2014 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration

Message from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

As Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, it is with great pleasure that I present the 2014 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration.

Over the past eight years, our Government has transformed Canada’s immigration system to ensure it best serves the needs of our country—now and in the future. We have made our immigration system faster, more flexible and responsive to the changing needs of our economy and labour market. At the same time, we continue to meet our humanitarian and compassionate objectives and facilitate the reunification of families. In addition, we have significantly reformed Canada’s Citizenship Act to further strengthen and preserve the value of our citizenship.

To prepare for the launch of Canada’s new Express Entry application management system, officials at Citizenship and Immigration Canada have worked to complete preparations for the new system, which includes efforts to reduce existing inventories in key economic programs.

Backlogs in the Immigrant Investor and Entrepreneur programs—the largest backlogs in our economic immigration programs—were terminated in June of this year with the passing of Bill C-31. We are working to ensure that the immigration system meets the needs of Canada’s current business landscape by introducing a new Immigrant Investor Venture Capital pilot program and consulting on the need for an additional business skills immigration pilot program.

The Express Entry system will transform our immigration system to make it more responsive to the needs of our economy. When it is launched in January 2015, we will select applicants who are best positioned to succeed instead of those who are first in line. In most cases, applicants invited to apply for permanent residence under the new system will be able to expect processing times of six months. These changes will help employers meet their permanent labour needs when there are no available Canadians or permanent residents.

At the same time, the Government recognizes there is sometimes a genuine need for employers to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis. To ensure the Temporary Foreign Workers Program is only used as a last and limited resort when Canadians and permanent residents are not available, our Government also brought in significant changes to this program in 2014. These changes will restrict access to the program through the new Labour Market Impact Assessment and will prevent abuse of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program through stronger enforcement measures and penalties. At the same time, the new International Mobility Program will allow us to continue to advance Canada’s broad economic and cultural national interests.

Changes to the International Students Program came into effect in 2014 with the objective of enhancing program integrity and ensuring that Canada remains a destination of choice for individuals seeking a quality education. These changes will prevent abuse of the program by limiting program access to designated post-secondary institutions and through the introduction of new study conditions.

This past year, we also continued to maintain our long standing commitments to refugee protection, welcoming over 24,000 refugees in 2013. It has been almost two years since the Government reformed Canada’s asylum system to provide faster and fairer protection to those in genuine need. Under the new system, refugees are getting the protection they need sooner and failed asylum claimants are being removed more quickly.

Our Government is also focused on facilitating legitimate trade and travel to Canada. Plans are underway to expand the CAN+ program to other countries, after launches in Mexico and India. This program makes it faster and easier for travellers who have previously travelled to Canada or the United States to apply for a Canadian visa.

Beginning in February 2014, visitors to Canada are now automatically considered for a multiple-entry visa, an option that allows qualified visitors to enter and remain in our country for six months at a time for up to 10 years. Also, in 2015, we plan to implement the new Electronic Travel Authorization, which will improve our border efficiencies and enhance security by resolving potential issues before a traveller boards a plane departing for Canada.

As a result of our Government’s changes, immigration will become the primary source of our country’s net labour force growth. To ensure Canada’s future prosperity, it is critical that our immigration system be fast, efficient and sustainable. I look forward to continuing to reform Canada’s immigration system in a way that will best serve the needs of our economy and our country’s future.

The Honourable Chris Alexander, PC, MP
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Introduction

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) came into effect on June 28, 2002, replacing the Immigration Act of 1976. Under section 94 of the Act (see Annex), the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is required to table an annual report in Parliament on the Department’s immigration activities and initiatives. The report focuses on the selection of foreign nationals as permanent and temporary residents during the preceding calendar year. The legislation also requires an overview of federal-provincial/territorial agreements and joint initiatives, as well as a gender-based analysis of the impact of the Act. In addition, the report serves as a vehicle for announcing Canada’s immigration plan for the upcoming calendar year.

This report is divided into five sections.

  • SECTION 1 highlights recent achievements to strengthen Canada's immigration system, as well as the 2015 immigration levels plan.
  • SECTION 2 provides key statistics relating to permanent and temporary residents admitted in 2013, and summarizes relevant initiatives in these areas.
  • SECTION 3 focuses on Citizenship and Immigration’s (CIC) partnerships with the provinces and territories. It outlines the bilateral agreements currently in force between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, and describes major joint initiatives.
  • SECTION 4 provides a description of the Settlement, Canadian Citizenship and Multiculturalism programs.
  • SECTION 5 describes CIC’s framework for gender-based analysis, highlights gender-based analysis activities and provides a statistical overview of gender differences in relation to key immigration statistics.

Section 1: Making Immigration Work for Canada

Canada has long had one of the highest per capita rates of immigration in the world and continues to be one of the most popular destinations for immigrants. The last eight years have marked a period of significant transformation in Canada’s immigration system. The Government has pursued much-needed reforms to create an immigration system that fuels economic prosperity for Canada. It has placed a high priority on finding people who have the skills Canada needs. In 2012, the Government articulated its vision of a fast and flexible immigration system that supports Canada’s economic growth. Since then, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has reduced or eliminated backlogs in key programs and taken steps to manage the intake of applications to prevent the build-up of new backlogs, all with the intention of ensuring a smooth transition to the new Express Entry application management system for select economic programs in January 2015 and the continued success of Canada’s immigration system.

CIC also upholds the family, social, cultural and humanitarian objectives for immigration that are set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and, with its partners, delivers on these objectives while also protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians.

Flexible, Targeted Immigration That Supports Canada's Economic Growth and Is Responsive to Labour Market Needs

Express Entry launch

CIC will launch a new electronic application management system called Express Entry (formerly known as Expression of Interest) on January 1, 2015. Express Entry will: 1) improve application management, preventing the build-up of new application backlogs; 2) increase the labour market responsiveness of the immigration system through a greater role for employers; and 3) improve the economic outcomes of immigrants by ensuring that skilled newcomers with the best indicators for success in Canada’s labour market are invited to apply rather than those who happen to be first in line. Express Entry candidates who receive a valid job offer, an enhanced nomination under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or are among the top-ranked based on their skills, education and experience may be invited to apply for permanent residence in one of four economic immigration streams: the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) Program, the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and a portion of the PNP. Express Entry will be open to skilled immigrants and allow the Government to select the best candidates who are most likely to succeed in Canada. By requiring an invitation to apply for permanent residence, it will also prevent backlogs and allow CIC to better coordinate application volumes with the annual immigration levels plan.

Qualified applicants under Express Entry can expect faster processing times of six months when invited to apply for permanent residence.

With Express Entry, employers will have a key role in selecting economic immigrants, with qualifying offers of employment earning Express Entry candidates significant points toward receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

New intake management measures for key economic programs

The Minister of CIC introduced new Ministerial Instructions on May 1, 2014, to control application intake in the FSW and FST programs. To prepare for the launch of Express Entry, CIC will accept a maximum of 25,000 applications per year to support expected admissions in 2015. The list of eligible occupations—reflecting the latest labour market needs—more than doubled from 24 occupations under the previous Ministerial Instructions in 2013 to 50 occupations, with a maximum of 1,000 applications per occupation accepted. The FST Program cap was raised to 5,000 applications per year, and all 90 skilled trades eligible under the program regulations are now eligible for consideration, with a maximum of 100 applications each.

In order to manage intake, maintain reasonable processing times and prevent a backlog from developing in the CEC, CIC introduced an annual cap on the number of new CEC applications. In November 2013, the cap was set at 12,000 applications per year. This cap was renewed on May 1, 2014, to allow for 8,000 new applications per year and to cover the transition period leading up to the implementation of the new Express Entry application management system. In order to bring in as diverse a skill set as possible, the Department limited certain skilled trades occupations to 200 applications each. Furthermore, work experience in six occupations is no longer eligible for the CEC.

