In the new mandate letter issued by Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the PM has outlined the priorities set with regard to the immigration system of the country. The immigration minister is expected to pursue these priorities while the government is in power. The mandate letter is issued to cabinet ministers by the prime minister when a new cabinet takes charge. The mandate letter on immigration will influence the immigration policies of not only the federal government, but also the provinces.
Below is a summary of priorities outlined in the mandate letter issued to the immigration minister of Canada:
Reduce application processing times
In the mandate letter, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has urged the immigration minister to take measures for reducing the time required for processing immigration applications and addressing the delays.
The Mandate Letter calls for introducing electronic modes of application for family reunifications. It also directs to implementing a program for providing temporary residence to spouses and children in Canada, while their PR applications are being processed.
Creating a new Municipal Nominee Program
The mandate letter calls for creating a new Municipal Nominee Program for promoting a broader distribution of immigration across Canada. This was set as a priority following the 2019 elections but it got delayed owing to pandemic. The Immigration Minister also needs to ensure that the immigration better supports small and medium sized communities.
Waiving Canadian citizenship application fees
This is another priority set in 2019 but delayed owing to the pandemic.
Establishing a Trusted Employer System
A Trusted Employer System has to be established for Canadian companies which hire temporary foreign workers. This system should be set up in coordination with the Employment Minister. Besides, the Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program(TFWP) has to be improved by simplifying work permit renewals, upholding the program’s two-week processing standard and establishing an employer hotline.
Promoting Francophone immigration
The mandate letter calls for continuing the efforts to promote the national Francophone immigration strategy and also to work with Quebec for supporting the French-language knowledge of immigrants in Quebec.
Ever since the Liberal Party led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to power in Canada for the first time in 2015, the country has been undertaking aggressive efforts to increase the immigration levels. As part of this, the annual immigration target was raised to above 400,000 from 300,000. Currently, the major short-term priorities of the IRCC include achieving 2021’s immigration target of 401000 and reuniting families.