:

  • the planned spending did not take into consideration the fact that the responsibility for the Canadian Multiculturalism Act was to be transferred to the Department of Canadian Heritage as of November 4, 2015. As a result of this, $7.1 million was transferred from IRCC to the Department of Canadian Heritage; and
  • the remaining variance of $1.8 million is due to planned spending that did not materialize.

Program 4.1: Health Protection

This program aims to provide effective immigration health services to manage the health aspect of migrant entry and settlement to Canada, and facilitate the arrival of resettled refugees to Canada and their integration while contributing to the protection of the health and safety of all Canadians and contributing to the maintenance of sustainable Canadian health and social services.

The program aims to evaluate health risks related to immigration and coordinate with international and Canadian health partners to develop risk management strategies and processes to assess the health risks posed by applicants wishing to immigrate to Canada. The strategies, processes and interventions are intended to reduce the impact of the risks identified on the health of Canadians and on Canada’s health and social services.

Performance HighlightsFootnote xxxiv

During 2015–2016, in response to the Syrian refugee crisis, IRCC took a risk-based approach to health screening requirements for refugees. This involved securing regulatory approval quickly from Health Canada to use rapid syphilis and human immunodeficiency virus tests for Syrian immigration medical exams (IMEs). Piloting this innovative approach, which provided almost instantaneous results, significantly reduced the time needed for processing IMEs; only those with a positive rapid test were sent for the more time-consuming confirmatory blood tests.

Medical Surveillance Notification

In 2015–2016, IRCC developed an electronic system to expedite the process of notifying provincial/territorial public health authorities of the arrival of individuals requiring medical surveillance. This initiative is designed to improve efficiency, reduce resources and facilitate more simplified and timely information sharing.

Interim Federal Health

As of April 1, 2016, the IFH Program was fully restored to provide the same health-care coverage for all beneficiaries in Canada.

Coverage under the restored Interim Federal Health (IFH) Program includes basic coverage (such as hospital and physician services), supplemental (such as vision and limited dental care) and prescription drug coverage, similar to what the provinces and territories provide to Canadians who receive social assistance. These changes improve the health outcomes of refugees and asylum claimants while also protecting public health for all Canadians. The Government also announced the expansion of the IFH Program, starting no later than April 1, 2017, to cover certain pre-departure medical services for individuals who have been identified for resettlement to Canada. These services include: coverage of the IME, pre-departure vaccinations, services to manage disease outbreaks in refugee camps, and medical supports during travel to Canada.

Human Resources and Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) – Program 4.1
Resource Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Total Authorities
(available for use)
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
2015–16
FTEs - 116 - 70 -46
Spending 63,217,689 63,217,689 79,130,413 41,760,082 -21,457,607

Actual spending in 2015–2016 for Program 4.1 was lower than planned spending by $21.5 million due to the following items:

  • lower-than-forecasted expenditures for the IFH Program, resulting from previous modifications to the program ($18.2 million); and
  • the remaining authorities of $3.3 million were subsequently adjusted to fund other programs.
Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Immigration health services are in place to protect public health and public safety and the burden on the health system 1. Percentage of permanent residents with a valid immigration medical assessment (IMA)Footnote xxxv at landing 100% 97.5%
Eligible clients receive coverage for health services under the IFH Program 2. Percentage of eligible clients who receive health coverage under the IFH Program 100% 98.4%

Performance Indicator Analysis

  1. Of the 271,845 individuals who became permanent residents in 2015, valid IMAs were found for 97.5% of the files. The remaining 2.5% are live-in caregivers who are foreign nationals and have applied for permanent resident status; although their previous IMAs have expired, they are not required to submit to a new medical examination, as per regulatory changes to the Live-in Caregiver Program that came into force on April 1, 2010.
  2. For the second indicator, from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015, a total of 14,444 of the 14,674 eligible refugee claimants (98.4%) received an IFH Program eligibility certificate. A further 161 clients (1.1%) abandoned or withdrew their claim for refugee status before a certificate was issued, and the remaining 69 cases (less than 0.5%) were due to incorrect coding or situations where clients had access to other health-care coverage, such as a provincial or territorial plan.

