Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Symbol of the Government of Canada

ARCHIVED - Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Warning This page has been archived.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

Section 2 – Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

The following section highlights the results achieved for each of CIC’s three strategic outcomes and six program activities. It also shows the Department’s planned and actual spending for 2008–2009 by program activity. Activities that contributed to more than one outcome or that are department-wide in nature are addressed in the sub-section entitled Other Items of Interest in Section 3.

Strategic Outcome 1: Migration that significantly benefits Canada’s economic, social, and cultural development, while protecting the health, safety, and security of Canadians

Migration is a positive force for economic and social development. Therefore, CIC continued to promote Canada as a destination of choice for talent, innovation, investment, and opportunity. Immigration is a joint responsibility between the Government of Canada and the provinces under the Constitution. Effective collaboration with the provinces and territories is essential for attaining the objectives of the immigration program. Canada’s immigration policy facilitates the entry into Canada of new immigrants and temporary residents whom are believed to have the ability to contribute to the labour market and economy through their skills, business experience, or the capital they invest. In addition, Canada welcomes Family Class immigrants who are sponsored, and thus supported, in their initial integration by close family members. Many people sponsored as members of the Family Class also make a considerable economic contribution to Canada.

On June 18, 2008, Parliament approved changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act removing CIC’s obligation to process all applications received. And, based on the Government of Canada’s goals for immigration, authorized the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada to issue instructions to immigration officers regarding which applications are eligible for processing. To help develop the instructions, CIC consulted with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), Health Canada, the provinces and territories, over 150 stakeholder organizations, and 500 others who gave input online. From this, CIC identified the most common and acute labour market pressures across the country.

In order to protect Canadians, and to ensure that the benefits of a more responsive immigration system are not undermined, CIC also continued to fulfil its role of identifying applicants for permanent or temporary status who could pose security or health risks to Canadians. To this end, CIC relied on effective partnerships with other departments and organizations such as the CBSA, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Department of Justice, Health Canada, and its own fraud detection and deterrence expertise. For example, to reduce identity fraud and enhance the safety and security of Canadians, CIC as the lead organization, worked in partnership with the CBSA and the RCMP toward the implementation of biometrics in the Temporary Resident Program. In addition, CIC conducted approximately 500,000 immigration medical examinations in 2008. Of these, 1,093 applicants were found inadmissible on health grounds and 11,833 applicants were referred, upon arrival to Canada, to provincial or territorial public health services for medical surveillance.

Achievement of Immigration Levels for 2008

Each year, under section 94 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada is required to table before Parliament an annual immigration plan outlining the total number of immigrants Canada aims to receive in the subsequent year. The target range for 2008 was 240,000 to 265,000 and, at the end of that year, a total of 247,243 permanent residents had been admitted to Canada. This was an increase of 5.8% from 2007.

A historically high number of Temporary Foreign Worker entries (192,519) in 2008 made meeting the permanent admissions targets a challenge for the Department. Nevertheless, federal and Quebec-selected skilled worker admissions slightly exceeded the planning range, as did Provincial Nominees. Efforts to address growing numbers of applications under the Live-in Caregiver and Humanitarian and Compassionate categories also resulted in higher than forecasted admissions. The Canadian Experience Class was implemented on September 18, 2008, which, due to changes in policy direction, was later than anticipated. While over 1,000 applications were received in 2008 for the new Canadian Experience Class, to allow for sufficient processing time, few admissions are expected before late 2009. Family Class admissions were also below the planning range in 2008. While the number of visas issued was within the planning range, fewer parents and grandparents arrived than projected.

New Permanent Residents Admitted in 2008, by Immigration Category [note 14]

Immigrant Category 2008 Ranges Number Admitted
Federal and Quebec-selected Skilled Workers 92,000 – 98,000 103,736
Federal/Quebec Business Immigrants 11,000 – 13,000 12,407
Live-in Caregivers 6,000 – 9,000 10,511
Provincial and Territorial Nominees 20,000 – 22,000 22,418
Canadian Experience Class 10,000 – 12,000
Total Economic 139,000 – 154,000 149,072
Spouses, Partners, Children and Others 50,000 – 52,000 48,970
Parents and Grandparents 18,000 – 19,000 16,597
Total Family 68,000 – 71,000 65,567
Government-Assisted Refugees 7,300 – 7,500 7,295
Privately Sponsored Refugees 3,300 – 4,500 3,512
Protected Persons In-Canada 9,400 – 11,300 6,994
Dependants Abroad 6,000 – 8,500 4,059
Total Protected Persons 26,000 – 31,800 21,860
Humanitarian and Compassionate/Public Policy 6,900 – 8,000 10,627
Permit Holders 100 – 200 115
Total Other 7,000 – 8,200 10,742
Category Not Stated   2
TOTAL 240,000 – 265,000 247,243

