Canada welcomed over 405,000 immigrants in 2021, breaking a historical record for the most newcomers ever admitted in a single year. Over the next few years, the Canadian government intends to continue to increase yearly immigration levels to over 450,000 by 2024. The proposed investments in the 2022 budget would allow IRCC to keep up with the country’s high demand for immigration.
Among the aims of the budget include effciently welcoming more temporary residents, extending better support to applicants, and continuing to improve the Canadian citizenship program.
In last year’s budget, the government announced its intention to make changes to the Express Entry system; the changes aimed to improve Canada’s ability to select applicants from the Express Entry pool that respond to the country’s labour market needs. This message was reiterated in the 2022 budget.
Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, hinted at occupation-specific draws in January during a virtual meeting with the Canadian Bar Association. According to Minister Fraser, IRCC may move to this new system sometime this year.
To help process more applications, faster, Canada is proposing to invest $385.7 million over the next five years, and $86.5 million ongoing.
With an increasing number of people coming to Canada to work, study, visit, or settle, the government proposes to invest in ensuring timely and responsive services.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of requests made for immigration file notes under the Access to Information and Privacy Act (ATIP) increased substantially. This was largely due to the significant delay in processing, and the lack of transparency provided to applicants through the IRCC MyAccount portal. In response, the government implemented a Management Action Plan, which included providing clearer communication through the IRCC portal.
The 2022 budget expands on this, proposing $187.3 million over the next five years and $37.2 million ongoing toward helping IRCC respond to a growing number of status requests, and providing better tools and technology to help support applicants.
Last year, IRCC launched a new portal for applicants to submit their citizenship applications. To help further accommodate a higher volume of applications, the government will be amending the Citizenship Act to allow for machine-assisted processing and safe collection of biometric information.
As Canada remains on track to welcome another record-breaking number of newcomers, this year’s budget will help IRCC meet targets with ease.
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