Today, Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller unveiled the new Canada Immigration plan to improve the system, along with the review of the Strategic Immigration report.
The announcement was made at 1:15 p.m. EST (Toronto time) in Ottawa and can be viewed below:
New Canada Immigration Announcement October 31
The immigration minister emphasized that the department is working to modernize the immigration system with user-friendly digital systems like online platforms.
The minister said they will continue to work on supporting smaller communities to attract and retain newcomers.
In order to ensure that the processing times take into account the applicants’ actual circumstances, IRCC will also be reviewing their official service standards and expediting the processing of visitor visas.
They aim to improve border crossings for indigenous people since traditional territories can cross U.S. borders.
He further emphasized that they better need to align the immigration programs, system, and services with the labour market.
The minister quoted the construction and healthcare sectors, which need to be better aligned with immigration.
“All this work won’t be done overnight, but work is underway and this was an important element that was brought forward as part of the consultation that began in February,” he said
Miller stresses that they need to align the international student program and post-graduation work permit (PGWP) program with the current and future needs of Canadians, which is an open element that he announced on Friday.
Adding to this, he said it is important to focus on a comprehensive and coordinated growth plan when it brings governments and partners together so that country has the support and services for newcomers to help them succeed.
This includes housing, healthcare, infrastructure, and other success factors.
The minister said the housing crunch has been in the making over the last 30–40 years and has very little to do with immigration.
Miller stated that the economy requires 100,000 more trained tradespeople and construction professionals to build more homes, and that the country would require more newcomers to help meet this housing objective.
Furthermore, the country will continue to respond on a humanitarian basis to internationally displaced individuals and families with better planning.
A takeaway from this announcement is that they may raise immigration levels further, an announcement that the minister will be making in the next couple of days.
The minister said, “I’ll have some opportunity over the next couple days to talk about Francophone immigration policy. We have made this a staple of our government and clearly, we have heard from stakeholders that we need to do a better job and increase our level of ambition. I plan to be ambitious with the targets that I’ll be announcing in the next few days, but I also want to be realistic.”
Summary of Today’s Announcement
Make it easier for newcomers to settle in
According to the department, it is aiming to provide a pleasant and user-friendly experience for all who utilize its services.
Digital Platform Modernization (DPM), a new operating platform, is critical to these initiatives.
According to IRCC, the new digital platform will increase efficiency and allow it to accommodate the unprecedented demand to work, study, visit, and reside in Canada.
Some of the platform’s new features will include an online single window into immigration programs, improved automation, and digital self-service.
The government expects that the DPM will expedite application processing and increase program integrity while also making the immigration process more transparent and human-centered.
Align immigration with labour market requirements
Minister Miller emphasized the necessity of ensuring that immigration fits Canada’s labour market needs during his speech.
To help attract and retain talent from all in-demand areas, including construction and healthcare, IRCC says it must identify the essential talents, newcomers who have these skills, and how to best connect them to available positions in Canada.
It states that this includes making it easier for international students and temporary workers with in-demand skills to stay in Canada.
According to the IRCC research, one technique for luring top talent is the implementation of category-based Express Entry rounds of invites for candidates with work experience in critical industries.
In addition, a new position of Chief International Talent Officer will be established to integrate Canada’s immigration policy with a long-term skills and labour strategy.
The officer will be in charge of gathering information regarding the talents that Canada will require in the future, as well as ensuring that immigration better fits with Canada’s labour market and sectoral strategies.
Create a comprehensive and coordinated growth strategy
According to the IRCC, in addition to luring top talent, they must consider assistance and settlement services for newcomers while balancing the demands of Canadians. This includes things like housing and healthcare.
Minister Miller speculated that some newcomers leave Canada due to difficulties with housing and getting their international credentials recognized.
According to IRCC, national and regional immigration initiatives, such as the Atlantic Immigration Program, are critical to sustaining growth and supporting the Canadian economy.
The agency recognizes a growing need to assist both permanent and temporary residents.
According to the report, IRCC will investigate further alternatives for developing an integrated strategy to manage housing, health care, and infrastructure across federal government departments, as well as in close partnership with provinces, territories, and municipalities.
Official IRCC Media Advisory on New Canada Immigration Plan To Improve The System
What could this announcement be?
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) publishes an Immigration Levels Plan each year, which establishes targets for the number of permanent resident admissions annually over the next three years.
The new immigration levels plan 2024-2026 are due to be released by November 1st.
The Canadian government establishes immigration targets in order to plan ahead while meeting the needs of the current population.
IRCC proposed the highest-ever immigration targets in last year’s plan, aiming for 500,000 new permanent residents per year by the end of 2025.
With record targets set every year, the immigration system is not able to keep up with the efficiency of processing the huge demand, which is expected to grow further.
Additionally, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) also released a new report recently, making six significant recommendations.
So we may see announcements of new improvements to the Canadian immigration system in response to these recommendations, especially online platforms for refugee programs, as indicated by the immigration minister in recent media availability.
Furthermore, there is a possibility that the immigration minister could unveil the new immigration levels plan 2024-2026 along with improvements since this aligns with the timeline, but it is usually announced on November 1.
We will have to wait and watch for the minister’s announcement tomorrow to see what comes out of the IRCC’s surprise box.