IRCC Minister Transition Binder 2019: IRCC – Department overview

Introduction to IRCC

Canada has a managed approach to migration

Canada’s approach to migration is intended to maximize Canada’s economic and social well-being.

While protecting the safety and security of Canadians, the Department

See Annex C: Historical and Projected Annual Admissions – Immigration Levels Planning for Permanent resident landings from 1865 to 2021.

Immigration is more than facilitating the movement of people

People bring skills, talent, social connections. The work of this Department makes a difference to Canadians by contributing to

Economic Development


Global Reach

National Security

The Department’s work is grounded in strong legal frameworks

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (2002) & Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations


Co-administered with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

The Minister also has discretionary tools from the Act:

The Act also provides the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada with jurisdiction to hear and decide cases on immigration and refugee matters

Citizenship Act (1947) & Citizenship Regulations


Canadian Passport Order (1981) & Diplomatic and Special Passport Order (1956)


Co-administered with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act (1994)

Established the Department – Sets out the powers, duties and functions of the Minister

International Law

e.g., United Nations Convention Related to the Status of Refugees (1951)

Canada’s approach to immigration is well-positioned to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow



Continuous improvement

Two Main Pathways

How do people come to Canada?

Temporary residents: visiting, studying or working in Canada for a limited time

Facilitates the entry of visitors, students and temporary workers for trade, commerce, tourism, international understanding and cultural, educational and scientific activities.

Permanent residents: settling in Canada and eligible for citizenship

Grants many rights and responsibilities, including the right to live, work or study anywhere in Canada; and social benefits including healthcare coverage.

Permanent residents are also required to pay taxes; and must adhere to and are protected under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Over six million new permanent residents have arrived in Canada since 1990.

Temporary residents

Demand driven – no caps on annual number of temporary residents


International Students

Temporary Foreign Workers

International Mobility Program

Permanent residents

Balancing economic, social and humanitarian objectives

Economic: Canada selects economic immigrants (including their immediate family) for their ability to contribute to Canada’s economy.

Family: Family reunification has been an important pillar of Canada’s immigration policy. Citizens and permanent residents are able to sponsor immediate family members.

Refugees and protected persons: Canada has a strong commitment to its humanitarian goals by resettling refugees and recognizing those persons in need of protection (asylum).

Humanitarian and compassionate grounds: Permanent residency is granted to those who would not otherwise qualify based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

2018 permanent resident (PR) admissions

Category Admissions
Federal Economic 94,733
Provincial Economic 62,440
Quebec Economic 29,192
Family Class 85,170
Protected Persons and Refugees 45,499
Humanitarian & Compassionate & Other 4,026
Total PR admissions 321,060

The immigration levels plan

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act requires that the Government’s planned number of permanent resident admissions for the next calendar year be published via tabling in Parliament.

In the levels plan, the Government sets the targets for admission of permanent residents. This allows us to communicate on key immigration priorities related to the following:

Levels planning is informed by:

The multi-year levels plan (three years) allows for a longer planning horizon, helping provinces and territories and other partners to better prepare and reflects a commitment to a well-managed system.

The levels plan is a cornerstone of Canada’s managed migration system.

Health and Safety

Safeguarding the health, safety and security of Canadians

The protection of health, safety, and security of Canadians is balanced with facilitating the legitimate movement of people.

Who and What?

Temporary residents

Permanent residents



Migration health

The health of immigrants is a concern for all Canadians. The Department:

The Department also administers the Interim Federal Health Program, which provides temporary healthcare coverage to refugees, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable populations until they become eligible for provincial/territorial health coverage.

Settlement and Integration

Settlement programming helps newcomers succeed in Canada

For Canadians

Citizenship – an important privilege

Persons are Canadians by birth in Canada, or naturalized as citizens if eligible after time in Canada as permanent residents.

Eligibility for Naturalization




Passport – a trusted travel document

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has sole authority for decisions on passport cancellation, refusal, and revocation, except for cases related to terrorism and national security which fall under the authority of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.


Service Delivery


Key Partners

Federal partners help us carry out the Department’s work

Other federal partners to note:

Provinces and territories are key partners to ensure success

IRCC’s relationship with provinces and territories is critical:

Quebec and Canada have a distinct relationship on immigration. Under the 1991 Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec has sole responsibility for the following:

Quebec publishes its own immigration levels plan annually.

