Transforming our immigration system to build a stronger Canada
October 31, 2023—Ottawa—Canada is a top choice for people looking for a new place to work, study and build their lives with their families. Newcomers and visitors fuel our economy and add vibrancy to our communities. That is why an effective, innovative, and resilient immigration system is critical to position Canada for success, and to provide a transparent and fair experience for newcomers.
The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today released An Immigration System for Canada’s Future—a report that lays out a pathway to strengthen our immigration system for people, ensure immigration continues to contribute to Canada’s economic growth, and help businesses and communities thrive.
In order to maintain our status as a strong multicultural country and as a destination of choice, our immigration system of the future must be nimble and better meet the needs of our country and of newcomers. The report identifies actions to transform Canada’s immigration system, informed by engagement with a broad range of partners and stakeholders. Some changes are already underway, while others are in development.
- positioning the immigration system to adapt quickly and to respond equitably and sustainably to growing global humanitarian crises
- developing a new Francophone Immigration Policy to enhance the vitality of Francophone minority communities, while maintaining and increasing the demographic weight of French linguistic minority communities in Canada
- improving the International Student Program by working with provinces and territories on a Recognized Institutions Framework so that post-secondary institutions with high standards in key areas such as integrity and student supports can benefit from faster processing of study permits
- integrating housing, health care and infrastructure planning, along with other important services, into Canada’s immigration levels planning, in close collaboration with provinces, territories and municipalities
- building an advisory body of newcomers with experience in immigration to inform program and policy improvements, as well as service delivery
- creating a Chief International Talent Officer position to more effectively align immigration programs and pathways with the labour market, including industry and sector strategies
- making our website more user-friendly, so that applicants can easily find the information they need
These actions can help shape a system that meets the needs of Canada’s economy and labour market. Changes will be implemented through whole-of-government collaboration and a focus on welcoming the people needed for the future, while maintaining the safety, security and integrity of the system.
The Government of Canada has already made significant progress in modernizing our immigration system, such as introducing automation and advanced analytics across a number of business lines to accelerate and streamline our work. As of this spring, clients can also use the application status tracker to find information about their applications for the sponsorship of a spouse, partner or child, for Express Entry, study permits, work permits, visitor visas, citizenship and passports through Service Canada.
For more details on all of the measures, see A plan to get us there.
“Hearing from stakeholders and newcomers provided important insight into how we can develop a stronger and more integrated immigration system in Canada. With these measures, we aim to build a system that is easier to navigate, with an inclusive and coordinated plan that aligns our immigration programs and policies with the needs of the country. As we move forward, the people who come to Canada will continue to be at the heart of our work, whether they wish to work, study, or call this place their home.”
– The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Immigration is the main driver of population growth in Canada. In 2021, more than 8.3 million people, or almost one quarter (23%) of the population, were or had been a landed immigrant or permanent resident in Canada. This was the largest proportion since Confederation, and the highest among the G7.
The share of Canada’s population that is of working age is shrinking. Fifty years ago, there were about seven workers to each senior in Canada. Now, we are at approximately three workers to each senior, and the share is projected to drop to close to only two workers to each senior in the foreseeable future. An aging workforce has broad implications for the economy, like chronic labour market shortages.
Close to two thirds of recent immigrants are of core working age—between 25 and 54—helping rejuvenate Canada’s population.
IRCC’s engagement initiative received input from more than 17,500 voices, including over 2,000 organizations and over 2,100 current or former clients, such as foreign workers in Canada on a temporary basis, international students, and permanent residents.
Bahoz Dara Aziz
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
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