The annual cap on applications will prevent intake from exceeding CIC’s processing capacity. CIC planned to admit approximately 15,000 individuals under the CEC in 2014.

Federal investor and entrepreneur programs elimination and backlog termination

Economic Action Plan (EAP) 2014 announced the Government’s intent to terminate the federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) and federal Entrepreneur (EN) Program, eliminate a large and longstanding backlog of applications, and pave the way for new pilot programs that will meet Canada’s labour market and economic needs. The proposed legislation to terminate the backlogs became law on June 19, 2014.

The IIP provided limited economic benefit to Canada. Research shows that immigrant investors pay less in taxes than other economic immigrants, are less likely to stay in Canada over the medium to long term, and often lack human capital qualities—including official language proficiency—to integrate as well as other immigrants from the same countries.

Eliminating the IIP and EN programs, along with the associated backlog of applications, will allow the Government to focus on attracting experienced business people and raising investment capital that is of maximum benefit to Canada’s economy.

The Government will replace these programs with more focused and effective pilot programs that will ensure that immigrants who come to Canada deliver meaningful benefits to our economy. This will complement the Start-Up Visa pilot program, introduced in April 2013, enhancing Canada’s competitiveness in the global economy.

Putting Canadians First

Temporary foreign workers reforms

Significant changes relating to temporary foreign workers were announced in June 2014. For greater clarity and transparency, the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) Program now refers to those streams under which foreign nationals enter Canada at the request of employers following approval through a Labour Market Impact Assessment and work permit application. The newly created International Mobility Program (IMP) incorporates those streams in which foreign nationals are not subject to a Labour Market Impact Assessment and whose primary objective is to advance Canada’s broad economic and cultural national interests.

Within the new TFW Program, reforms are intended to ensure the program is only used to fill acute labour shortages on a temporary basis when qualified Canadians and permanent residents are not available. Among other measures, employers are now required to more clearly demonstrate their efforts to hire Canadians and ensure that Canadians and permanent residents are not displaced by foreign workers. Key elements include a new, more rigorous Labour Market Impact Assessment that replaces the previous Labour Market Opinion; raising the Labour Market Impact Assessment fee to $1,000; limiting the number of low-wage TFWs that a business can employ; and putting more resources toward better labour market information.

The reforms are accompanied by more vigorous compliance monitoring and enforcement, for both the TFW and IMP, including significant increases in inspections of businesses employing foreign workers and tougher penalties for violations. For “employer-specific” IMP streams, there will be a new fee of $230 on employers of work permit holders to cover employment compliance costs. For foreign workers hired in IMP open work permit streams, there will be a new $100 privilege fee on holders of these permits.

Reuniting Families More Quickly and Ensuring the Sustainability of Sponsorship Programs

Parent and Grandparent Program

As part of Phase II of the Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification, changes to the sponsorship requirements for parents and grandparents came into force on January 1, 2014. Following a temporary pause of over two years, the program reopened on January 2, 2014, under an intake cap that was established through Ministerial Instructions. CIC will accept a maximum of 5,000 new applications per year. Other program changes include raising the minimum necessary income required to sponsor a parent or grandparent by 30%, extending the sponsorship undertaking period from 10 years to 20 years, and requiring official documentation from the Canada Revenue Agency when providing proof of income. The cap on new applications will reduce the likelihood of backlogs in the future and the program changes will help ensure that sponsors have the means to support their family members, while limiting the program’s cost to taxpayers. Up to 20,000 parents and grandparents will be admitted in 2014, which will allow CIC to continue processing the backlog of applications and reduce wait times for clients.

Age of dependent children

In 2013, the Government took steps to reduce the age of dependent children for the purpose of immigration to Canada. Research has demonstrated that older immigrants have a more challenging time fully integrating into the Canadian labour market; this is more evident for immigrants who are not selected based on their own merits (e.g., dependent children). Effective August 1, 2014, the age at which a child may be considered a dependant was reduced from under 22 to under 19. The exception for full‑time students was also removed. Children of applicants who are 19 or over, but are financially dependent on their parents and are enrolled in full-time studies will no longer be eligible to be processed as dependent children. This previous exception allowed those who were well into their late 20s or even 30s to come to Canada as dependent children, despite clear evidence pointing to weaker integration and weaker long-term economic outcomes. Verifying enrolment was also labour-intensive and vulnerable to fraud. This change will make our immigration system more efficient. In all cases, children will continue to be considered dependants, regardless of age, if they have depended on their parents for financial support because of a physical or mental condition.

Facilitating Legitimate Travel and Protecting the Integrity of Immigration Programs

Multiple-entry visa

The Government has been making changes to facilitate legitimate travel, including investing $42 million over two years to improve Canada’s processing of temporary resident applications. This investment, which began in 2013, aims to meet the growing demand in key markets such as India, Brazil, and China to process applications for those who want to come to Canada temporarily. As of February 6, 2014, visitors to Canada are automatically considered for a multiple-entry visa (MEV).

In April 2014, approximately 95% of the 100,000 visitor visas issued by CIC were MEVs. MEVs are a fast and convenient option allowing qualified visitors (subject to their admissibility) to enter and exit Canada for six months at a time for up to 10 years. In February 2014, the Government reduced the fee for MEVs from $150 to $100 and increased the fee for a single-entry temporary resident visa from $75 to $100 to allow for a unified fee for both visas.

Implementation of the Electronic Travel Authorization

A key commitment of the Beyond the Border Action Plan between Canada and the United States, the Electronic Travel Authorization will be a new documentary entry requirement for most visa-exempt foreign nationals entering Canada by air. Canadian and U.S. citizens will not require an Electronic Travel Authorization. A Regulatory Notice of Intent was published in December 2013 soliciting stakeholder feedback on proposed program parameters. Input received from stakeholders will inform the development of program regulations and implementation activities.

Visa Application Centres

As part of its modernization agenda and to improve service to clients, CIC has created a Visa Application Centre (VAC) network across the world through a global contract. VACs provide administrative support services to applicants before, during and after their application is assessed by a CIC visa officer. VACs are available to answer questions in local languages and verify that applications are complete, helping applicants avoid unnecessary delays or refusals due to incomplete applications. As of July 31, 2014, CIC’s VAC network consists of 129 locations in 92 countries.

Lifting the visa requirement for the Czech Republic

Canada’s visa policy is based on a country-by-country assessment of a number of criteria that include a country’s immigration issues, such as violation rates and asylum claims, the integrity of a country’s travel documents, safety and security issues, border management, human rights, and bilateral relations.

Based on a comprehensive assessment, in November 2013, the Minister of CIC announced that Czech nationals no longer require a temporary resident visa to visit Canada.

Success of Canada’s new asylum system

It has been almost two years since the Government reformed Canada’s asylum system to provide faster and fairer protection to those in need. Under the new system, genuine refugees are getting the protection they need sooner and failed asylum claimants are being removed more quickly.

Reduction in asylum claims

The volume of asylum claims under the new system has decreased to historical lows. This is particularly true for claimants from designated countries of origin (DCOs), which have dropped by over 80% since the implementation of the reformed system. The overall reduction in asylum claims has already resulted in greater-than-anticipated savings to Canadian taxpayers of more than $600 million in provincial and federal government welfare, education and health-care costs within the first year of the new system. Overall savings are projected to be more than $1.6 billion over five years. Countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh and Syria now rank among the top 10 source countries for asylum claims in Canada.

New countries added to the Designated Countries of Origin List

Reforms to Canada’s asylum system continued in 2013, with additional countries added to the DCO list. Chile and South Korea were added to the list in May 2013. DCOs are countries that respect human rights, offer state protection, and do not normally produce refugees. Additional information on how countries become designated can be found on the CIC Web site.