Program 4.2: Migration Control and Security Management

IRCC facilitates the travel of bona fide permanent residents, visitors, students and temporary workers while protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians by effectively managing migration access and controlling entry. This is accomplished through a variety of policy and operational measures, including through the establishment of visa and other document entry requirements and otherwise maintaining the policy framework for terms and conditions of entry, admissibility criteria, anti-fraud measures, negotiations of bilateral and multilateral information sharing agreements and treaties, as well as setting identity management practices. Strategic partnership engagements with security and public safety-related departments are another essential component of this program.

Performance HighlightsFootnote xxxvi

Facilitating the travel of low-risk temporary residents

In 2015–2016, as part of the Department’s ongoing commitment to facilitate the travel of low-risk temporary residents, the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)—an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals flying to, or transiting through Canada—was launched. The requirement prevents higher-risk travellers from travelling to Canada while facilitating travel for low-risk travellers. Beginning with a voluntary application phase in August 2015, the requirement came into force on March 15, 2016; however, in order to minimize any potential travel disruptions and align with feedback from the air industry and travel and tourism sectors, the Department introduced a leniency period. During this period, travellers without an eTA can board their flight as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport. Over 400,000 foreign nationals applied for an eTA between August 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016.

Work also began to expand eligibility for the eTA requirement to low-risk travellers from selected countries. This measure aims to make Canada a more attractive destination for tourism and business, while allowing IRCC to focus resources where it matters most—on higher-risk travellers.

The eTA requirement moves the Government closer to completing another commitment from the Beyond the Border Action Plan, and expanding eTA eligibility demonstrates the Government’s ongoing commitment to finding ways to balance screening for security purposes with facilitation for low-risk temporary residents.

Collecting biometric information at international visa application centres

Biometric information, collected at 136 visa application centres in 96 countries,Footnote xxxvii establishes a client’s identity during the initial application process, which can then be verified in future immigration processes. This strengthens identity management, reduces security risks and facilitates the processing of trusted travellers. In 2015–2016, IRCC completed the deployment of the visa application centre network, which included recent openings in Abuja, Nigeria; Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar); and Warsaw, Poland. The Department also began work on the reprocurement of the next visa application centre contract, which will provide services at up to 150 visa application centres. In order to ensure continuity of service overseas, it is expected that the new contract will be awarded by March 2017. Visa application centres are also an example of the Government of Canada’s commitment to improve service to clients and improve application processing efficiency.

Sharing biometric-based information with the United States

Additionally, work was completed to implement a biometric-based immigration information sharing capability with the United States. This query-based information exchange allows Canada and the United States to counter identity fraud, strengthen identity confirmations and provide other valuable information to inform each country’s respective immigration decisions. This provides additional information around the identity and admissibility of applicants, allowing officers to make timely and informed decisions, and to conduct screening at the earliest possible opportunity.

Human Resources and Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) – Program 4.2
Resource Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Total Authorities
(available for use)
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
2015–16
FTEs - 809 - 887 78
Spending 124,537,482 124,537,482 129,784,021 108,005,276 -16,532,206

Actual spending in 2015–2016 for Program 4.2 was lower than planned spending by $16.5 million due to the following items:

  • reprofiling from 2015–2016 to 2016–2017 of $8.4 million for the following initiatives: eTA: $5.0 million; Entry/Exit: $2.7 million; and Info Sharing: $0.7 million;
  • lapse of $3.8 million on Beyond the Border projects;
  • the funding to expand biometric screening in Canada’s immigration system and the funding in support of Canada’s Migrant Smuggling Prevention Strategy were not included in the 2015–2016 planned spending as the funding was accessed through 2015–2016 Supplementary Estimates “C”. The 2015–2016 spending for these two initiatives was $4.0 million;
  • a transfer of $6.5 million to Global Affairs Canada to support missions abroad;
  • an amount of $1.2 million included in the planned spending was made unavailable to compensate for the shortfall related to operating budget adjustments for the Temporary Resident Biometrics Project; and
  • the remaining variance of $0.6 million was subsequently adjusted to fund other programs.
Performance Results
Expected Result Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
A managed migration of people to Canada that facilitates the movement of legitimate travellers, while denying entry to Canada at the earliest point possible to those who pose a safety or security risk, or are otherwise inadmissible under IRPA 1. Number of refused eTAs TBD once baseline established in
2016–2017
3,104
2. Number of temporary resident biometric enrolments that matched to existing Canadian records (i.e., immigration, refugee or criminal biometric records) TBD once baseline established in first evaluation in
2016–2017
42,737