Program Activity 1 – Immigration Program

2008–2009 Financial resources (in $ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
164.7 223.3 219.2

Explanation of resources used: Total authorities increased by $58.6 million over planned spending, primarily due to additional funding through Supplementary Estimates for the Global Case Management System, modernizing the immigration system including backlog reduction, and collective agreements and salary related costs. Total authorities also include additional statutory requirements related to refunds of previous years’ revenues for the Right of Permanent Residence Fee.

Actual expenditures were lower than total authorities by $4.1 million, or 1.8%, as a result of delays in spending on advertising campaigns and general operating lapses.

Expected Result

The arrival of permanent residents who contribute to Canada’s economic, social, and cultural development; and the
protection of the health, safety, and security of Canadians

Performance Indicators Targets Performance Status Performance Summary
Labour market participation–employment rates for very recent immigrants (individuals who have been immigrants to Canada for less than five years) compared to the Canadian average Improvement in participation rate relative to Canadian average by 2012 Ongoing The 2008 Labour Force Survey [note 15] shows that the unemployment rate for very recent immigrants decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 11.8% in 2008, whereas the unemployment rate for Canadian-born workers increased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.9%. CIC has continued to emphasize the support of immigrant settlement and initiatives to facilitate integration into the labour market (e.g. language training, information and orientation, social engagement).
Number of inadmissibility reports resulting in removal orders against permanent residents Anticipated: 300 orders (based on annual historical record) Exceeded In 2008, CIC initiated inadmissibility reports that resulted in 418 removal orders against permanent residents.

Benefits for Canadians

The Immigration Program continues to be important to the development of Canada’s economy. New immigrants in the economic stream who have the skills to meet labour market needs will enter the Canadian labour market more quickly with the implementation of the following new measures. For applications received under Ministerial Instructions, [note 16] employers and applicants will benefit from reduced processing times because applicants who respond to labour market pressures will be processed within shorter time frames than under the old processing regime. Through family sponsorship, Canadians and permanent residents are able to reunite with their close family members and relatives.

Performance Analysis

In 2008–2009, CIC continued to focus its efforts on developing policies and programs to support a sustainable immigration program, including the development of a backlog reduction strategy. To this end, as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Faster Immigration, [note 17] Ministerial Instructions were released on November 28, 2008. As of March 31, 2009, and after the implementation of the Ministerial Instructions, the number of people in the application backlog of the federal skilled worker category had been reduced by 24 percent for those applications received prior to February 28, 2008. The total application inventory, including those submitted before and after February 28, 2008, had decreased by four percent. With Ministerial Instructions, the Department now has the tools required to limit the intake of new applications should the risk of a new backlog emerge. Additional staff were hired in visa offices overseas to increase processing capacity. As well, CIC created a Centralized Intake Office which allows clients to get an initial indication of their application status in days instead of years. In addition, efficiency of data collection and fee handling has increased.

A number of other measures were implemented to support improved labour market responsiveness. The new Canadian Experience Class [note 18] launched in September 2008 is designed to facilitate the immigration of certain temporary foreign workers and international graduates. This will help to retain those with valuable Canadian skilled work experience and certain Canadian credentials. CIC began receiving applications days after the launch, but processing times, which include security checks and medical exams, will delay the first admissions until late 2009. In addition to the more than 1,000 applications received in 2008, CIC received over 900 applications from January to March 31, 2009.

Also in 2008–2009, a comprehensive immigration framework agreement with an annex relating to the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) was renewed with Prince Edward Island. Canada has signed PNP agreements [note 19] with nine provinces and one territory. These agreements give each province and territory the authority to nominate foreign nationals for permanent resident status who will help address their economic development needs. CIC co-chairs a federal–provincial–territorial working group on economic immigration that promotes the exchange of views and information on the PNP and other areas of mutual interest. To strengthen and clarify existing rules and prevent passive investment under the PNP, changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations were implemented by CIC in September 2008.

An evaluation to assess the early outcomes of federal skilled workers selected under the new criteria introduced in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in June 2002 was initiated in 2008–2009. This evaluation will provide a preliminary picture on the program’s performance and, if required, identify changes needed to ensure it continues to meet Canada’s economic needs. A final report is expected in November 2009.