Biometric screening

Since December 2013, CIC has been using biometric information (fingerprints and a photograph) to screen applicants from 29 countries and one territory making an application to visit, study, or work temporarily in Canada. Biometric screening strengthens Canada’s immigration system and helps protect the safety and security of Canadians by modernizing Canada’s visa system, facilitating legitimate travel to Canada and reducing identity fraud and identity theft in the immigration system.

Biographic information sharing with the United States

In December 2013, Canada and the United States implemented systematic biographic information sharing, a commitment under the Beyond the Border Action Plan. Pursuant to this initiative, both countries are now sharing limited identity and derogatory information regarding third-country nationals applying for immigration benefits, which is leading to better-informed decision making on both sides of the border. Indeed, sharing relevant information improves immigration and border determination, helps establish and verify the identities of travellers, and supports conducting screening at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act

On June 19, 2013, the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act received Royal Assent. The Act amends the inadmissibility provisions and related sections of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to enhance the safety and security of Canadians, strengthen the integrity of the immigration program, and facilitate entry in some cases to support Canadian interests.

Enhancing and promoting travel document standards and specifications

In May 2013, the Prime Minister of Canada announced the transfer of the accountability for Passport Canada from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism as of July 2, 2013, with Service Canada to serve as the delivery agent for the majority of passport services on behalf of CIC.

The transfer of responsibilities for the Passport Program to CIC provides the Department with an opportunity to continue to enhance both the security and seamlessness of international travel. As a key player in the International Civil Aviation Organization’s emerging technologies and capacity building working groups, Canada continues to build the international framework for travel document interoperability, advocate for the adoption and application of international travel document standards and specifications, and shape the obligations of signatory States to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

Canada's Immigration Plan for 2015

Table 1 presents the 2015 immigration levels plan, which outlines the anticipated number of permanent residents that will be admitted to Canada during the year. In 2015, the overall planned admission range is 260,000 to 285,000 people. The distribution among immigration programs is designed to support several objectives, including supporting Canada’s economy, reuniting families, and meeting humanitarian goals.  The 2015 levels plan will also support Express Entry implementation in January 2015, and improve client service. The levels plan is informed by consultations with the provinces and territories, performance results, Government of Canada and departmental priorities, and operational capacities.

Table 1: Immigration Levels Plan 2015
Projected Admissions Low High

Federal-selected Economic Programs, Provincial/Territorial Nominees, Family, Refugees, Humanitarian Entrants and Permit Holders

229,000

252,500

Quebec-selected Skilled WorkersFootnote A

26,000

27,000

Quebec-selected BusinessFootnote A

5,000

5,000

TOTAL

260,000 

285,000 

Section 2: Managing Permanent Immigration and Temporary Migration

Immigration to Canada can be either on a permanent basis or temporary such as to visit, study or work. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) handles large volumes of permanent and temporary resident applications across CIC’s extensive global processing network. The process of managing immigration files includes protecting the health, safety, and security of Canadians. In collaboration with partners in the Public Safety portfolio (Public Safety Canada, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service), as well as the Department of Justice and Health Canada, CIC works to identify applicants who could pose security or health risks to Canadians. CIC also works in partnership with other countries to mitigate risks and protect Canada from international threats.

To meet the admissions targets set out in the immigration levels plan, CIC must balance pressures related to processing high volumes of applications for temporary residence, including work and study permits, and backlog reduction strategies for various permanent immigration programs. The Department allocates resources to meet operational targets while also maintaining service standards.

This section reports on the permanent resident admissions and temporary resident entries processed by CIC in 2013.

Permanent Residents

The Government of Canada, in consultation with the provinces and territories, plans admissions of permanent residents each year in order to uphold the objectives for immigration as set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Permanent residents are persons who have been admitted to live in Canada on a permanent basis and who have the right to work and study in Canada, but have not become Canadian citizens. To maintain this status and not become inadmissible, they must continue to meet residency requirements and not violate the conditions of their status by reason of serious criminality, security, human or international rights violations, organized crime, or misrepresentation. As defined in IRPA, there are three basic classes of permanent residents: economic, family and refugees. The following is an overview of permanent resident admissions in 2013.

Admissions of permanent residents in 2013

Canada admitted 258,953 new permanent residents in 2013, a slight increase over 2012 (257,887) and a higher level than the average number of admissions from 2009–2013 (257,000). Of those, 57.2% were economic immigrants (along with their spouse/partner and dependants), 31.6% were in the family reunification category, and 11.2% were refugees and other immigrants. Some applicants who received a visa in 2013 arrived within the same calendar year, while others will choose to arrive in 2014 (or in a small number of cases, not at all). For this reason, CIC reports on both the number of visas it issued in 2013 as well as the number of people who arrived in Canada during that year (admissions). Table 2 provides a detailed breakdown of the 2013 admissions by immigration category. More statistical information on admissions in 2013 can be found in CIC’s Facts and Figures 2013.

Table 2: New Permanent Residents Admitted in 2013
Immigrant Category 2013 Plan
Admission Ranges
Number Admitted in 2013

Low

High

Federal Skilled Workers

53,500

55,300

52,877

Federal Business

5,500

6,000

5,098

Canadian Experience Class

9,600

10,000

7,216

Live-in Caregivers

8,000

9,300

8,797

Provincial Nominee Program

42,000

45,000

39,915

Quebec-selected Skilled Workers

31,000

34,000

30,284

Quebec-selected Business

2,500

2,700

3,994

Subtotal Economic Class: Principal Applicants

-

-

64,765

Subtotal Economic Class: Spouses and Dependants

-

-

83,416

Total Economic Class

152,100

162,300

148,181

Spouses, Partners and Children
(including Family Relations – Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations (H&C))

42,000

48,500

49,513

Parents and Grandparents

21,800

25,000

32,318

Total Family Class

63,800

73,500

81,831

Protected Persons in Canada

7,000

8,500

8,149

Dependants Abroad

4,000

4,500

3,714

Government-Assisted Refugees

6,800

7,100

5,756

Privately Sponsored Refugees

4,500

6,500

6,277

Visa Office Referred Refugees

200

300

153

Total Refugees

22,500

26,900

24,049

Public Policy

-

-

29

Public Policy—Federal Resettlement Assistance

500

600

-

Public Policy—Other Resettlement Assistance

100

400

-

Humanitarian and Compassionate ConsiderationsTable note B

900

1,100

2,885

Other H&C cases outside the Family Class / Public Policy

-

-

1,934

Permit Holders

100

200

44

Total Other

1,600

2,300

4,892

TOTAL

240,000

265,000

258,953

Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Facts and Figures 2013. Additional CIC data is also available through the Quarterly Administrative Data Release. Any numbers in this report that were derived from CIC data sources may differ from those reported in earlier publications; these differences reflect typical adjustments to CIC’s administrative data files over time. As the data in this report is taken from a single point in time, it is expected that it will change over time as additional information becomes available.

Highlights of Economic Class admissions in 2013

The Economic Class includes federal and Quebec-selected skilled workers, federal and Quebec-selected business immigrants, provincial and territorial nominees, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and live-in caregivers, as well as spouses, partners and dependants who accompany the principal applicants in any of these economic categories. In 2013, 148,181 permanent residents were admitted to Canada in Economic Class programs, which is below the planned admission range of 152,100 to 162,300. There was a 2% decrease in the number of permanent resident applications received compared to 2012. CIC issued 150,200 visas (for overseas applicants) and authorizations (for applicants already in Canada) for permanent residence in this category in 2013.

The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers initiated job action on April 2, 2013. The withdrawal of service in certain offices took place between May 16 and September 25, 2013, which resulted in longer processing times, particularly for permanent residence.

