Canadian Immigration Ministers Discuss the Future of Immigration

Canadian Immigration Ministers Discuss the Future of Immigration

The Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration (FMRI) recently met in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to discuss the future of immigration in Canada. The meeting was attended by ministers from across the country, who focused on advancing joint initiatives to respond to pan-Canadian immigration priorities.

The meeting, which was held in follow-up to the one that took place last July, covered several key topics, including:

  • improving application processing times,
  • reducing duplication,
  • increasing allocations in the Provincial/Territorial Nominee Programs (PNPs), and
  • providing greater agency over PNPs.

During the meeting, the ministers welcomed IRCC’s first-ever Multi-Year Allocation Plan. The plan includes an unprecedented 44% growth in PNP allocations for 2023, along with national allocations for 2024 and 2025. The meeting also discussed settlement and integration efforts, Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR), and Canada’s humanitarian response to the developing situation in Ukraine.

Let’s explore the takeaways from this meeting.

<<IRCC seeking input on new immigration strategy>>

Key topics about the future of Immigration

About Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

The FMRI condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and discussed how to assist Ukrainians and their family members fleeing Russian violence. In addition, the Ministers reviewed the initial results of the Ukraine Rapid Impact Evaluation and discussed the impacts of the response on Provinces/Territories (P/Ts), communities, and immigration stakeholders. They also asked to extend temporary measures, including the Canada-Ukraine Transitional Assistance Initiative and temporary hotel accommodations, to assist displaced Ukrainians arriving in Canada. Additionally, Ministers want to discuss pathways to Permanent Residency for Ukrainians who seek to remain in Canada or are unable to return home to Ukraine.

Asylum claimants

The Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration recognized the importance of working together in supporting vulnerable people who come to Canada to seek asylum. However, several ministers raised the high volumes of asylum claimants crossing into Canada between ports of entry. Moreover, they reflected on their capacity to manage the new arrivals, as well as past service delivery models, the current approach, and what may be needed in the future for the delivery of settlement services.

About internationally-educated healthcare professionals (IEHPs)

The Ministers discussed priorities on FCR, particularly as it relates to internationally-educated healthcare professionals (IEHPs). They agreed to collectively work towards better credential recognition for new Canadians. This includes key areas such as:

  • improvements to the selection stage,
  • understanding the complex regulatory environment,
  • advancing the quality of FCR pre-arrival information sharing, also
  • Federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) collaboration.

<<Proposals to help internationally educated health professionals in Canada>>

Improving the immigration system

During the meeting, the FMRI recommitted to working together to deliver a more agile, client-centred economic immigration system. Besides, they received updates on the development of category-based selection through the Express Entry platform and joint opportunities to reduce duplication in application processing. This included streamlined assessments of PNP applications, and improving federal immigration processing times for both temporary and permanent pathways.

About Provincial/Territorial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

The Ministers discussed the PNP and Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) as primary tools for regional immigration and addressing employers’ labour market needs. In addition, they considered how to continue to advance collaboration between P/Ts on immigration targets and regional economic immigration.

Finally, the Ministers reflected on service delivery models and emphasized exploring opportunities to better support outcomes and retention. They noted the value of locally-informed, flexible, and responsive services that support immigrants’ integration and retention in their P/T of landing.

Overall, the FMRI agreed to take steps to ensure public support for immigration remains strong and to contribute to the Strategic Immigration Review, which will shape the future of immigration in Canada.

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

About the Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration (FMRI)

The FMRI is a federal-provincial/territorial decision-making body. They meet each year with the goal of supporting a flexible, timely and effective immigration system for Canada. In 2020, FPT Ministers established a vision for immigration to Canada and a mission for the FMRI. The vision articulates a coordinated strategic plan for a system that strengthens the positive economic and social benefits of immigration. The FMRI’s mission is to advance joint immigration priorities and to enhance Canada’s immigration policies and programs.

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    Andrea Neira