CIC, in cooperation with the provinces and territories, continued to explore options for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Business Immigrant programs–particularly given the impacts of the inclusion of business streams under the Provincial Nominee Programs.

In 2008, CIC continued to pursue initiatives that would support the vitality of Francophone minority communities and implement the 2006 Strategic Plan to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities. [note 20] In 2008–2009, CIC added an intermediate target of 1.8 percent for the period 2008–2013. Although the final target of 4.4 percent French-speaking immigrants to Francophone minority communities outside Quebec was maintained, the target date was extended to 2023. In 2008, of the permanent residents destined outside Quebec, 0.75 percent–or 1,523 immigrants–indicated their mother tongue was French. When other variables such as mother tongue, language of correspondence, language ability, and country of residence–if French is spoken–are added, it is estimated that 2.76 percent or 6,833 French-speaking immigrants settled outside Quebec. CIC continued to build on its partnerships with the provinces, territories, and communities through various working groups. Destination Canada, held in the fall of 2008 in Paris, Toulouse, Tunis, and Brussels, brought together representatives from employers, provinces, and Francophone minority communities with potential French-speaking immigrants.

In 2008–2009, CIC implemented operational requirements and specialized training related to Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificates and special advocates) which received Royal Assent in February 2008. The new legislation introduced changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act which included the requirement for a special advocate to be available. The role of the advocate is to protect the interests of the person seeking a certificate during closed proceedings to the security certificate process and to enhance the Government’s ability to fulfil its duty to keep Canadians safe while at the same time protecting sensitive information. The amendments also provide foreign nationals with the same detention review rights as permanent residents.

CIC pursued ongoing policy work to enhance the integrity of the Immigration Program and to address concerns related to misconduct of immigration representatives. A series of public awareness measures were implemented, including a fraud warning notice [note 21] posted on the CIC website in 17 languages and antifraud print advertisements in ethnic and mainstream newspapers. CIC’s website was also reorganized to be more user-friendly and to educate applicants on how to protect themselves against potential misconduct and wrongdoing when hiring an immigration representative.

In 2008, CIC processed, to a decision–including positive, negative and withdrawn–over 348,000 applications (in persons) for permanent residence and issued over 247,900 visas.

Lessons Learned

CIC has implemented a standardized reporting template to monitor the implementation of the Ministerial Instructions. This will ensure that Instructions remain current and relevant to national labour market needs and that progress with backlog reduction can continue. In addition, a centralized intake pilot project for federal skilled worker applications is providing information that will support the development of broader changes related to the improved use of technology, standardization and simplification, and to the identification of potential options for the centralization of administrative activities.

Program Activity 2 – Temporary Resident Program

2008–2009 Financial resources (in $ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
60.9 81.1 79.9

Explanation of resources used: Total authorities were $20.2 million higher than planned spending due to additional funding through Supplementary Estimates for the Global Case Management System, modernizing the immigration system including backlog reduction, and the Biometrics Project.

Actual spending was $1.2 million, or 1.5% less than total authorities, primarily due to general operating lapses.

Expected Result

The arrival of temporary residents who contribute to Canada’s economic, social, and cultural development; and the protection of the health, safety, and security of Canadians

Performance Indicators Targets Performance Status Performance Summary
Number of foreign workers by skill level (arrivals) Anticipated demand: 125,000 to 150,000 persons Exceeded In 2008, exceeding the projected numbers, 192,519 foreign workers arrived to accommodate higher demand from employers recruiting under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. [note 22]
Number of international students by level of education (arrivals) Anticipated demand: 60,000 persons Exceeded In 2008, exceeding projected numbers, 79,509 international students arrived to accommodate a higher level of acceptance rates by universities. [note 23]

Benefits for Canadians

The contributions temporary foreign workers and international students make to our economy, society, and culture, continue to benefit Canada. The high number of temporary foreign workers admitted has helped to generate growth for a number of Canadian industries by meeting the short-term and acute needs in the labour market that could not easily be filled by the domestic labour force. International students contribute economically as consumers and help to enrich the fabric of Canadian society and culture through their diverse experiences and talents. Once experienced and trained in Canada, certain temporary workers and international students represent a key talent pool to be retained as immigrants through programs like the Canadian Experience Class. Tourists created a demand for services in the hospitality sector, and business visitors allowed Canadian businesses to benefit from their specialized expertise.

Performance Analysis

In 2008, CIC processed, to a decision–including positive, negative and withdrawn–over 1.5 million applications (in persons) for temporary residence. It also issued over 1,261,000 visas, permits, and extensions to support the high numbers of temporary residents admitted.