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program continues to be the Government of Canada’s flagship program for selecting skilled immigrants with the experience needed to contribute to the Canadian economy. Selection is based on a points system that assesses education, age, work experience, official language proficiency, pre-arranged employment in Canada, and adaptability. Important changes were made to the program in 2013 and Ministerial Instructions were issued to manage the intake of new applications. There were 52,877 FSW Program admissions in 2013, which is slightly lower than the planned range of 53,500–55,300.

CIC continued to carefully manage the number of new applications accepted in 2013 for processing in various economic programs through the issuance of Ministerial Instructions. Ministerial Instructions, issued under the authority of section 87.3 of IRPA, enable the Minister to direct visa officers to process applications in select immigration categories in a manner that supports the attainment of the Government of Canada’s immigration goals. This focuses CIC’s processing capacity in a more strategic way, including reducing (or temporarily stopping) new application intake to address backlog pressures or, as has been the case with the FSW Program, requiring that applicants have experience in an occupation that is in demand.

Under the CEC, 7,216 people were admitted as permanent residents in 2013. The program allows skilled temporary foreign workers and international student graduates with at least one year of full-time work experience to stay in Canada permanently. Section 87.3 Ministerial Instructions were issued in November 2013 to manage the intake of applications to be accepted in the CEC.

The Provincial Nominee Program provides provinces and territories with a mechanism to respond to their particular economic needs by allowing them to nominate individuals who will meet specific local labour market demands, and to spread the benefits of immigration across Canada by promoting immigration to areas that are not traditional immigrant destinations. It is currently the second-largest economic immigration program after the FSW Program. The number of provincial nominees remained relatively stable in 2013 at 39,915 admissions. This was the first year since the program began in1998 that provincial nominee admissions did not increase; however, it is expected that further growth will occur in 2014.

A total of 5,098 admissions in 2013 came from CIC Federal Business Programs, which included 4,611 people as immigrant investors, 310 as entrepreneurs and 177 as self-employed persons.

Following on the commitments made in Economic Action Plans 2012 and 2013, the Government took steps to eliminate the backlogs in the federal immigrant investor and entrepreneur streams through Budget 2014. These efforts were supported by section 87.3 Ministerial Instructions, which were issued in May 2014 to renew a pause on the acceptance of new applications in both streams. These two pauses have also helped CIC focus processing resources on reducing the sizable application backlogs in these programs.

In April 2013, CIC launched the Start-Up Visa, designed to attract the best and brightest entrepreneurs from around the world with ideas for new business ventures. The Department began accepting applications last year.

Highlights of family reunification admissions in 2013

The Government of Canada is committed to family reunification. Canada has one of the most generous family reunification programs in the world. For example, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States do not allow grandparent sponsorships at all or in only very limited circumstances. Canadian citizens and permanent residents may sponsor spouses or partners, dependent children, parents, grandparents and other close relatives to become permanent residents as Family Class immigrants.

In 2013, CIC admitted 81,831 permanent residents to Canada in the Family Class, which is above the planned admission range of 63,800 to 73,500, representing a 25.9% increase compared to 2012. CIC issued 74,402 visas and authorizations for permanent residence in the Family Class. While not a pathway to permanent residence, the super visa continued to be a success, allowing parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to visit Canada for up to two years at a time, with the visa being valid for 10 years. Over 15,000 super visas were issued in 2013.

A total of 32,318 individuals were admitted as parents and grandparents in 2013, which was higher than the range of 21,800 to 25,000. Combined with admissions in this category in 2012, this admission level fulfills the commitment under the Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification to admit 50,000 parents and grandparents over a two-year period. Under Ministerial Instructions issued in June 2013, CIC began accepting a maximum of 5,000 new applications per year starting on January 2, 2014.

In 2013, CIC admitted 49,513 spouses, partners and children as permanent residents under the Family Class, which is above the planned admission range of 42,000 to 48,500. Applications for permanent residence in this stream are demand-driven and volumes may vary from year to year, which can affect processing times.

Highlights of Refugee admissions in 2013

CIC plays a significant role in upholding Canada’s international obligations and humanitarian tradition by offering protection to refugees and persons in need of protection.

There are three main categories of refugees: government-assisted refugees, privately sponsored refugees, and persons who received protected person status in Canada as a result of a positive asylum claim. A total of 24,049 people were admitted as refugees in Canada in 2013.

In 2013, 5,756 people were admitted as government-assisted refugees, which was below the target by 15%. Factors beyond CIC’s control continue to affect the processing of refugee cases abroad, including security issues in refugee camps in Africa that prevent staff from accessing and selecting refugees. An additional 6,277 privately sponsored refugees were resettled in Canada in 2013, near the top end of the range of 4,500 to 6,500. More information about Canada’s refugee resettlement programs and in-Canada asylum process can be found on the CIC Web site.

In late 2012, the Government reformed Canada’s asylum system to provide faster and fairer protection to refugees fleeing persecution. Under the new system, processing times for asylum claimants are significantly shorter; in 2013 it took approximately three months for claimants to receive decisions, compared to 18–20 months before the reform took effect.

Removals from Canada of failed asylum claimants—those people who have been found not to be genuine refugees in need of protection—are also occurring much faster. Asylum claimants who receive a negative decision under the new system are removed by the CBSA within approximately 23 days from the time the case is referred for removal. Faster claim processing times mean that it now takes roughly four months from the time a claim is made until a failed asylum claimant is removed from Canada. Under the old system, it took about four and a half years to remove a failed claimant from Canada, often after a number of unsuccessful appeals.

Highlights of admissions under humanitarian and compassionate grounds and public policy in 2013

IRPA authorizes the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to consider the circumstances of and grant permanent resident status to individuals and their families who would not otherwise qualify in an immigration program. These discretionary provisions for humanitarian and compassionate consideration or for reasons of public policy provide the flexibility to approve deserving cases that come forward.

In 2013, a total of 4,892 people were admitted into Canada based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds or for public policy reasons, which is above the planned admission range of 1,600 to 2,300. The higher-than-expected admissions can be attributed to additional resources that CIC dedicated towards backlog reduction.

Admissions of permanent residents by knowledge of official language in 2013

Table 3 shows the knowledge of official languages among permanent residents. Of the permanent residents admitted in 2013, 67% self-identified as having knowledge of English, French, or both official languages.

For economic immigrant principal applicants, 91% self-identified as having knowledge of at least one of the official languages in 2013.

Table 3: Knowledge of Official Languages Among Permanent Residents, 2013
Immigration Class English French Both Neither Total

Family Class

31,397

3,652

3,087

41,548

79,684

Economic Immigrants—Principal Applicants

42,725

3,542

12,521

5,977

64,765

Economic Immigrants—Spouses and Dependants

45,634

5,077

5,345

27,360

83,416

Refugees

9,962

2,050

899

11,138

24,049

Other Immigrants

5,523

858

272

386

7,039

TOTAL

135,241

15,179

22,124

86,409

258,953

PERCENTAGE

52.2%

5.9%

8.5%

33.4%

100.0%

Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Facts and Figures 2013.

Note: Due to operational adjustments to CIC’s administrative data files, data under the variable “official languages” constitutes preliminary estimates and is currently under review.

Admissions of permanent residents by top 10 source countries in 2013

Canada’s immigration program is based on non-discriminatory principles, where foreign nationals are assessed without regard to race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion, or gender. Canada receives its immigrant population from over 200 countries of origin.

As Table 4 indicates, 56% of new permanent residents admitted in 2013 came from the top 10 source countries, which is almost identical to 2012, where 57% of new permanent residents came from the top 10 source countries. The top 10 countries in 2013 are similar to 2012, with the People’s Republic of China, India and the Philippines remaining as the top three source countries in both years.

