IRCC has announced a review of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) as part of the newly unveiled Strategy. An Immigration System for Canada’s Future.
The Strategy outlines upcoming changes to enhance processing efficiency and implement a more holistic approach to immigration. IRCC plans to achieve these goals through initiatives falling under three key pillars:
- Create a more welcoming experience for newcomers.
- Align immigration with labor market needs.
- Lastly, Develop a comprehensive and coordinated growth plan.
IRPA serves as the legislative foundation for Canada’s immigration system and dictates the framework for IRCC’s operations. Potential revisions to IRPA align to foster a more hospitable experience for newcomers to Canada. In addition, IRCC emphasizes the need for a modern, efficient, fair, transparent, predictable, and timely immigration process.
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In addition, IRPA has yet to undergo a comprehensive review since its enactment in 2002, 21 years ago. So IRCC deems it necessary to evaluate the potential for legislative amendments or reforms. The act currently underpins most of IRCC’s programs, policies, and procedures. Making a thorough assessment timely and essential.
Updating IRPA for Future-Ready Immigration
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) comprehensively addresses the spectrum of responsibilities vested in the immigration minister and the corresponding execution procedures. This legal framework outlines the minister’s duties. Providing a foundational structure for the Canadian immigration system.
The recently unveiled Strategy underscores the significance of reviewing IRPA to eliminate obstacles hindering Canada’s ability to welcome individuals crucial for its future. For instance, IRPA includes provisions enabling the establishment of novel immigration pathways. Exemplified by the recent introduction of the category-based Express Entry system. A thorough review and subsequent update have the potential to facilitate the creation of more specialized pathways tailored for newcomers possessing in-demand skills.
Furthermore, IRPA delineates the collaboration between Canada’s federal and provincial governments in sharing immigration responsibilities. Through agreements with provinces and territories, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) empowers provincial governments to nominate economic immigrants through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The federal government, in turn, allocates a specific number of nominations to each province. Fostering cooperative governance in the realm of immigration.
Enhancing Immigration Governance: The Impact of Potential IRPA Updates
To determine the allocation of nominations to provinces, the Minister, as mandated by law, must consult with areas to ascertain the number of foreign nationals. In each class, who will attain permanent residency annually, along with their distribution across Canada. IRPA stipulates that these consultations involve regional economic and demographic requirements considerations through engagement with relevant partners and stakeholders.
Moreover, an envisioned update to IRPA could necessitate additional consultations with stakeholders, including settlement services, to enhance comprehension of Canada’s capacity to integrate newcomers. This aligns with the Strategy’s overarching goal of adopting a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach to immigration.
These consultations also significantly influence the federal Immigration Levels Plan, dictating Canada’s permanent resident admission targets for the next three years. According to the law, the Plan must be released annually, with the recently unveiled 2024-2026 Plan projecting the admission of 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024 and 500,000 annually in both 2025 and 2026. Additionally, Immigration Minister Marc Miller asserts that this plan will contribute to the growth and stabilization of Canada’s economy.
Furthermore, IRPA encompasses legislation governing the submission of applications, encompassing technology, format, and processes. A meticulous review and update of these regulations can equip the department to better address the current and future surge. In demand for immigration services, ensuring a more efficient and responsive system.