In response to sustained labour market demand, particularly in Western Canada, and further to the Government of Canada’s commitment in Advantage Canada [note 24] to making improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to respond to employer needs, Canada welcomed a record 192,519 temporary foreign workers in 2008. [note 25]This represents an increase of 17 percent from 2007 (164,905), and the third year of double-digit growth in the program. Since 2004, admissions have increased by 71 percent.

CIC continued to work with a range of partners on key issues related to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. CIC and HRSDC, in consultation with the CBSA, continued to develop a package of regulatory amendments that were announced in Budget 2007 which will establish authorities to help improve worker protection and ensure employer compliance with program requirements. Bilateral agreements to improve cooperation on issues related to the program have been negotiated with two provinces–Ontario and Alberta–and negotiations are ongoing with a number of other provinces and territories. The work of the Labour Mobility Working Group under the Canada–Mexico Partnership continued with the development of pilot projects to facilitate the movement of workers from Mexico in the hospitality, tourism, and construction sectors.

International students bring with them new ideas and cultures that enrich the learning environment within Canadian educational institutions. International students who enter Canada on temporary resident visas may also be an important source of future immigrants since they are well prepared for the Canadian labour market. The number of international students entering Canada in 2008 was 79,509, a rise of 7% from the previous year’s total of 74,038. [note 26]

In collaboration with partners, CIC continued to successfully deliver key initiatives to help Canada maintain its competitive edge in attracting and retaining international students. By providing them with opportunities to obtain work, international students gain the experience needed to apply for permanent resident status through the Federal Skilled Worker or Canadian Experience Class immigration avenues. The Department’s Off-Campus Work Permit Program, a national program that allows international students at public colleges and universities, and some private degree-granting schools, to seek employment off campus, and the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, which allows graduates from participating postsecondary institutions to gain valuable Canadian experience for up to three years, continue to serve as important vehicles in this regard. Demonstrating the success of these permit programs for international students, in 2008–2009, CIC issued 16,457 off-campus permits and 18,309 post-graduation permits.

The implementation of biometrics in the Temporary Resident Program [note 27] –a major Crown project announced in Budget 2008–will allow overseas visa officers and border service officers to make better-informed decisions based on accurate identity and immigration admissibility information, and will permit border service officers to verify an applicant’s identity at Canada’s ports of entry. As a result, the Government of Canada will be in a better position to reduce identity fraud and enhance the safety and security of Canadians through strengthened criminality screening. It will also facilitate the processing of legitimate applicants by confirming identity promptly. In March 2009, CIC received preliminary approval for the implementation of the Biometrics Project to begin in late 2011.

Lessons Learned

The development of regulatory amendments for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program has presented a number of challenges. These included the complexity of the program, the involvement of multiple departments, and requirements to produce, for the first time, certain baseline documents related to the program such as a Privacy Impact Assessment and cost-benefit analysis. Future work related to the program will be guided by, and built upon, the experience, knowledge, and documents developed through this process.

Strategic Outcome 2: International recognition and acceptance of the principles of managed migration consistent with Canada’s broader foreign policy agenda, and protection of refugees in Canada

The overarching objective of CIC’s second strategic outcome is the international promotion of the Canadian vision of managed migration. The long-term benefits of managed migration include minimized risks for the countries of destination as well as the migrants, viable programs that address labour market and demographics issues, and improved economic benefits for all stakeholders. CIC continued to expand its leadership role in framing and advancing important international migration policy and governance dialogues, and in coordinating the Government of Canada’s contribution to them. Given the complexity of the issues, CIC continued to foster domestic and international partnerships that would develop and implement a strategic agenda on global migration and protection and identify opportunities for advancing Canada’s policy and program priorities.

Worldwide, a growing number of governments, nongovernmental organizations, bilateral and multilateral fora, and academic and other research institutes are adding issues related to migration, refugees, and citizenship to their agendas. These discussions are making links between migration policy and Canada’s broader foreign affairs agenda, notably in such areas as international security, development assistance, trade, health, environment, and human capital flows. Canada has a recognized expertise in migration management and is frequently sought after to contribute to these international discussions. CIC will continue to promote a shared understanding of migration policies and perspectives across departments. It will also continue to encourage mutually beneficial exchanges with other states to increase understanding of migration trends and perspectives.

