Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently released their strategic plan for Asia and the Americas. IRCC has collaboration aims for countries in both regions, hoping to drive better immigration to Canada, increase collaboration with governments in these regions (particularly around the economy, and aid for refugees and asylum seekers), and promote Canada’s immigration pathways and (by extension) interests.
IRCC’s primary objective in Asia is migration management and refugee protection.
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: Canada has committed to taking over 40,000 refugees from Afghanistan, as part of its objective to advance support and protections for refugees and at-risk populations around the world;
- Bangladesh: Canada has entered into bilateral agreements with Bangladesh, signaling an intent to work closely with the Bangladeshi government on increasing the quality and size of migration efforts. In addition, the plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh is stated as a key concern in line with Canada’s objective of greater protection of refugees internationally.
- China: Canada actively engages in talks with China, looking to increase the quality of immigration to Canada while continuing to promote regular immigration, and economic ties— in accordance with developments between China and the United States. Bilateral relationships have been strained as Canada continues to respond to the treatment of Uyghur and Hong-Kongese populations through immigration measures.
- India: The single biggest contributor to Canadian immigration, India is a key partner that Canada hopes to increase the quality of immigration from. IRCC will work to both protect the integrity of its programs in India while increasing the size of immigration efforts from the country; and continuing to promote economic and social ties with India towards Canada’s interests.
- Pakistan: Canada wants to further promote overall immigration from Pakistan, as well as work with the government to support relief efforts for victims of the conflict in neighboring Afghanistan.
- 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.
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 addition to continuing programs for regular immigration from Brazil, IRCC will look to promote immigration to Brazilians in an effort to increase economic ties and bilateral agreements with the country. Furthermore, Canada will continue to work on processing times and immigration pathways for Brazilians, seeing the country as a key partner for all of its objectives in the Americas.
- Columbia: 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 aim to work with Haiti to help regular immigration between the countries while aiding asylum seekers and refugees who wish to immigrate to Canada.
- Mexico: Canada will look to increase regular migration efforts with Mexico, promoting regular immigration pathways like through the CUSMA work permit program. In addition, IRCC will work with Mexico to aid asylum seekers and refugees and rectify irregular immigration cases. Like Brazil, Canada views Mexico as a key partner to achieve its strategic objectives in the Americas.
Canada recently announced its immigration levels plan for 2023-2025; a plan that undoubtedly will play into, and gives precedence to, the objectives and concerns voiced through the Asia and America strategy report.
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