Table 4: Permanent Residents Admitted in 2013, by Top 10 Source Countries
Rank Country Number Percentage

1

People’s Republic of China

33,908

13.1%

2

India

30,576

11.8%

3

Philippines

27,292

10.5%

4

Pakistan

11,354

4.4%

5

United States of America

10,624

4.1%

6

Iran

10,038

3.9%

7

France

7,148

2.8%

8

United Kingdom and Colonies

5,935

2.3%

9

Republic of Korea

4,450

1.7%

10

United Arab Emirates

4,093

1.6%

Total Top 10

145,418

56.2%

All Other Source Countries

113,535

43.8%

TOTAL

258,953

100%

Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Facts and Figures 2013.

Temporary Residents

In addition to selecting permanent residents, CIC processes applications for the temporary entry of foreign workers, important to Canada’s economic growth; international students, attracted by the quality and diversity of Canada’s educational system; and visitors, who come to Canada for personal or business travel.

These temporary residents contribute to Canada’s economic development by filling gaps in the labour market, enhancing trade, purchasing goods and services, and increasing cultural links.

CIC’s global processing network handles both permanent and temporary resident applications. While CIC plans admission ranges for permanent residents, temporary resident applications are processed according to demand.

There was a nine percent increase in the number of student applications compared to 2012. CIC issued six percent more new study permits than last year with an approval rate of 75%, which is also higher than the rate in 2012.

Temporary foreign workers

Major changes relating to temporary foreign workers were announced in June 2014. For greater clarity and transparency, the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) Program now refers to those streams under which foreign workers enter Canada at the request of employers following approval through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (which replaces the Labour Market Opinion). The newly created International Mobility Program (IMP) incorporates those streams in which foreign nationals are not subject to a Labour Market Impact Assessment and whose primary objective is to advance Canada’s broad economic and cultural national interests. In 2013, 221,310 foreign nationals entered under the (then) Temporary Foreign Workers Program (83,750 subject to a Labour Market Opinion and 137,560 with an exemption from a Labour Market Opinion).

The TFW Program is intended to ensure that it is only used as a last and limited resort to fill acute labour shortages on a temporary basis when qualified Canadians and permanent residents are not available. In December 2013, the Government also introduced regulatory amendments to significantly strengthen the scope of inspections and implement a robust monitoring system to ensure that employers are respecting program conditions, with additional measures to further strengthen inspections and penalties under the TFW Program and IMP announced in June 2014.

Live-in Caregiver Program

The Live-in Caregiver Program allows Canadian families to hire temporary workers from abroad to provide live-in home care to a child, an elderly person or individuals with disabilities when there is a demonstrated shortage of workers already in Canada who are able to fill available positions. In 2013, 4,671 TFWs were admitted under this program.

Caregivers first come to Canada on a temporary basis and become eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada after working for two years as a live-in caregiver. In 2013, CIC admitted 8,797 live‑in caregivers for permanent residence.

International students

International students bring with them new ideas and cultures that enrich the learning environment within Canadian educational institutions. International students are well prepared for the Canadian labour market and can integrate quickly into Canadian society, primarily due to their Canadian educational credentials. Changes to the International Student Program came into effect in June 2014 with the objective of enhancing program integrity and ensuring that Canada remains a destination of choice for individuals seeking a quality education. Key reforms introduce new study permit conditions requiring international students to enrol in a designated learning institution and actively pursue their studies while in Canada on a study permit. Bilateral arrangements between CIC and provinces and territories have been put in place to allow provinces and territories to designate post-secondary learning institutions, in line with their jurisdiction over education. In 2013, Canada accepted 111,865 international students.

Tourists and business visitors

Tourists contribute to the economy by creating a demand for services in the hospitality sector. Business visitors allow Canadian businesses to benefit from their specialized expertise and international links. Under IRPA, all foreign nationals wishing to visit Canada must have a temporary resident visa (TRV) before arriving in Canada, unless they are from countries specifically exempted or they benefit from certain other limited exceptions, for example, as accredited diplomats.

As of December 1, 2013, citizens from 147 countries and territories required TRVs to visit Canada. In 2013, CIC processed applications (new and extensions) from over one million persons seeking TRVs to come to Canada. Moreover, CIC was successful in promoting the use of multiple-entry visas (MEVs), which are valid for up to 10 years and allow applicants from visa-required countries to travel to Canada more frequently and on their own schedules. In 2013, 485,952 MEVs were issued, this number is expected to continue to increase in the coming years.

Public policy temporary resident visas

In 2013, a total of 280 visas were issued under the public policy authority provided in section 25.2(1) of IRPA that exempts certain foreign nationals from the inadmissibility provisions to facilitate their temporary entry. This public policy has been in place since September 2010 to advance Canada’s national interests while continuing to ensure the safety of Canadians.

Temporary resident permits

Under subsection 24(1) of IRPA, designated officers of CIC and the CBSA are authorized to issue temporary resident permits (TRPs) to foreign nationals whom they believe are inadmissible or who do not meet the requirements of the Act under other programs. TRPs are issued for a limited period of time and are subject to cancellation at any time. They provide flexibility to address exceptional circumstances and can be used to further Canada’s national and international objectives.

CIC continues to make an important contribution to the Government of Canada’s multifaceted efforts to combat human trafficking. Since May 2006, immigration officers have been authorized to issue TRPs to foreign nationals who may be victims of this crime so that they have a period of time to remain in Canada and consider their options. In 2013, 14 TRPs were issued to victims of human trafficking.

Table 5 indicates the number of TRPs issued in 2013, categorized according to grounds of inadmissibility under IRPA. In 2013, 13,115 permits were issued, with 516 issued to foreign nationals who continued to maintain their status as permit holders from within Canada. Of the total, 95 TRPs were authorized under instruction of the Minister. The authority to issue TRPs is shared between designated CIC officials and CBSA officers working at ports of entry.

Table 5: Temporary Resident Permits Issued from January 1 to December 31, 2013
Description of Inadmissibility Provision under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Number of permits in 2013

Security (espionage, subversion, terrorism)

34(1)(a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f)

17

Human or International Rights Violations

35(1)(a), (b) and (c)

10

Serious Criminality (convicted of an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment of at least 10 years)

36(1)(a), (b) and (c)

843

Criminality (convicted of a criminal act or of an offence prosecuted either summarily or by way of indictment)

36(2)(a), (b), (c) and (d)

6,816

Organized Criminality

37(1)(a) or (b)

 

Health Grounds (danger to public health or public safety, excessive burden)

38(1)(a), (b) and (c)

48

Financial Reasons (unwilling or unable to support themselves or their dependants)

39

5

Misrepresentation

40(1)(a), (b), (c) and (d)

8

Non-compliance with Act or Regulations (e.g., no passport, no visa, work/study without permit, medical/criminal check to be completed in Canada, not examined on entry)Table note C

41(a) and (b)

5,135

Inadmissible Family Member

42(a) and (b)

114

No Return Without Prescribed Authorization

52(1)

119

TOTAL

 

13,115

Source: Field Operations Support System as of January 7, 2014.

Note: The statistics in this table include the number of TRPs used to enter or remain in Canada in 2013.

New authority for refusal under public policy

As of November 2013, the new authority for refusal under subsection 22.1(1) of IRPA allows Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister to make a declaration that, on the basis of public policy considerations, a foreign national may not become a temporary resident for a period of up to three years. Illustrative guidelines have been made available on CIC’s web site to inform the public about the types of behaviours or circumstances that may give rise to public policy concerns. Section 94 of IRPA requires the Minister to report annually on the number of declarations made under subsection 22.1(1) and set out the public policy considerations that led to the declarations. During the current reporting period, this authority was not exercised.