There are about 11 million refugees worldwide [note 28] and in 2008–2009 Canada partnered with many other countries, international organizations, and civil society partners, to come to the aid of refugees. These partnerships were critical to ensuring the effective delivery of Canada’s humanitarian programs. For example, Canada worked closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [note 29] (UNHCR) to search for durable solutions for refugees, especially those displaced for decades in protracted refugee situations. Every year, Canada resettles 10,000 to 12,000–or one out of every 10–of the refugees resettled globally. Since the Second World War, more than 780,000 refugees and persons in similar circumstances have been resettled to Canada. In addition, Canada continued to offer protection to refugees who came to Canada to seek asylum.

Program Activity 3 – Canada’s Role in International Migration and Protection

2008–2009 Financial resources (in $ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
4.0 4.0 2.2

Explanation of resources used: Actual spending was $1.8 million less than total authorities, primarily due to general operating lapses.

Expected Result

Canada influences the international policy debate as part of its responsibilities with respect to international migration and refugee protection.

Performance Indicator Target Performance Status Performance Summary
Number and description of new or renewed international agreements and/or other arrangements led, undertaken, or established (multilateral, regional, bilateral, including international organizations) CIC responds to ad hoc requests Met all Canada is signatory to more than 15 international policy instruments that contain implications for migration and human rights. CIC tracked ongoing developments regarding these international agreements and ensured that Canada is adhering to its international obligations.

CIC led a number of resolutions or declarations, including under the United Nations General Assembly, [note 30] the Human Rights Council, [note 31] the Puebla Process [note 32] and the Summit of the Americas. [note 33] CIC also participated in the development of policy and operational guidelines such as the Regional Conference on Migration [note 34] Regional Guidelines for the Assistance of Unaccompanied Minors.

CIC also contributed to human rights reporting and monitoring processes that were established by multilateral bodies such as the United Nations and the Organisation of American States. [note 35]

Canada’s consistent advocacy of the needs of protracted refugee situations led, in 2008, to the global prioritization of this issue by the UNHCR.

Benefits for Canadians

Canada, as a recognised international leader in migration management, has the opportunity and responsibility to play a strategic role in global migration fora. In recent years, as more countries have developed, or are interested in developing, immigration and refugee programs, the profile of migration management has been rising steadily–a trend that is expected to continue, if not accelerate, and is likely to lead to increased competition for skilled migrants.

Developments in international migration impact all of Canada, from its social and cultural fabric to the capacity to travel and conduct trade internationally. Policies and programs that affect the international movement of people–across Canada’s borders and outside them–also have a direct bearing on the safety and security of Canada and Canadians at large, whether they are at home or traveling abroad.

By maintaining its presence in international forums, Canada contributes to shaping the international policy agenda related to migration management. The goal is to ensure that Canada can continue to shape the future of its immigration and refugee programs and preserve its ability to set immigration policies to meet its economic, social, humanitarian, and cultural objectives. This participation also ensures that Canada can meet its legal and international obligations. It permits Canada to foster better-managed migration principles internationally by sharing its insights, experience, and vision. Canada’s involvement in international fora has also strengthened intergovernmental relationships and international networks, particularly in the United States, Mexico, and Central American and European states.

Performance Analysis

In 2008–2009, CIC advanced, led, and coordinated Government of Canada positions and activities related to international migration policy in close partnership with other domestic government departments. The Department also interacted with representatives of foreign governments and international stakeholders in presenting and promoting Canadian positions. Annually, CIC participates in approximately 80 international migration-related events, including summits, working group meetings, workshops, and seminars. These events are used to advance Canadian interests, develop allies on particular migration issues such as United Nations’ resolutions, and influence the direction of policy development on a regional or international scale.

Achieving objectives in 2008–2009 required leadership and the successful coordination of events to provide an integrated, strategic overview on the various aspects of CIC’s programs and policies. Interaction entailed productive consultations and intelligence sharing on global migration issues, in particular in support of Canada’s participation in international fora and connected to Canada’s performance in various international human rights obligations. The organization and coordination of incoming and outgoing international visits by Parliamentarians and senior officials, and intelligence gathering and reporting through immigration program managers and officers at posts, were other key functions successfully accomplished in support of objectives.

CIC provided counseling on migration-related issues to departments such as Canadian Heritage, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the CBSA, Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), and Health Canada. Furthermore, CIC set up an Interdepartmental Group on Migration to share information and promote a whole-of-government approach. CIC initiated, coordinated, and managed working relationships with representatives of foreign governments and international organizations on issues related to international migration that promoted Canada’s views and built support. For example, CIC exchanged information and data with the United States and worked diligently to achieve agreement on resolutions tabled at the United Nations General Assembly.

An evaluation of the Migration Policy Development Program [note 36] (MPDP), which provides funding to organizations active in the areas of migration policy development and research, concluded that, among other achievements, the MPDP promoted research activity and public discussion on migration issues, encouraged information exchange between states, and strengthened intergovernmental relationships and international networks.