Performance Indicator Analysis

  1. The eTA entry requirement was successfully launched on a voluntary basis on August 1, 2015. The eTA entry requirement entered a period of informed compliance on March 15, 2016, when possession of an eTA became a requirement (unenforced) to enter Canada for prescribed foreign nationals. As the eTA entry requirement was only partially implemented during the reporting period, the generated data provide limited information from which to predict future program outcomes. Performance targets will be established following full program implementation in 2016–2017.
  2. Of the over 300,000 biometric enrolments from Temporary Resident clients in 2015–2016, a total of 42,737, or approximately 14%, resulted in matches to existing Royal Canadian Mounted Police holdings. These biometric matches helped to establish an applicant’s identity based on searches of fingerprint records of past asylum claimants, previous immigration applicants, persons who were previously deported, and Canadian criminal records. These matches provided officers with additional information allowing them to make more informed admissibility decisions, thereby improving program integrity. Performance targets will be established following the evaluation of the Temporary Resident Biometrics Project in 2016–2017.

Program 4.3: Canadian Influence in International Migration and Integration Agenda

As part of its mandate, IRCC aims to influence the international migration and integration policy agenda. This is done by developing and promoting, together with other public policy sectors, Canada’s position on international migration, integration and refugee protection issues, and through participation in multilateral, regional and bilateral forums.

IRCC works closely with partner countries to ensure the effective administration of immigration laws through the exchange of information, including biometric data. This international migration policy development helps Canada advance its interests in the context of international migration as well as meet its international obligations and commitments.

IRCC supports international engagement and partnerships through membership in and contributions to such organizations as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Regional Conference on Migration, the UNHCR Global Forum on Migration and Development, and Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees. The program uses transfer payment funding from the following programs: grant for Migration Policy Development; annual assessed contributions for the IOM; and annual assessed contributions for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance formerly called the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research.

Performance Highlights

Canada’s international role in helping Syrian refugees

In 2015–2016, IRCC came under the international spotlight due to the initiative to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees. This high-profile initiative allowed the Department to support Canadian humanitarian objectives and advance the Government’s positions on planned and well-managed migration, the importance of integration, information sharing, and the role of civil society, recognizing the vast potential of migrants and the diaspora to contribute to employment creation as well as the benefits of private sector-government partnerships.

Canada at international fora and working with partners
Firsts for Canada

In 2015–2016, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship was invited to participate in the Five Country Ministerial Meeting for the first time.

Also, the first Canada – IOM high-level consultation was launched.

IRCC represented Canada at a number of international fora such as the UNHCR Executive Committee meeting; the Five Country Conference; the Five Nations Passport Group; Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees; the Regional Conference on Migration; the Global Forum on Migration and Development; the G7 Roma Lyon Group; the Five Country Ministerial Meeting; the Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Working Group; and others. The Department also provided input to key international documents, such as the report of the Secretary General of the United Nations on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants (2016).

Some highlights for this fiscal year include Minister McCallum’s participation in the Pathways for Admission of Syrian Refugees meeting hosted by the UNHRC on March 30, 2016, and the completion of the G7 project on best practices in birth and death document management.