Section 3: Federal-Provincial/Territorial Partnerships

Jurisdiction over immigration is a joint responsibility under section 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867, and effective collaboration between the Government of Canada and the provinces and territories is essential to the successful management of the immigration program. Provincial and territorial governments are primary partners of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Under the Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Vision Action Plan for Immigration, jurisdictions commit to welcoming and supporting newcomers to join in building vibrant communities and a prosperous Canada. Implementation of the Vision Action Plan will improve Canada’s immigration program to the benefit of all regions.

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, the Minister for Citizenship and Immigration has the authority, with the approval of the Governor in Council, to enter into agreements with the provinces and territories to facilitate the coordination and implementation of immigration policies and programs. Table 6 provides a list of the key bilateral agreements currently in force, with their signing and expiry dates. Framework agreements with eight provinces and one territory highlight immigration as a key area for bilateral collaboration and formalize how governments work together on this issue. Agreements for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) are also in place with 11 jurisdictions (Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories and all provinces except Quebec), either as an annex to a framework agreement or as a stand-alone agreement.

Under the PNP, provinces and territories have the authority to nominate individuals as permanent residents to address specific labour market and economic development needs. Under the Canada-Québec Accord relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens, Quebec has full responsibility for the selection of immigrants (except Family Class and in-Canada refugee claimants), as well as the sole responsibility for delivering reception and integration services, supported by an annual grant from the federal government. The federal government is responsible for establishing eligibility criteria for settlement programs in the other provinces and territories, reuniting families, determining refugee claims within Canada, defining immigration categories, setting national immigration levels, and establishing admission requirements. Table 7 presents the breakdown of permanent residents admitted in 2013 by province or territory of destination and immigration category.

The Federal-Provincial/Territorial immigration ministers approved an FPT Vision Action Plan for Immigration that reflects shared objectivesFootnote 1. The vision identifies key outcomes that describe what success will look like for the immigration program and sets out guiding principles by which the immigration program will be jointly managed through intergovernmental partnership. CIC will continue to work closely with the provinces and territories in five key areas over the next year:

  • Express Entry application management system;
  • immigration levels planning;
  • economic immigration programs;
  • pan-Canadian framework for settlement outcomes; and
  • FPT partnership models.

Given the success of this joint work, the Federal-Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Immigration will consider shared priorities for the next FPT Vision Action Plan, which will begin in 2015.

Table 6: Federal-Provincial/Territorial Agreements Currently in Force
Agreement Date Signed Expiry Date

Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Agreement on Provincial Nominees

November 22, 2006
(Original signed in September 1999)

Indefinite

Agreement for Canada-Prince Edward Island Co-operation on Immigration

June 13, 2008
(Original signed in March 2001)

Indefinite

Canada-Nova Scotia Co-operation on Immigration

September 19, 2007

Indefinite

Canada-New Brunswick Agreement on Provincial Nominees

January 28, 2005
Amended: March 29, 2005
(Original signed in February 1999)

Indefinite

Canada-Québec Accord relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens

February 5, 1991

Indefinite

Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement

November 21, 2005

Expired March 31, 2011 (Provincial Nominee Program authority extended to May 31, 2015; Temporary Foreign Workers Annex continues indefinitely)

Canada-Manitoba Immigration Agreement

June 6, 2003
(Original signed in October 1996)

Indefinite

Canada-Saskatchewan Immigration Agreement

May 7, 2005
(Original signed in March 1998)

Indefinite

Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration

May 11, 2007

Indefinite

Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement

April 9, 2010
(Original signed in May 1998)

April 8, 2015

Agreement for Canada-Yukon
Co-operation on Immigration

February 12, 2008
(Original signed in April 2001)

Indefinite

Canada-Northwest Territories Agreement on Provincial Nominees

September 26, 2013

September 26, 2018

Table 7: Permanent Residents Admitted in 2013, by Destination and Immigration Category
Category NL PE NS NB QC ON MB SK AB BC YT NT NU Not Stated Total

ECONOMIC CLASS

Federal Skilled Workers

90

38

414

139

-

33,906

618

512

9,661

7,490

7

2

0

0

52,877

Federal Business

0

3

20

8

-

2,547

20

11

101

2,387

0

0

0

1

5,098

Canadian Experience Class

7

10

32

29

14

3,895

39

39

2,132

1,005

7

7

0

0

7,216

Live-in Caregivers

8

6

12

23

517

4,759

71

68

1,607

1,698

3

23

2

0

8,797

Provincial Nominee Program

440

775

1,202

1,330

13

2,516

8,854

8,182

9,144

7,155

249

54

1

0

39,915

Quebec-selected Skilled Workers

-

-

-

--

30,284

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

30,284

Quebec-selected Business

-

-

-

-

3,994

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

3,994

Total Economic Class (including dependants)

545

832

1,680

1,529

34,822

47,623

9,602

8,812

22,645

19,735

266

86

3

1

148,181

FAMILY CLASS

Spouses, Partners, Children and OthersFootnote D

122

113

521

268

9,892

22,265

1,343

951

6,515

7,439

38

38

8

0

49,513

Parents and Grandparents

18

8

88

44

2,116

18,102

619

280

4,117

6,907

8

11

0

0

32,318

Total Family Class

140

121

609

312

12,008

40,367

1,962

1,231

10,632

14,346

46

49

8

0

81,831

REFUGEES

Protected Persons in-Canada

5

1

27

7

1,650

5,484

59

40

544

324

0

7

0

1

8,149

Dependants Abroad of Protected Persons in Canada

2

0

0

0

811

2,389

35

34

298

143

0

2

0

0

3,714

Government-Assisted Refugees

123

29

144

145

1,028

2,173

384

339

762

626

2

0

0

1

5,756

Visa Office Referred Refugees

0

0

4

0

8

61

4

23

49

4

0

0

0

0

153

Privately Sponsored Refugees

0

5

27

13

703

2,629

975

154

1,098

673

0

0

0

0

6,277

Total Refugees

130

35

202

165

4,200

12,736

1,457

590

2,751

1,770

2

9

0

2

24,049

HUMANITARIAN AND COMPASSIONATE (H&C)

Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Considerations

1

2

17

3

546

1,685

31

19

406

158

1

6

0

0

2,875

Other H&C cases Outside the Family Class and Public Policy

9

8

21

10

401

1,030

46

27

186

195

1

0

0

0

1,934

Public Policy

0

0

0

0

0

21

0

0

5

3

0

0

0

0

29

Total H&C

10

10

38

13

947

2,736

77

46

597

356

2

6

0

0

4,838

OTHER

Permit Holders

0

0

0

0

6

26

2

0

10

0

0

0

0

0

44

Deferred Removal Order Class and Post-Determination Refugee Claimants in Canada

0

0

0

0

0

6

0

0

1

3

0

0

0

0

10

Total Other

0

0

0

0

6

32

2

0

11

3

0

0

0

0

54

TOTAL

825

998

2,529

2,019

51,983

103,494

13,100

10,679

36,636

36,210

316

150

11

3

258,953

PERCENTAGE

0.3%

0.4%

1.0%

0.8%

20.1%

40.0%

5.1%

4.1%

14.1%

14.0%

0.1%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

100.0%

Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Facts and Figures 2013.

Notes: Numbers presented in this table are up to date and may differ from numbers previously published by CIC.

Section 4: Integration of Newcomers and Canadian Citizenship

Immigration is fundamental to the development of Canada’s economy, society and culture. To create a stronger nation benefiting both newcomers and Canadians, Canada is one of the few countries with a managed immigration program directed toward newcomers ultimately becoming full citizens. The successful settlement and integration of new immigrants to Canada is an important objective of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Settlement

Settlement refers to a short period (three to five years) of adaptation by newcomers during which the Government provides support and services. Ultimately, the goal of integration is to encourage newcomers to be fully engaged in the economic, social, political, and cultural life of Canada. CIC’s Settlement Program assists immigrants and refugees to overcome barriers specific to the newcomer experience, such as a lack of official language skills, limited knowledge of Canada, and the recognition of foreign credentials process. The program provides language learning services for newcomers, community and employment bridging services, settlement information, and support services that facilitate access to settlement programming. Also, through the Foreign Credentials Referral Office, the program provides information, path-finding and referral services to internationally trained individuals to have their credentials assessed quickly so they can find work in the fields in which they have been trained. Most services are designed and delivered by service provider organizations; however, certain services (such as information provision) are delivered directly by CIC in Canada and overseas.