Canada also influenced the international policy debate by helping to expand global protection capacity in various fora. Specifically, with sustained encouragement from Canada, the UNHCR adopted the issue of protracted refugee situations as a key priority in 2008. The UNHCR also devoted its December 2008 High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges with member countries, academics, and civil society organizations to finding solutions for refugees in protracted situations. Canada also participates in the Working Group on Resettlement to continue to support UNHCR’s efforts of increasing global resettlement capacity. In 2008, several countries announced their intentions to establish resettlement programs. Canada has since provided technical support to some of these countries.

In addition, CIC worked to expand protection capacity under the Government’s Strategy for the Americas. Canada developed and co-sponsored an August 2008 workshop in Costa Rica, which promoted the exchange of best practices in refugee protection among a dozen countries in the Americas. As a follow-up, six Costa Rican officials participated in a study tour of the Canadian refugee system in December 2008. These events enabled in-depth exchanges with Central American partners and the UNHCR has recognized their contributions to regional protection.

Lessons Learned

Canada’s ability in influencing the UNHCR and member states to prioritize protracted refugee situations highlights the importance of working in a collaborative and multilateral manner. Domestically, CIC worked closely with CIDA and DFAIT to develop a coordinated Canadian approach that covered the three critical pillars of immigration, development, and diplomacy. Internationally, bilateral and multilateral engagement with other states led to a global consensus on the need to address refugees living in protracted situations–an issue that did not receive sustained global attention until a multilateral approach to resolution was undertaken. Given the success of this approach, CIC will continue to follow a whole-of-government model, and engage foreign governments to advance the Department’s vision of managed migration.

Program Activity 4 – Refugee Program

2008–2009 Financial resources (in $ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
94.2 120.5 112.2

Explanation of resources used: Total authorities were $26.3 million higher than planned spending, primarily due to additional funding through Supplementary Estimates for the Interim Federal Health Program, amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and new collective agreements and salary related costs.

Actual spending was $8.3 million, or 6.9% less than total authorities, due to lower than projected costs for the Interim Federal Health Program and delays in staffing related to Immigration and Refugee Protection Act amendments.

Expected Result

Persons in need of protection and Convention refugees are protected by Canada through the upholding of our international obligations and humanitarian traditions, while protecting the health, safety, and security of Canadians.

Performance Indicator Target Performance Status Performance Summary
Number of protected persons and Convention refugees granted permanent residence by category Target ranges for 2008: Government- Assisted Refugees: 7,300–7,500 Privately Sponsored Refugees: 3,300–4,500 Protected Persons in-Canada: 9,400–11,300 Dependants Abroad: 6,000–8,500 Mostly met [note 37] In 2008, Canada granted permanent residence to 7,295 Government-Assisted Refugees; 3,512 Privately Sponsored Refugees; 6,994 Protected Persons in-Canada; and 4,059 Dependants Abroad.

Fewer protected persons in-Canada became permanent residents than planned due to fewer decisions made in recent years at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

Benefits for Canadians

Global safety and security is bound to the promotion of security, human rights, and refugee protection. Canada’s refugee protection program–a pillar of Canada’s contribution to a safe and secure world–is an expression of Canada’s humanitarian tradition, which the Canadian government made a priority following the Second World War in response to global efforts to share responsibility for those displaced by war.

Since then, Canada’s continuing commitment to refugee protection has highlighted the importance of upholding human rights and promoting the value of cultural diversity. By protecting refugees, Canada also asserts the need to uphold international agreements and obligations while sharing responsibility internationally for the displaced and persecuted. Canada has highlighted these obligations by taking a leadership role in international fora, such as the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees, and high-level meetings of the UNHCR. Canada has sought and continues to seek partnerships with other governments, civil society, and academia, to advance the development of effective national migration systems that preserve global safety, prosperity, and human rights.

Overall, international information sharing contributed to enhancing the integrity of the Refugee Program, increasing protection capacity, and protecting the security of Canadians. Medical screening in refugees’ countries of origin also helped protect the safety and security of Canadians and allowed proper support and programs to be in place before refugees arrived in Canada. The sharing of relevant information with partners and organizations in Canada helped them prepare for the particular needs of the arriving refugees, and assisted refugees in integrating more easily into Canadian society.

Performance Analysis

In 2008–2009, CIC continued to work to protect those in need of protection, both in Canada and overseas, while protecting the health, safety, and security of Canadians. As well, the Department continued to work with partners to ensure that its programs are being delivered in a manner that is efficient and effective.

