Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently released its strategic plan for Asia and the Americas. IRCC has goals of cooperation for countries in both regions, hoping to drive better immigration to Canada, increasing cooperation with governments in these areas (particularly around the economy, and aid for refugees and asylum seekers), and promoting Canadian immigration routes and (by extension) interests.
The primary objective of the IRCC in Asia is migration management and refugee protection.
This region represents the largest number of people who immigrate to Canada as permanent residents and citizens. As such, IRCC is looking to take a number of measures with partner governments in the region to ensure that there is more, and better quality, regular immigration to Canada. Canada will expand regular immigration routes from Asia while ensuring the integrity of its selection system.
Additionally, Canada has made refugee assistance and protection a major objective; Naming the situation in Afghanistan, genocide in Xinjiang, China and the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh as key priorities for which it would like to support at-risk populations.
The report further lists several partner countries and the relationships that Canada hopes to have with these countries:
- Afghanistan: Canada has committed to take in more than 40,000 refugees from Afghanistan, with the aim of boosting support and protection for refugees and at-risk populations around the world;
- Bangladesh: Canada has entered into bilateral agreements with Bangladesh, indicating its intention to work closely with the Bangladeshi government on increasing the quality and size of migration efforts. In addition, the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh has been cited as a major concern, consistent with Canada’s objective of greater refugee protection internationally.
- China: Canada is actively engaging in dialogue with China, seeking to enhance the quality of immigration to Canada while continuing to promote regular immigration and economic ties in line with developments between China and the United States. Bilateral relations have been strained as Canada continues to respond to the treatment of the Uyghur and Hong Kong populations through immigration measures.
- India: The largest contributor to immigration to Canada, India is a key partner expected to increase the quality of immigration to Canada. IRCC to protect the integrity of its programs in India while increasing the size of immigration efforts from the country; and has continued to promote economic and social relations with India in the interests of Canada.
- PakistanCanada wants to further boost overall immigration from Pakistan, as well as work with the government to support relief efforts for victims of the conflict in neighboring Afghanistan.
- Philippines: The IRCC hopes to engage the Philippines 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 US include focused engagement with key partners to maximize Canadian influence in the region, strengthening local security while sharing immigration expertise with other countries; and promoting regular immigration to support Canada’s economic and social goals.
Canada will also look to increase refugee and at-risk person support for those in need, in line with its global initiative to assist refugees around the world. As part of a refugee resettlement commitment to the region, Canada will accept 700–800 refugees from the US in 2023, and up to 1,000 in 2024.
During these efforts, Canada will focus on maintaining the integrity of its immigration system, promoting its immigration programs to meet its internal goals, and ensuring stability in the region.
- BrazilIn addition to continuing regular immigration programs from Brazil, IRCC will promote immigration for Brazilians in an effort to enhance economic ties and bilateral agreements with the country. In addition, Canada will continue to work on processing times and immigration routes for Brazilians, viewing the country as an important partner for all its objectives in the US.
- ColombiaCanada will promote regular routes for immigration from Colombia, while working with Colombian authorities to address irregular immigration from the country, deal with returnees and assist asylum seekers and refugees from neighboring Venezuela.
- haiti: Canada will aim to work with Haiti to facilitate regular immigration between the countries while assisting asylum seekers and refugees who wish to immigrate to Canada.
- Mexico: Canada will look to increase regular immigration efforts with Mexico, by promoting regular immigration routes such as the CUSMA work permit program. In addition, IRCC will work with Mexico to assist asylum seekers and refugees, and to reform irregular immigration cases. Like Brazil, Canada views Mexico as a key partner in achieving its strategic objectives in the Americas.
Canada recently announced its Immigration Levels Plan for 2023-2025; A plan that will undoubtedly play into and prioritize the objectives and concerns expressed through the Asia and the Americas strategy report.
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