Human Resources and Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) – Program 4.3
Resource Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Total Authorities
(available for use)
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
2015–16
FTEs - 37 - 33 -4
Spending 5,177,541 5,177,541 6,633,273 6,480,611 1,303,070

Actual spending in 2015–2016 for Program 4.3 was higher than planned spending by $1.3 million due to the following items:

  • actual spending was $0.5 million higher than planned spending for transfer payments due to currency exchange rate pressure, since the assessed contribution for the IOM is payable in Swiss francs; and
  • the remaining variance of $0.8 million is due to unplanned activities.
Performance Result
Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Canadian positions on managed migration, integration and international protection are advanced in international fora 1. Percentage of decisions/reports from international meetings and fora identified as importantFootnote xxxviii that reflect the delivered IRCC migration-related position 60% 100%

Performance Indicator Analysis

  1. In 2015–2016, IRCC attended 49 meetings identified as important, of which all resulted in outcomes that were favourable to Canadian positions on migration. Canada’s approach to migration is to be open, accepting and generous, while not compromising security. This success rate is above the target of 60%. The Department also participated in multiple high-level bilateral discussions with foreign governments, achieving tangible goals such as cooperation on the resettlement of refugees to Canada, sharing of resettlement practices (such as private sponsorship) and Canada’s integration model, and making steps toward visa-free travel with Mexico.

Program 4.4: Passport

IRCC is accountable for the Passport Program and collaborates with Service Canada and Global Affairs Canada for the delivery of passport services. The program is managed through a revolving fund.Footnote xxxix The program enables the issuance of secure Canadian travel documents through authentication of identity and entitlement, facilitates travel, and contributes to international and domestic security.

Performance Highlights

Passport systems and services

In 2015–2016, IRCC made progress in transitioning the Passport Program to the Department’s Global Case Management System, the Department’s single, integrated and worldwide system used to process applications for citizenship and immigration services. Implementation began with certificates of identity and refugee travel documents and continues with the development of processes to support full deployment.

Work continued in 2015–2016 toward the development of an online application tool. Deployment of this new online service has been rescheduled to align with the phased implementation of the new passport issuance system planned for 2017.

The Service Canada delivery network was expanded by adding nine additional Service Canada Receiving Agent sites, all with the capacity to perform documentary evidence of citizenship validation services. Validation services allow applicants to keep their proof of citizenship once submitted at a Service Canada receiving agent, rather than it being retained throughout the entire application process.

Program integrity

The Passport Program continued to enhance the facial recognition system to better detect fraud and increase efficiency. It also pursued a risk-based analysis of passport applications and conducted administrative investigations to determine applicant identity, eligibility and entitlement, and render decisions in high-risk cases.

The Canadian Passport Order was amended in 2015–2016 to limit access to passports for national security reasons and to prevent the commission of a terrorism offence or sexual offences against children.

Collaborating with partners

In 2015–2016, IRCC continued to work collaboratively with its partners. The Department began engaging provinces and territories to develop automated information sharing to improve the way it validates the identity of a passport applicant; it collaborated with international partners to update international travel document specifications, ensuring the security and global interoperability of travel documents and to facilitate travel; and it continued working with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency and Public Safety Canada to identify and combat threats to the integrity of the Passport Program.

Human Resources and Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) – Program 4.4
Resource Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Total Authorities
(available for use)
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
2015–16
FTEs - 782 - 674 -108
Gross Expenditures 437,218,910 437,218,910 - 358,054,423 -79,164,487
Respendable Revenue -639,372,387 -639,372,387 - -610,459,471 28,912,916
Net Revenue -202,153,477 -202,153,477 - -252,405,048 -50,251,571

The decrease in revenue in the Passport Program is due to a reduction in the projected volume of 5.2 million passports to an actual volume of 4.8 million. This decline in revenue was offset by reduced costs associated with volume as well as less spending than anticipated in passport modernization initiatives due to project delays. Considering all these factors, the surplus for 2015–2016 is $50.2 million higher than the anticipated surplus at the beginning of the year.