Canada’s asylum program has witnessed a steady increase in new refugee claimants in recent years–in 2008, an increase of almost 30 percent in claims compared to 2007. In 2008, Canada received almost 37,000 claims, or about one out of every 10 refugee claims lodged in industrialized countries, making Canada the second-top receiving country for refugee claims, after the United States, which received over 49,000. [note 38] During the last few years, the increase in claims made in Canada can be attributed to an increase in claims made by nationals of certain countries, namely Mexico, Haiti, and certain eastern European countries, particularly the Czech Republic that, together, comprised more than 40% of refugee claims received in 2008. This resulted in an increase in the number of refugee claims waiting for a decision at the Refugee Protection Division of Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) and longer processing times. To address this issue, the Government has taken significant steps to manage vacancies at the IRB.

To advance asylum program effectiveness and the integrity of North American asylum systems, CIC continued to collaborate with U.S. officials on the sharing of refugee claimants’ information. Additionally, CIC worked with the CBSA to streamline intake procedures that would ensure their continued capacity to process the increasing numbers of refugee claimants. Finally, to promote more effective interorganizational relationships, CIC continued work with the IRB to negotiate the details of the supporting annexes to the trilateral agreement between CIC, the CBSA, and the IRB.

To remain proactive in providing protection, in 2008, CIC issued new guidelines to officers receiving and making eligibility determinations on refugee claims from vulnerable persons and minors. The guidelines support priority processing for refugee claims made by vulnerable persons and ensure special accommodation during the examination process. [note 39]

In terms of the resettlement program, in 2009, Canada announced that it would more than double the number of privately sponsored Iraqi refugees it accepts from the Middle East, thereby increasing the number currently sponsored by an additional 1,300 people per year for the next three years. [note 40] Canada also followed through on its multi-year commitment to resettle up to 5,000 Bhutanese refugees. [note 41] The Bhutanese resettlement group processing project involved the coordinated, multilateral effort of multiple resettlement countries working together to strategically find solutions for Bhutanese refugees in Nepal–many of whom have been living in refugee camps for more than 15 years.

The Interim Federal Health Program (IFH) continued to provide temporary health-care services for refugees, refugee claimants, and those detained under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act who are not eligible for provincial health insurance and who have no means to obtain health services. In 2008–2009, 117,873 clients had valid IFH certificates which generated over 650,000 medical claims. This represents a 16% increase in the number of clients (101,791) and 24% more claims (523,000) than in 2007–2008. CIC will be reviewing coverage of the IFH Program to ensure that it continues to appropriately reflect the Department’s obligations regarding the protection of refugees.

CIC continued to review and refocus its programs to ensure that they are proactive and provide protection and durable solutions. For example, the cultural and epidemiological profiles of Bhutanese refugees were developed prior to their arrival in Canada. These profiles, along with applicable information on individuals with high needs were shared with service provider organizations and the health community in advance of the refugees’ arrival. This, in turn, allowed communities to be better prepared to meet the needs of these refugees.

Lessons Learned

In 2008, the increase in refugee claim intake, coupled with a shortfall of decision makers at the IRB, resulted in an increase in the number of refugee claims waiting for a decision and in processing times. [note 42] To address this issue, the Government has taken significant steps to fill IRB vacancies. Since October 2008, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has made 24 appointments and seven reappointments to the IRB that were assigned to the Refugee Protection Division by the IRB Chairperson. These appointments were made to assist the IRB with reaching its full complement. As of March 31, 2009, 16 vacancies remain in the IRB’s Refugee Protection Division – out of a total complement of 127. These appointments put the Refugee Protection Division at close to 90 % of its full complement.

Following the evaluation of the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, [note 43] CIC committed to developing and implementing a performance measurement framework for Canada’s refugee resettlement program. The framework will serve to increase consistency in reporting, respond to program implementation challenges, and increase availability of data to measure program effectiveness. CIC established a working group in early 2009, which includes private sponsors and service provider organizations, to engage stakeholders in assisting with the development of a strategy and performance indicators for measuring resettled refugee settlement outcomes.

Strategic Outcome 3: Successful integration of newcomers into society and promotion of Canadian citizenship

Newcomers help shape our collective experience and benefit all Canadians through their contributions to the economy and society. Integration and citizenship policies and programs support newcomers from the initial planning and preparation stage overseas, through arrival and settlement, to longer-term integration and full participation in Canadian society and the attainment of citizenship. Canadians have a stake in supporting the successful integration of newcomers into Canadian society. A successful immigration system relies on the ability of newcomers to access opportunities and resources that will harness their potential to contribute and fully participate in the economic, social, cultural, and civic life of the country. While we continue to embrace and celebrate Canada’s diversity, we must also reinforce the ties that bind us together as citizens. Our goal is to build a sense of shared citizenship and a commitment to the meaning of our citizenship.

