On October 31st, Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced plans to improve Canada’s immigration system. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has consulted with stakeholders and the public throughout the year to help guide reforms and build a stronger immigration system.
IRCC has been incorporating this feedback to implement its new immigration strategy, called An Immigration System for Canada’s Future.
The strategy provides guidelines that include better aligning the needs of the labour market with the immigration system, modernizing the system to allow newcomers to easily submit and track their applications, improving IRCC’s service standard, promoting francophone immigration in communities across Canada and helping smaller communities attract and retain newcomers.
Part of the strategy involves considering the support and services required by newcomers and Canadians alike, include housing and healthcare. Further, the strategy states that the key to an effective newcomer plan is ensuring that the benefits of immigration are spread across the country and into various smaller communities.
What are the initiatives that will support communities?
IRCC annually plans how many new permanent residents Canada will welcome in the following years. The goal is to develop a more integrated plan so that the federal government, along with provinces, territories, and municipalities, can coordinate housing, health care and infrastructure with these numbers.
IRCC also wants to examine opportunities to better target support for the settlement and integration of newcomers. As stated in the strategy, “we want to provide the right services at the right time.” In doing so, IRCC will look for opportunities to fund initiatives that enhance community partnerships and increase services in mid-size, rural and northern areas. Moreover, IRCC hopes to increase access to digital settlement services and expand services by Francophones for Francophone newcomers in official language minorities outside Quebec.
In addition, IRCC plans to explore options that will leverage the investment of those coming to Canada in order to support more affordable housing. To do this, IRCC will explore and adapt an immigration pathway for foreign nationals committed to investing in and building new housing in Canada.
Finally, IRCC hopes to explore opportunities that will enhance regional immigration. This includes having a better understanding of the unique needs and strengths of smaller, rural and Francophone minority communities.
In furtherance of this goal, IRCC will seek to make the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) a permanent program and look at the options of expanding it to more communities across the country.
The RNIP is a community driven program that is designed to spread the benefits of immigration to smaller communities by creating a permanent residence pathway for foreign nationals who want to work and live in these communities.
IRCC will also develop a new Francophone Immigration Policy to enhance Francophone minority communities and increase their demographic weight. The policy will boost promotion and selection efforts and support the settlement and integration of French-speaking immigrants in these minority communities.