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Legitimate travellers are in possession of Canadian travel documents 1. Number of confirmed identity fraud cases known to the Passport Program in a given year > 33Footnote xl 41
Passport Program meets the needs of Canadian travel document holders 2. Percentage of clients who indicated they were satisfied with services they received 90% 96%

Performance Indicator Analysis

  1. In 2015–2016, the Passport Program confirmed 41 identity fraud cases prior to issuance. The Program aims to raise integrity awareness, improve tools and risk management strategies to increase the identification of identity fraud prior to issue a travel document. The Department continues to collaborate with security and intelligence partners to identify individuals whose identity and/or entitlement to a Canadian travel document may require additional review. Analysis of identity fraud cases allows the Department to detect vulnerabilities in entitlement and issuance processes and develop strategies to mitigate the risk that Canadian travel documents are issued to, or are in possession of, ineligible individuals. Maintaining and continuously improving the integrity of the program supports the international reputation and recognition of Canadian travel documents, affording Canadians visa-free access to 172 countries around the world.Footnote xli
  2. The Passport Program continues to meet all performance targets in meeting its service delivery commitments to Canadians. Of the 4.8 million passports issued in 2015–2016, 99.5% were processed within service standards, while 96% of Canadians continue to be satisfied with the services they receive from the program.

Program 5.1: Internal Services

Internal services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization, and not those provided to a specific program. The groups of activities are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Performance Analysis

Upgrades to information technology for better service and information management

In 2015–2016, IRCC enhanced its Grants and Contributions Management System for better functionality and business process automation. This will help improve how the Department collects proposals, engages with partners, and processes grants and contributions applications.

In 2015–2016, IRCC, along with the Canada Border Services Agency, completed the decommissioning of the Department’s Field Operations Support System, which was used for the management of immigration-related case files. By decommissioning this older system and integrating its functionality into the Global Case Management System (a single, integrated and worldwide system used to process applications for citizenship and immigration services), the Department can better manage case files and improve the efficiency of its application processing.

IRCC completed the Government of Canada Pay Modernization initiative by transitioning to the Phoenix pay system.

Better departmental management

In 2015–2016, an external quality assessment of the internal audit function was conducted as required by the Policy on Internal Audit and professional auditing standards. IRCC received the top rating and was found to be in general conformance with the Institute of Internal Auditors’ Standards and Code of Ethics.

Audit results in 2015–2016 reveal generally sound governance within the Department. While risk management and control processes were adequately designed, some program processes were not always compliant. In all cases, the Department committed to implementing measures to address audit recommendations.Footnote xlii

A Fraud Management Policy Framework has been put in place to support sound fraud management practices focused on reducing the risk of internal and external fraud.Footnote xliii Also, the results of the 2015–2016 Auditor General’s Report on Detecting and Preventing Fraud in the Citizenship Program will be addressed through action plans to improve program integrity and fraud management in the Department.

A pilot corporate risk management initiative was implemented to better manage risks.

In 2015–2016, the Department undertook a governance review for collective decision making and departmental committee structures, senior management strategic decision making and approval processes, strengthening accountability and supporting the delivery of IRCC’s programs and services.

Improved access to information and protection of privacy

In accordance with the legislative requirements under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, IRCC completed the 2015–2016 fiscal year with a compliance rate above 80% for both access to information (87.49%) and privacy (82.79%) requests. IRCC continues to be the most accessed federal institution with a total of 56,952 access to information and privacy requests being made in 2015–2016.

As part of the initiative to more efficiently process access to information and privacy requests, the Department added three new federal departments as users of IRCC’s online access to information and privacy system. Thirty-three federal departments and agencies are now using IRCC's system.

Access to information and privacy requests at IRCC primarily involve immigration and citizenship clients or their representatives inquiring into the status and details of their application in process or into the reasons for the refusal of an application. To address the high volume of access and privacy requests, IRCC is examining ways to improve how clients or their representatives can access their case information, and how the Department can better communicate with clients regarding the status of applications and reasons for application decisions.

In 2015–2016, IRCC developed a privacy framework that will help enhance IRCC’s ability to protect the privacy of individuals by safeguarding and securing personal information held under the Department’s control.

The role of Chief Privacy Officer was also established to lead privacy work and highlight the importance of privacy considerations in the Department. The Chief Privacy Officer provides a focal point for the effective communication of privacy issues affecting the Department.

