Immigration is a key issue in Canada. The country has a long history of welcoming refugees and immigrants. Despite recent challenges, the federal government continues to make economic immigration and family reunification a priority. IRCC is responsible for selecting immigrants, issuing visas, and granting citizenship. It also makes decisions on refugee protection claims.
Immigration is a key economic issue for Canada, which welcomes immigrants who can meet labour and skill requirements. Its government has a long history of multiculturalism, making diversity a central part of the country’s national identity. This helps to explain why Canadians have generally favorable views of immigration and refugees. A 2022 poll found that less than 30 percent of respondents felt that the country’s immigration levels were too high.
Canada’s immigration agency, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), manages both economic and refugee immigration programs. Its flagship economic program is Express Entry, a point-based system that selects applicants based on their age, education, language skills, work experience, and other factors. It also runs provincial programs, including the Quebec Skilled Worker and Nova Scotia Skilled Worker programs.
Migrants can seek asylum in Canada if they are unable to return safely to their home countries due to persecution, serious harm, or war. They can make a claim at any border crossing or airport, or at certain government offices inside the country. Those who are granted protected status can apply for permanent residency after two years. In addition, the IRCC has created a fast-track process for business executives and managers who can contribute to the economy. The agency also works to promote Canada as a tourist destination for global talent.
Other Immigration Organizations
Immigration has significantly shaped Canada’s culture and economy since its independence from the United Kingdom in 1867. The country’s nine provinces and three territories each administer a provincial program for the induction of economic immigrants. The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) has a pivotal role in the country’s immigration system, making well-reasoned decisions on refugee and immigration matters efficiently, fairly, and in accordance with law.
The Canadian government provides many different programs to resettle refugees. These include the government-assisted refugees, Blended Visa Office-Referred Refugees (BVORs), and private sponsorship of refugees by Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The latter program pairs individuals or groups with financial and settlement capacity to sponsor specific refugees who meet the government’s criteria.
The country also has a variety of pathways for temporary workers. The International Mobility Program allows companies that can’t find suitable domestic workers to recruit outsiders, and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program lets businesses hire foreigners with limited skills for specific jobs. Despite these policies, abuse and exploitation still plague both streams. A court ruled that a U.S.-Canada agreement that manages asylum seekers at the border was unconstitutional in 2020, but it remains in place. Meanwhile, the country’s cities have sanctuary-city and “access without fear” policies that limit police cooperation with immigration officials and guarantee public services to people who lack legal status.
Provincial Nominee Program
Immigration has long been a key economic driver in Canada. Its geographic location, a booming economy, and its policy of multiculturalism have made it an attractive destination for migrants. Today, foreign-born people account for one-quarter of the population. While public opinion remains favorable towards immigration, there are concerns over the strain it places on housing and social services.
The primary immigration department is Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It oversees all aspects of immigration and citizenship in the country. It is responsible for determining whether an asylum seeker qualifies for protection and for granting them that status, among other things. It also processes applications for permanent residence. IRCC also operates an email discussion group called ccrlist that allows NGO participants to discuss issues related to refugees and asylum seekers.
The second largest economic pathway is the Provincial Nominee Program, which accounted for 21 percent of admissions in 2021. Under this system, Canadian provinces nominate immigrants, such as skilled workers or caregivers, based on their ability to fill specific economic needs. The federal government reviews and approves the nominations before granting them permanent residency. Lastly, the private sponsorship of refugees is an option for individuals and organizations that have the financial and settlement capacity to support them.