The federal of Canada budget has set aside $2.1 billion to improve the processing of applications for immigration in the next five years. The effort is aimed at resolving the backlog of applications, which has now affected the immigration system of Canada. Chrystia Freeland, the finance minister of Canada announced this as part of her federal budget proposal the other day.
Canada’s spending on immigration
The budget acknowledged that immigration was vital to the economy, communities and the national identity of Canada. The budget also includes major investments in a few other areas, which are:
- $385.7 million for welcoming visitors, students, and workers over five the next years, besides $86.5 million ongoing. The funding to facilitate timely and efficient entry of candidates will be divided among Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
- $43.5 million as federal support for immigration and refugee legal aid services in 2022-23.
- $187.3 million for improving support services for immigrants and visitors in the coming five years, besides $37.2 million ongoing. The amount will go the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, helping them to enhance their capacity to respond to the growing volume of enquiries. It will be spent on technologies and tools which will enable them to support those who use their services in a better manner.
The budget also proposes changes to the Citizenship Act for enabling automated and machine-assited processing as well as safe and secure collection and use of biometrics. This will reduce the application processing times.
Canada’s immigration levels
The budget has reference to the rising annual immigration targets, which will hit 451000 newcomers in 2024. A majority of these newcomers will be skilled workers to be welcomed for addressing the growing labour shortage crisis in the country. Another important category of immigrants to be welcomed by Canada will be those under the Family Class. Canada will also continue to provide permanent residence status to the eligible workers and international students residing in Canada on temporary basis.