A productive work force in a supportive workplace

In 2015–2016, IRCC developed and began implementing a new people management strategy supporting its commitment to excellence based on successful recruitment and retention efforts, meaningful employee training, development and feedback, and the promotion of a healthy and respectful workplace.

Success will be measured against the following outcomes:

  • a high-performing, adaptable and diverse work force;
  • a modern, healthy and enabling workplace where employees are valued and engaged;
  • accessible tools and training to support the current and future work force;
  • active work force renewal supported by sound human resources and business planning; and
  • an investment in leadership and talent development.
A commitment to sustainable development

IRCC continued to implement all aspects of the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy, details of which can be found in the Supplementary Information tables.

Human Resources and Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) – Program 5.1
Resource Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2015–16
Planned
2015–16
Total Authorities
(available for use)
2015–16
Actual
2015–16
Difference
2015–16
FTEs - 1585 - 1428 -157
Spending 187,702,906 187,702,906 233,263,673 217,846,347 30,143,441

Actual spending in 2015–2016 for Program 5.1 was higher than planned spending by $30.1 million due to the following items:

  • the funding to implement the Government’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the funding to continue to implement and administer reforms to the TFW Program and the IMP were not included in the 2015–2016 planned spending. The actual spending coded under Program 5.1 was $8.7 million for the Syrian initiative and $4.3 million for the TFW Program and the IMP; and
  • the remaining shortfall of $17.1 million is mainly due to items for which a source of funds was not identified at the planning phase. This shortfall was subsequently covered through realignment of funding from other programs.

Section IV: Supplementary Information

Supporting Information on Lower-Level Programs

Supporting information on lower-level programs is available on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Web site.

Supplementary Information Tables

The Supplementary Information Tables listed in this report can be found on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Web site.

  • Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy;
  • Details on Transfer Payment Programs;
  • Internal Audits and Evaluations;
  • Response to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits;
  • Status Report on Transformational and Major Crown Projects;
  • Status Report on Projects Operating With Specific Treasury Board Approval;
  • Horizontal Initiative: Syrian Refugee Initiative;
  • Up-Front Multi-Year Funding; and
  • User Fees Reporting.

Federal Tax Expenditures and Evaluations

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures annually in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication. The tax measures presented in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication are the sole responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational Contact Information

For any additional information on this report or other parliamentary reports, please contact ParliamentaryReports-RapportsParlementaires@cic.gc.ca.

Appendix: Definitions

appropriation ( crédit):
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures ( dépenses budgétaires):
Includes operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Departmental Performance Report ( rapport ministériel sur le rendement):
Reports on an appropriated organization’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Report on Plans and Priorities. These reports are tabled in Parliament in the fall.
full-time equivalent ( équivalent temps plein):
Is a measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
Government of Canada outcomes ( résultats du gouvernement du Canada):
A set of 16 high-level objectives defined for the government as a whole, grouped in four spending areas: economic affairs, social affairs, international affairs and government affairs.
Management, Resources and Results Structure ( Structure de la gestion, des ressources et des résultats):
A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization’s inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The Management, Resources and Results Structure is developed from the Program Alignment Architecture.
non-budgetary expenditures ( dépenses non budgétaires):
Includes net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance ( rendement):
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator ( indicateur de rendement):
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting ( production de rapports sur le rendement):
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
planned spending ( dépenses prévues):

For Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) and Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs), planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their RPPs and DPRs.

plan ( plan):
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
priorities ( priorité):
Plans or projects that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s).
program ( programme):
A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.
Program Alignment Architecture ( architecture d’alignement des programmes):
A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.
Report on Plans and Priorities ( rapport sur les plans et les priorités):
Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated organizations over a three-year period. These reports are tabled in Parliament each spring.
result ( résultat):
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures ( dépenses législatives):
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
Strategic Outcome ( résultat stratégique):
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
sunset program ( programme temporisé):
A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.
target ( cible):
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures ( dépenses votées):
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
Whole-of-Government Framework ( cadre pangouvernemental):
Maps the financial contributions of federal organizations receiving appropriations by aligning their Programs to a set of 16 government-wide, high-level outcome areas, grouped under four spending areas.
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