Operating context

Annually, through its key lines of business, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) interacts with millions of individuals, including those seeking temporary or permanent resident entry into Canada and subsequently settling into Canadian society, and those seeking Canadian citizenship. The Department also interacts with individuals seeking to obtain or renew a Canadian passport or other travel document such as a certificate of identity or a refugee travel document.

IRCC works to facilitate the legitimate entry of visitors, economic immigrants, sponsored family members and those seeking protection in Canada, while protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians. The Department balances competing pressures, notably: responding to domestic labour market demands and doing so in a world with an increasingly mobile work force; working to ensure that immigration contributes to economic growth; and addressing efforts to streamline service delivery and enhance the client experience, while also adequately responding to increasingly complex safety and security challenges. In addition, to ensure the successful integration of newcomers to Canada, IRCC regularly engages extensively with provinces and territories on a variety of key immigration-related topics, such as immigration levels planning, economic immigration, and settlement and integration of newcomers, including refugees and protected persons.

Canada's immigration plan includes efforts to reunite families and offer protection to displaced and persecuted individuals. The plan also builds on efforts to attract and retain top global talent that will contribute to the growth of the Canadian economy. In 2016, approximately 300,000 permanent residents were admitted to Canada, a historic high compared to prior years (approximately 17% higher than the previous 10-year average). Furthermore, the number of temporary resident applications continued to rise, increasing by 85% between 2006 and 2016, as Canada seeks to attract more visitors, international students, highly skilled workers and other top global talent.

Meeting higher permanent resident immigration volumes that strike a balance between economic, family and refugee immigration—while maintaining the Department's service delivery standards for the processing of temporary resident, passport and citizenship applications—places pressure on the Department's operational capacity. Minimizing application processing times and meeting service standards requires that the Department continually examine and reallocate resources across its processing network—comprised of domestic and global offices as well as centralized processing centres—and leverage new technologies where possible.

With increased competition for skilled workers across the globe, IRCC continues to align and streamline its processes and efforts both internally and with federal partners to ensure the efficient entry and integration of immigrants into the Canadian economy and society.

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