Labour Market: Canada to develop comprehensive immigration plan, aligning it with labour market needs, offering better experience to new migrants




MUMBAI: Marc Miller, Canada’s immigration minister, recently released a report: ‘An Immigration System for Canada’s future’. Pursuant to this, the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the country’s immigration unit, will work towards better aligning the needs of the labour market with the immigration system, modernize the immigration system to enable tracking of applications and improving processing, providing a more welcoming space for new migrations and also promoting ‘francophone’ immigration across Canada.
The background work that led into the culmination of this report began way back in February, IRCC heard more than 17,500 views, including from over 2,000 organizations and over 2,100 individuals such as foreign workers in Canada on a temporary basis, international students and permanent residents. Dedicated sessions were also held for Francophone stakeholders.
Key Takeaways
Some of the key takeaways that emerged from these discussions and feedback obtained by the IRCC were:
1. Immigration places pressure on housing, healthcare and infrastructure. There is a need to ensure that communities can absorb and support newcomers. However, immigration can also be part of the solution to addressing these pressures by adding workers in critical sectors. Promoting settlement outside of major urban areas, which would ease infrastructure pressure and extend the benefits of immigration in other regions was another crucial takeaway;
2. Newcomers are needed to fill critical labour gaps in key sectors under pressure. Their access to the job market, through integrated job matching and improved foreign credential recognition process, is key to positive outcomes for immigrants and for the country;
3. Pathways for temporary residents to become permanent residents are important so that workers and students know there are opportunities to settle in Canada and one day become Canadian citizens. Focus on bringing family units to encourage greater retention;
4. There is a need to bring top students to Canada, particularly in areas of study linked to labour market gaps, and work to improve retention of international students to better position us for the future;
5. Fast and predictable processing times are key to Canada remaining competitive in attracting skills and talent, as well as for tourism and bringing families together.
IRCC states, “In order to maintain our status as a strong multicultural country and as a destination of choice, our immigration system of the future must be nimble and better meet the needs of our country and of newcomers. The report identifies actions to transform Canada’s immigration system, informed by engagement with a broad range of partners and stakeholders. Some changes are already underway, while others are in development.”
What lies ahead:
Minister Miller said, “Hearing from stakeholders and newcomers provided important insight into how we can develop a stronger and more integrated immigration system in Canada. With these measures, we aim to build a system that is easier to navigate, with an inclusive and coordinated plan that aligns our immigration programs and policies with the needs of the country. As we move forward, the people who come to Canada will continue to be at the heart of our work, whether they wish to work, study, or call this place their home.”
The following will be the action points to shape a system that meets the needs of Canada’s economy and labour market.
1. Positioning the immigration system to adapt quickly and to respond equitably and sustainably to growing global humanitarian crises;
2. Developing a new Francophone Immigration Policy to enhance the vitality of Francophone minority communities, while maintaining and increasing the demographic weight of French linguistic minority communities in Canada;
3. Improving the International Student Program by working with provinces and territories on a Recognized Institutions Framework so that post-secondary institutions with high standards in key areas such as integrity and student support can benefit from faster processing of study permits;
4. Integrating housing, health care and infrastructure planning, along with other important services, into Canada’s immigration levels planning, in close collaboration with provinces, territories and municipalities;
5. Building an advisory body of newcomers with experience in immigration to inform program and policy improvements, as well as service delivery;
6. Creating a Chief International Talent Officer position to more effectively align immigration programs and pathways with the labour market, including industry and sector strategies;
7. Making the IRCC website more user-friendly, so that applicants can easily find the information they need. The application status tracker, which is in place, enables applicants to find information about the status – such as for the sponsorship of a spouse, partner or child, for Express Entry, study permits, work permits, visitor visas, citizenship and passports.


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