Canadian Citizenship

The purpose of the Citizenship Program is to administer citizenship legislation and promote the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. CIC administers the acquisition of Canadian citizenship by developing, implementing and applying legislation, regulations and policies that protect the integrity of Canadian citizenship and allow eligible applicants to be granted citizenship or be provided with a proof of citizenship. In addition, the program promotes citizenship, to both newcomers and the Canadian-born, through various events, materials and projects. Promotional activities focus on enhancing knowledge of Canada’s history, institutions, and values, as well as fostering an understanding of the rights and responsibilities inherent to Canadian citizenship.

Multiculturalism

In accordance with the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, the Multiculturalism Program seeks to build an integrated, socially cohesive society; improve the responsiveness of institutions to the needs of a diverse population; and engage in discussions on multiculturalism, integration and diversity at the international level. To advance these objectives, the Multiculturalism Program provides grants and contributions to not-for-profit organizations, the private sector, non-federal public institutions, and individuals; conducts direct public outreach and promotional activities; helps federal institutions to meet their obligations under the Canadian Multiculturalism Act; supports the annual tabling in Parliament of a report on the operation of the Act; and engages non-federal public institutions seeking to respond to diversity. The Multiculturalism Program also supports Canada’s participation in international agreements and institutions.

Specific performance-related information regarding the programs above can be found in CIC’s 2013-2014 Departmental Performance Report.

Section 5: Gender-Based Analysis of the Impact of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Gender-based analysis (GBA) is an evidence-based assessment of the impact that policies, programs, legislation and services have on diverse groups of women, men, girls and boys. CIC has a legislative requirement to report to Parliament on GBA and to provide a description of the gender impacts of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (2001). The objective of the policy is to ensure that the needs of diverse groups of men and women are considered in the development and implementation of CIC’s policies and programs. CIC engages in GBA across all of its business lines as a key element in ensuring excellence in policy and program development.

In 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) marked a significant achievement in its ongoing commitment to Gender-Based Analysis (GBA) when it successfully completed the implementation of all elements of the Departmental Action Plan on Gender-based Analysis (Action Plan)Footnote 2. CIC’s strong and effective analytical capacity for GBA has been recognized by Status of Women Canada (SWC) as a model for other federal departments and agencies, particularly CIC’s self-assessment regarding the use of GBA in the development of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. The leadership CIC demonstrated in its implementation of the Action Plan is just one example of its commitment to ensuring that its policies and programs are effective and responsive to the needs of diverse groups of Canadian women and men.

Permanent residence: Women making gains as economic principal applicants

CIC monitors trends in entry to ensure that males and females are both able to access permanent residency as principal applicants. Overall, a greater proportion of males are admitted as principal applicants and a greater proportion of females are admitted as sponsored dependants. However, over the past 10 years, the number of female economic principal applicants has been steadily increasing.

Over the last 10 years, the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) Program, CIC’s flagship economic program, has experienced a narrowing of the gender gap. In 2004, women comprised only 26% of principal applicants through the FSW stream; however, this number has been slowly increasing and in 2013, 38% of all principal applicants were female. This suggests that Canada’s FSW Program has been successfully recognizing the skills and experiences of women, as reflected through admissions.

Permanent residence

Permanent residence admissions are a combination of both principal applicants and sponsored dependants. The proportion of males and females admitted as permanent residents is relatively stable. Over the past 10 years, women comprised approximately 51% and men approximately 49% of new permanent residents.

Chart 1: Skilled worker principal applicants by sex, 2004-2013

Chart 1: Skilled worker principal applicants by sex, 2004-2013 described below
Text version: Chart 1: Skilled worker principal applicants by sex, 2004-2013
Immigration Class 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Percentage Male 71.8% 70.9% 70.3% 68.0% 65.8% 64.6% 63.6% 61.1% 59.7% 61.0%
Percentage Female 28.2% 29.1% 29.7% 32.0% 34.2% 35.4% 36.4% 38.9% 40.3% 39.0%

In 2013, other key economic classes experienced a diversity of trends with regard to principal applicant admissions by gender. The number of admissions through the Provincial Nominee Program has increased signficantly over the past decade, and in that time, the percentage of women admitted to Canada has steadily increased from 21% in 2004 to 34% in 2013.

The Canadian Experience Class has experienced the reverse trend. In 2009, the first year of the program, 41% of principal applicants were female. However, over the last five years the program has seen a decline in female admissions, and in 2013, 35% of principal applicants were female. The Live-in Caregiver Program is an outlier with regard to participation by gender; in the past 10 years the percentage of female principal applicants has never fallen below 94%, and in 2013, women comprised 96% of all entries in this category.

Across many of Canada’s economic programs, the number of female principal applicants is consistent, or slowly increasing, suggesting that these programs are successfully recognizing the human capital of female immigrants. This is an important trend, and CIC will continue to monitor its economic immigration programs to ensure that they continue to welcome qualified men and women.

Family and refugees: High degree of parity by gender

Each year for the past 10 years, more females than males have entered Canada through the family class stream. Within the second and third largest categories, parents and grandparents and sons and daughters, the proportion of female applicants has been fairly steady over the past decade. However, in the spouses and partners stream, the largest category within the family class, there is a clear trend toward greater gender parity. In 2004, 64% of all spouses and partners were female. This proportion declined steadily over time, reaching a low of 58% in 2013. Conversely, the number of male spouses and partners admitted through the family class increased from 36% in 2004 to 42% in 2013. This suggests that the increasing number of female principal applicants in the economic class may be having an influence on the gender balance of spousal sponsorship.

Chart 2: Family Class spouses and partners, 2004-2013

Chart 2: Family Class spouses and partners, 2004-2013 described below
Text version: Chart 2: Family Class spouses and partners, 2004-2013
Immigration Class 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Percentage Female 63.61% 62.35% 62.24% 62.05% 61.12% 59.91% 59.64% 59.11% 59.21% 58.40%
Percentage Male 36.38% 37.65% 37.76% 37.95% 38.88% 40.09% 40.36% 40.89% 40.79% 41.60%

In 2013, of the total number of refugees admitted to Canada, approximately 50% were male and 50% were female. Gender parity exists across the majority of refugee streams, although there are slightly more male than female privately sponsored refugees (54% compared to 46%) and slightly more female than male refugee dependants (52% compared to 48%). These trends of approximate parity across the various refugee streams have been fairly consistent since 2004, despite fluctuations in total number of refugees resettled in Canada.

Chart 3: High degree of parity in refugees admitted to Canada by sex

Chart 3: High degree of parity in refugees admitted to Canada by sex described below
Text version: Chart 3: High degree of parity in refugees admitted to Canada by sex
Immigration Class 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Male Total 16,972 18,557 16,686 14,285 11,003 11,596 12,608 13,967 11,544 12,095
Female Total 15,714 17,217 15,813 13,669 10,856 11,254 12,089 13,906 11,554 11,873
Total
(excluding category not stated)
32,686 35,774 32,499 27,954 21,859 22,850 24,697 27,873 23,098 23,968

Temporary residence: Key trends to monitor

Canada’s economic immigration program has opened up new pathways for temporary residents to become permanent residents through, for instance, the Canadian Experience Class Program. As a consequence, a temporary resident’s experience living and working in Canada can influence his or her chances of successful selection. Ensuring that there are equal opportunities for men and women to benefit from this experience is just one of the reasons why CIC closely monitors the gender composition of its temporary resident streams.

