Sean Fraser, a former lawyer from Nova Scotia has been chosen as Canada’s new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. He has replaced Marco Mendicino, who had been serving the role since November 2019. Fraser has won three elections since 2015 and is the only cabinet member from the province of Nova Scotia. He is also the only newcomer selected from the Maritime Provinces of Canada.
Now Fraser’s major responsibility will be implementing the Canada Immigration Levels Plan for 2021-23. There is no doubt that Canada will be meeting its 2021 goal of admitting more than 400000 new permanent residents to the country. However, a vast majority of those admitted this year are temporary workers and graduates. It is expected that more applicants from outside the country will be admitted in 2022 and 2023.
Challenges in front for Canada’s new immigration minister
As he takes up the role of the immigration minister of Canada, Sean Fraser will have to tackle a number of issues that concern Canada immigration, especially at a time when the immigration front is recovering from the impact of COVID-19.
One among these would be addressing the woes of Federal Skilled Worker Program candidates under Express Entry, who have been waiting for more than a year to receive an invitation in an Express Entry draw. Many of them have made all the arrangements to move to Canada, like quitting jobs, removing kids from school etc. So they expect that Canada would soon consider them to invite in Express Entry draws. If not, what they demand is a full explanation why they are not being considered in the draws, despite proving their eligibility.
Another issue that he will have to resolve is effectively handling the cases of expired Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR). The immigration aspirants, who could not travel to Canada owing to border restrictions despite possessing a COPR, are now looking for a more streamlined process for renewing their landing document.
Another major issue is delays in family sponsorship cases. Many couples are waiting to reunite in Canada, so are many parents with their children. These delays caused by delay in processing applications are really giving a tough time for the applicants, and this pressing issue is calling for fast action.
In the past months, many of the IRCC staff have been working from home, which is termed as one reasons for the delays in processing applications. So an effective system should be devised under the leadership of the new immigration minister to avoid the delays in processing, as the staff return to office.