International relationships are also key to immigration

Canada engages globally to:

Canada engages in numerous partnerships to advance the above objectives, including the following key relationships:

Canada’s approach to immigration is frequently referred to as a best practice in global migration

Delivering our Services

Organizational structure of the Department

Text version: Organizational structure of the Department

Portfolio OrganizationFootnote *: Immigration and Refugee Board

  • Chairperson - Richard Wex
    • Refugee Protection Division
    • Refugee Appeal Division
    • Immigration Division
    • Immigration Appeals Division

Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction

  • Minister

College of Immigration and Citizenship ConsultantsFootnote **

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

  • Minister
    • Deputy Minister - Catrina Tapley
    • Associate Deputy Minister - Lori MacDonald
      • Conflict Resolution
      • Communications
      • Senior General Counsel
      • Internal Audit
      • Corporate Management
      • Transformation and Digital Solutions Sector
      • Operations Sector
      • Strategic and Program Policy Sector
      • Settle and Integration Sector

IRCC’s operational network: in-Canada

IRCC operates a vast network of offices and support centres in Canada that deal with decision-making on application cases, passport issuance, client inquiries, and settlement supports, including citizenship tests and ceremonies.

In total, IRCC has 44 offices across Canada; this includes those listed above as well as those that support the corporate work of the Department (e.g., National Headquarters in Ottawa/Gatineau).

In-Canada immigration and citizenship offices (October 2019)

Domestic and Settlement Offices

Case Processing Centre

Client Support Centre (National Call Centre)

Operations Support Centre

Resettlement Operations Centre

Passport Service Locations

IRCC’s Operational Network – Overseas

IRCC’s international network is global; it is critical to delivering permanent resident levels, temporary resident entries, and passports to Canadians.

Missions Abroad - Embassies and Consulates:

Visa Application Centres (Third Party Contractors):

IRCC’s International Network (November 13, 2019)

Text version: IRCC’s International Network (November 13, 2019)
  • 73% of 2018 IRCC Final Decisions for temporary resident caseload
  • 43% of 2018 IRCC Final Decisions for permanent resident caseload
  • 60 Overseas Offices
  • 9 Area Offices
  • 1,696 Promotion and Migration diplomacy activities worldwide
  • 160 Visa Application Centres (VACs) in 108 countries
  • 1,197 Locally Engaged Staff
  • Approximately 342 Canada-Based Officers
  • 260 HQ staff

Headquarters Divisions

  • Ottawa
    • Geographic Operations (RIO)
    • International Support (RIS)
    • Strategic Planning & Delivery (RIC)
    • Workforce Management (RIR)
    • Resettlement Operations (ROD)

United States

  • Area Office: Washington DC
  • Responsible for: 4 overseas offices
    • Washington
    • Los Angeles
    • New York (including the Permanent Mission to the UN)
    • Miami

Latin America

  • Area Office: Mexico City
  • Responsible for: 8 overseas offices
  • Mexico City
  • Port-au-Prince
  • Kingston
  • Port of Spain
  • Bogota
  • Lima
  • Sao Paulo
  • Buenos Aires

Northern Europe

  • Area Office: London
  • Responsible for: 9 overseas offices (including Permanent Mission to the UN in New York)
    • London
    • New York
    • Brussels
    • Berlin
    • Vienna
    • Geneva
    • Warsaw
    • Kyiv
    • Moscow

Southern Europe and the Maghreb

  • Area Office: Paris
  • Responsible for: 6 overseas offices
    • Paris
    • Rome
    • Bucharest
    • Rabat
    • Algiers
    • Tunis

North Asia and Oceania

  • Area Office: Hong Kong
  • Responsible for: 8 overseas offices
    • Hong Kong
    • Beijing
    • Shanghai
    • Guangzhou
    • Seoul
    • Tokyo
    • Sydney
    • Canberra

South Asia

  • Area Office: New Delhi
  • Responsible for: 4 overseas offices
    • New Delhi
    • Bangalore
    • Colombo
    • Chandigarh

South East Asia

  • Area Office: Manila
  • Responsible for: 5 overseas offices
    • Manila
    • Ho Chi Minh
    • Bangkok
    • Singapore
    • Jakarta

Middle East

  • Area Office: Ankara
  • Responsible for: 8 overseas offices
    • Ankara
    • Beirut
    • Amman
    • Riyadh
    • Abu Dhabi
    • Cairo
    • Tel Aviv
    • Islamabad

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Area Office: Nairobi
  • Responsible for: 7 overseas offices
    • Nairobi
    • Dakar
    • Abuja
    • Lagos
    • Accra
    • Dar Es Salaam
    • Pretoria

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