In 2013, males comprised a greater portion of temporary entrants across most categories. Males comprised 67% of foreign workers, 55% of humanitarian entries and 55% of foreign students. In 2013, Canada accepted 111,865 international students; overall, 55% were male and 45% were female. The three largest source countries for international students were China, India, and Korea. Over the past several years, each of these countries has seen a steady increase in the percentage of female students. In 2013, international students from China were 49% female; international students from India were 30% female; and international students from Korea were 53% female. This demonstrates that while overall trends may be consistent, key gender differences may exist between source countries.

Gender-based analysis across CIC policy, program and research areas

CIC’s GBA Policy outlines four expected results, or key outcomes, of the policy: GBA is integrated across CIC’s business lines; GBA is conducted throughout the policy and program development cycles; gender considerations are documented and taken into account in decision-making processes; and research and data are collected, disaggregated, and analyzed by sex and other key demographic determinants to inform decision-making processes. The policy also states that GBA must be applied to all areas of CIC, including, but not limited to, policy and program development, decision-making processes, program management, communications, service delivery protocols, and research and evaluation. In 2013, CIC applied GBA to a wide range of proposed initiatives, including the following:

Policy and program development

  • As part of the temporary resident biometrics project, it was determined that there may be some gender inequality for women having to enrol their biometrics related to affordability and cultural barriers, and these challenges could be mitigated by having a same-sex operator take the biometrics and offering a family biometric fee.
  • As part of Canada’s multi-year commitment to resettle 4,000 Eritrean refugees out of Sudan and Ethiopia, CIC is undertaking a GBA. The purpose is to ensure an adequate response to those with varying needs and improve resettlement outcomes by mitigating the challenges that may arise during the resettlement continuum, including special or high needs related to gender.

Decision-making processes

  • A regulatory change to the definition of a dependent child reduces the age limit of dependent children from under 22 to under 19. The gender-related, cultural and socioeconomic impacts on families were considered.
  • In advance of the introduction of Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, a GBA indicated that the proposed changes to the law were not likely to result in significant differential gender impacts. The analysis identified areas to monitor, including through the collection of sex‑disaggregated data.

Program management

  • In the British Columbia-specific Call for Proposals 2013 for settlement services, as in previous calls for proposals processes, CIC took steps to ensure gender and ethnocultural balance in the community of funding recipients.

Service delivery

  • Settlement policy programming enhancements support broader Canadian government priorities related to taking steps to address violence against women in Canada and the development of information services in an effort to provide vulnerable clients—including newcomer women and their families—with resources and information that will allow them to make informed settlement decisions.

Communications

  • The International Experience Canada Program currently collects gender-based data on incoming participants, and in the future aims to collect similar data on outgoing participants. The program will undertake research of Canadians’ awareness, perceptions and interest in international youth mobility. This will support the development of a new communication framework, marketing plan, and promotion strategy to promote the program to young men and women across Canada.

Gender-based research

CIC is committed to collecting and generating sex-disaggregated data and disseminating research to support policy and program development. The Department’s annual publication, Facts and Figures: Immigration Overview – Permanent and Temporary Residents, provides a broad range of statistical information on admissions to Canada, and is a key data source for the Government, researchers, and stakeholders. CIC’s operational data-gathering and reporting activities incorporate gender as a standard element in the analysis of permanent and temporary resident arrivals. Research databases contain client demographics, including gender, which provide access to the evidence base required to integrate a gender perspective in the development of CIC policies, programs, and legislation, as well as in the planning and decision-making processes.

2013 GBA awareness

CIC works with interdepartmental colleagues to support GBA and related initiatives across the federal government. CIC is one of 15 federal departments and agencies that participate in the Family Violence Initiative (FVI), led by the Public Health Agency of Canada. CIC also participates in the Interdepartmental Working Group on Forced Marriage and “Honour” Based Violence led by SWC and Justice Canada.

In 2013, CIC participated in the Government of Canada’s second annual GBA Awareness Week. CIC held an information session for its staff, Let’s Talk GBA: The Role of GBA in CIC Policy and Program Development. The event featured CIC’s GBA Champion and addressed the importance of GBA across the Department’s business lines. CIC also hosted a GBA workshop for policy and program analysts. SWC co‑hosted and facilitated the workshop, which used several case studies to explore best practices in the development of GBA for policy and program initiatives.

Conclusion

Immigration continues to be a critical component in contributing to Canada’s economic growth and sustainability. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has been working continuously on creating an immigration system that is fast, flexible, and responsive to labour market needs to fuel economic prosperity for Canada. In 2013 and 2014, CIC made significant strides in reducing backlogs in key programs and developed new intake management measures to control application intake to ensure no new backlogs are created. To ensure that immigration is meeting Canada’s economic needs, the Federal immigrant investor and the federal entrepreneur programs have been terminated and replaced with more focused and effective pilot programs, which will ensure that immigrants deliver meaningful economic benefits to Canada. The Department also made significant reforms to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program to ensure that Canadians and permanent residents are given the first priority for available jobs in the labour market and that the program is only used as a last resort when these individuals are not available to fill labour shortages. As CIC prepares for the launch of the Express Entry application management system in January 2015 and implements the 2015 immigration levels plan, it will continue to build on an immigration system that is economically responsive and upholds its family reunification and humanitarian commitments, while continuing to protect the health, safety and security of all Canadians.

Annex: Section 94 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

The following excerpt from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which came into force in 2002, outlines the requirements for CIC to prepare an annual report to Parliament on immigration.

Reports to Parliament

94. (1) The Minister must, on or before November 1 of each year or, if a House of Parliament is not then sitting, within the next 30 days on which that House is sitting after that date, table in each House of Parliament a report on the operation of this Act in the preceding calendar year.

(2) The report shall include a description of

  • (a) the instructions given under section 87.3 and other activities and initiatives taken concerning the selection of foreign nationals, including measures taken in cooperation with the provinces;
  • (b) in respect of Canada, the number of foreign nationals who became permanent residents, and the number projected to become permanent residents in the following year;
  • (b.1) in respect of Canada, the linguistic profile of foreign nationals who became permanent residents;
  • (c) in respect of each province that has entered into a federal-provincial agreement described in subsection 9(1), the number, for each class listed in the agreement, of persons that became permanent residents and that the province projects will become permanent residents there in the following year;
  • (d) the number of temporary resident permits issued under section 24, categorized according to grounds of inadmissibility, if any;
  • (e) the number of persons granted permanent resident status under each of subsections 25(1), 25.1(1) and 25.2(1);
  • (e.1) any instructions given under subsection 30(1.2), (1.41) or (1.43) during the year in question and the date of their publication; and
  • (f) a gender-based analysis of the impact of this Act.

Footnotes

Footnote A

Planned admission ranges may differ from the Government of Quebec's 2015 Levels Plan when it is published.

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Footnote B

Includes Deferred Removal Order Class and Post-Determination Refugee Claimants in Canada.

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Footnote C

Includes all sections of IRPA other than 34-42 and 52.

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Footnote D

Includes other relatives not included in parents and grandparents.

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Footnote 1

Note that under the Canada-Québec Accord, Québec has full responsibility for the selection of immigrants (except Family Class and in-Canada refugee claimants), fully assumes sole responsibility for the francization and integration of permanent residents, and establishes its immigration levels. In areas under its responsibility, Québec develops its policies and programs and legislates, regulates, and sets its own standards.

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Footnote 2

The Action Plan was launched in 2009 in response to an Auditor General's report, which called for a government-wide commitment to greater accountability in the application of Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to the development of policies, programs and legislation.

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