Brief introduction of IRCC
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is a federal government department you will be interacting with both before and after you arrive in Canada.
Clients interaction with IRCC before and after arrival Your exposure before you arrive will be through online immigration applications or the many visa offices outside Canada. After you arrive you may have further involvement through one of more than 500 IRCC-supported service provider organizations for settlement services, and interact with IRCC bylater extending your permanent resident card, and eventually going through the process to become a Canadian citizen.
IRCC in-land offices IRCC has an operations support centre in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, and immigration case processing centres in Ottawa, Edmonton, Mississauga and Sydney. It also has offices in Calgary and Edmonton in Alberta; two in Vancouver and one in Surrey, British Columbia; one in Winnipeg for Manitoba and Nunavut; Fredericton, New Brunswick; St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador; Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Mississauga, two in Toronto, and Windsor in Ontario; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; two in Montreal, Quebec; and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
It also has temporary offices across Canada for citizenship tests, interviews and ceremonies and immigration interviews.
IRCC help center Your first point of contact for questions is the IRCC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100. Wait times can be long and both immigrant settlement agency staff and Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants complain the answers to questions are not consistent. One call centre employee can give you one answer, and another could tell you something different. However, the IRCC website has comprehensive information.
Front counter IRCC staff do not provide general information or updates on specific files. IRCC was formerly known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada and its website at www.cic.gc.ca is thorough and contains most of the information you will need, including application forms and application guides. There is an online help centre at www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/index-featured-can.asp
The objectives of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and its accompanying Regulations are the sources relied upon for immigration and refugee applications, decisions, and appeals. IRPA has 10 objectives, described in the Act, including: to permit Canada to pursue the maximum social, cultural and economic benefits of immigration; strengthen the Canadian social and cultural fabric; support a prosperous economy with the benefits shared across all regions of Canada; reunite families; promote the integration of permanent residents; facilitate the entry of visitors, students and temporary workers; protect the public health and safety of Canadian society; promote international justice and security; and work with the provinces to secure better recognition of foreign credentials of permanent residents and more rapid integration into society.
Recent PR programs of IRCC Recent IRCC programs designed to share the benefits of immigration across Canada include the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. The Greater Toronto Area continues to attract one-third of all immigrants to Canada, with Vancouver and Montreal also receiving large shares.
IRCC’s immigration plan IRCC is estimating between 310,000 and 360,000 immigrants will arrive in 2020, with a target of 340,000. The largest numbers will be in the various economic streams, with the remainder in family class, refugees and protected persons or humanitarian and compassionate categories. An increasing number of spaces will be devoted to provincial nominees. The immigration target continues to rise each year to counteract an ageing population and shrinking labour force.
IRCC says, in its Departmental Plan, that it “continues to manage permanent resident selection, attracting the best and the brightest to Canada, through its Express Entry application management system and its collaboration with provinces and territories that nominate permanent resident candidates.”
One of its goals is to eliminate the backlog of privately sponsored refugee applications and reduce processing times to an average of 12 months for most applications.
IRCC’s current priorities are to grow immigration; streamline economic immigration program requirements; improve settlement outcomes; improve client experience; provide international leadership on refugee and migration issues; introduce a more inclusive citizenship study guide; and work with Canada Border Services Agency, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the provinces to address increases in irregular migration to Canada.
In addition to a target of 340,000 immigrants in 2020, the number of temporary residents arriving will be in the millions. In 2016-17 there were almost four million visas and electronic travel authorizations issued to visitors, international students and temporary workers.
Another IRCC goal is to focus on improvements to program delivery through the more than 500 service provider organizations it funds across Canada. It especially wants to see improvements in language training, employment services and support to vulnerable newcomers, including visible minority women.
It also wants to work with the service provider organizations to ensure that services pertaining to culture, history, sports and recreation are available. Cross-cultural activities and one-on-one exchanges will be encouraged to build language skills. It will continue to work with the more than 60 Local Immigration Partnerships across the country to encourage welcoming communities for newcomers.
IRCC’s budget for 2019-20 is almost $2.4 billion and approximately $1.4 billion is allocated to settlement support services. It has a total workforce of more than 7,000. A little more than 1,000 people work in the area of visitors, international students and temporary workers; almost 3,000 work in immigrant and refugee selection and integration; approximately 1,600 work in citizenship and passports; and almost 1.600 in internal services. The thousands of people across Canada working for service provider organizations are employees of non-profit organizations, not IRCC.