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Canada’s immigration plans for Asia and the Americas

Canada’s immigration plans for Asia and the Americas

Shortly after the federal government unveiled plans for its ambitious goal of seeing 500,000 immigrants arrive each year by 2025, The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published its strategic objectives for Asia and the Americas.

The federal government’s immigration goals put a heavy emphasis on admitting more permanent residents with needed work skills and experience to supplement Canada’s historic labour shortage.

Its plan also projects an overall decrease in the number of refugees, from a high of 76,000 in 2023 to fewer than 73,000 in 2025, which Immigration Minister Sean Fraser attributed to the government’s plan to finish resettling 40,000 Afghan refugees next year.

The IRCC’s latest objectives, developed in consultation with Global Affairs Canada, Canada Border Services Agency and Public Safety Canada, aim to improve immigration, migration and refugee patterns in Canada through collaboration with foreign governments.

The outlined partnership goals in Asia and the Americas offer a clearer picture of Canada’s immigration goals per country.

The region represents the greatest number of people who immigrate to Canada as permanent residents and citizens. Thus, IRCC is looking to take several measures with partner governments in the area to ensure that greater and better quality, regular immigration can take place to Canada. Canada will look to expand regular immigration pathways from Asia, while ensuring the integrity of its selection system.

Additionally, Canada has made refugee support and protection a key objective; naming the Afghanistan situation, genocide in Xinjiang, China, and the Rohingya crises in Myanmar and Bangladesh as significant priorities to which it will look to support at-risk populations.

The report further lists a number of partner countries and the relationships that Canada hopes to have with these nations:

  • Afghanistan: As part of its mission to strengthen support and protections for refugees and vulnerable communities around the world, Canada has committed to accepting more than 40,000 Afghan refugees.
  • Bangladesh: Canada has indicated that it intends to collaborate closely with the Bangladeshi government to improve the calibre and scope of migration initiatives. Also mentioned as a major concern is the predicament of the Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh, which is in line with Canada’s goal of enhancing international refugee protection.
  • China: The IRCC engages in talks with China on an as-needed basis to handle mutual irritants such as long wait times for visas. As Canada continues to take immigration measures in response to the treatment of the Uyghur and Hong Kong populations, bilateral relations have become fragile.
  • India: India has long been a big contributor to Canadian immigration. According to the IRCC, 25 per cent of the total number of permanent residents in 2019 were from India. The IRCC will continue to further Canada’s interests by promoting economic and social relations with India while simultaneously boosting the size of its immigration efforts from the nation.
  • Pakistan: In addition to working with the government to help relief efforts for those affected by the crisis in nearby Afghanistan, Canada wants to boost overall immigration from Pakistan even more.
  • South Korea: In an effort to boost resettlement and integration activities among South Korean immigrants in Canada, IRCC intends to collaborate with the South Korean government.
  • Philippines: IRCC hopes to engage the Philippine government in an effort to increase legal immigration efforts between the Philippines and Canada, while promoting regular immigration to Canada for Filipinos.

The Americas
IRCC objectives in the Americas involve focused engagement with key partners to maximize Canada’s impact in the region, strengthening local protections while sharing immigration expertise with other countries; and promoting regular immigration to support Canadian economic and social goals.

Canada will also look to increase refugee and at-risk person support for those needing it, in line with its global initiatives to aid refugees worldwide. As part of the refugee resettlement commitment to the region, Canada will accept 700-800 refugees from the Americas in 2023, and up to 1,000 in 2024.

Throughout these efforts, Canada will look to maintain the integrity of its immigration system, while promoting its immigration programs to meet Canada’s internal goals, and ensure stability in the region.

  • Brazil: In an effort to strengthen bilateral agreements and economic relations with Brazil, the IRCC will continue to support programs for legal immigration from Brazil while also promoting immigration to Brazilians. Brazil is considered a critical partner for all of its goals in the Americas, thus the government will continue to improve processing times and immigration channels for Brazilians.
  • Colombia: Canada will promote regular pathways to immigration from Columbia, while working with Columbian officials to address irregular immigration from the country, dealing with returnees, and aiding asylum seekers and refugees from neighboring Venezuela.
  • Haiti: Canada will engage with Haiti to support regular immigration between the two nations while assisting those who need asylum and are seeking protection in Canada.
  • Mexico: By encouraging legal immigration routes like the CUSMA work visa program, Canada will seek to step up its regular migration efforts with Mexico. Along with helping refugees and asylum seekers, the IRCC will co-operate with Mexico to resolve cases of irregular entry. Canada sees Mexico as a critical partner in achieving its regional strategic goals.

Part of the article was reported by CTV News.