Programs that help newcomers in the initial post-arrival years are critical investments in the long-term process of integration. The acquisition of citizenship is an important step in the Canadian integration process because it invests newcomers with the full range of Canadian rights and responsibilities and fosters their sense of belonging to Canada. This integration takes place in the context of a broader sense of citizenship that is shared by all Canadians. Much has changed since 1947 when the first Canadian Citizenship Act took effect and the modern concept of a Canadian citizen was established. In recognition of the evolution of citizenship issues, amendments to the 1977 Citizenship Act received Royal Assent on April 17, 2009. The amendments protect the value of Canadian citizenship, restore citizenship to many persons who lost it under previous legislation, and recognize others as citizens for the first time. The amendments also introduced a limit to citizenship by descent to one generation born outside of Canada.

On October 30, 2008, the Multiculturalism portfolio was transferred from the Department of Canadian Heritage to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The transfer took advantage of the natural linkages between the immigration system, the Department’s integration and settlement programming, and the objective of building a well-functioning, integrated, multicultural society. The transfer of the Multiculturalism portfolio should allow for greater coordination between the Government’s short-term settlement programs for newcomers and its programs for longer-term integration that promote inclusion, participation, and shared citizenship.

Program Activity 5 – Integration Program

2008–2009 Financial resources (in $ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
940.8 926.3 825.9

Explanation of resources used: Total authorities were lower than planned spending, due to internal transfers to other program activities.

Actual spending was $100.4 million, or 10.8% less than total authorities, primarily due to under spending of contribution funds under the Canada–Ontario Immigration Agreement and related operating costs.

Expected Result

Newcomers contribute to the economic, social, and cultural development needs of Canada.

Performance Indicator Target Performance Status Performance Summary
Labour market participation–Employment rate compared to Canadian average after five years and after 10 years Improvement in participation rate relative to Canadian average by 2012 Ongoing The 2008 Labour Force Survey [note 44] shows that the unemployment rate for recent immigrants–those in Canada for five to 10 years–saw an increase in unemployment from 8.2% to 8.8%. Established immigrants those in Canada for 10 years or more saw a small decrease in their unemployment rate from 5.7% in 2007 to 5.6% in 2008 which was lower than that of the Canadian-born population at 5.9%.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) International Migration Outlook 2007 [note 45] shows the labour force participation of foreignborn in Canada at 74%. This ranks Canada fifth out of all OECD countries.

Benefits for Canadians

Immigration is fundamental to the development of Canada’s economy, society, and culture. As one of the few countries with a managed immigration program directed towards newcomers ultimately becoming full citizens, Canada strives to be a world leader in maximizing its benefits. CIC’s Integration Program is an integral part of Canada’s immigration system and contributes to the Government of Canada’s goal of a diverse society that promotes linguistic duality and social inclusion. The successful settlement of newcomers influences their long-term success in Canada and ultimately has an impact on all Canadians. It could also be a factor in strong public support for Canada’s immigration program. For example, 82% of Canadians believe that Canada’s multicultural makeup is one of the best things about their country. [note 46]

Performance Analysis

The main objectives of the Integration Program are to provide appropriate support and services for newcomers that will assist in their settlement and longterm integration in Canada, and to help newcomers contribute to Canada’s economic, social, and cultural development. An aim of the program is to improve the performance of immigrants in the labour market despite the number of challenging factors. For example, labour market conditions, official language ability, recognition of credentials, and foreign work experience, and returns on foreign education can all influence labour market performance. [note 47] In 2008–2009, CIC continued to focus on implementing a number of measures to help address these challenges and to reach people earlier in the immigration process, demonstrated as follows.

In 2008, CIC introduced a modernized settlement approach that consolidated settlement programming and organized services according to these theme areas–information and orientation; language; labour market access; community connections; support services; and needs assessment. An Accountability, Risk and Audit Framework was also finalized in 2008 which established a modernized approach to the settlement program, including revised terms and conditions for settlement funding, an improved structure for policy and program development and service delivery, as well as an enhanced accountability regime for achieving and reporting on results. This will enable CIC to deliver services more efficiently, and will support its capacity to measure and report on results.

The Foreign Credentials Referral Office [note 48] (FCRO), established in May 2007, laid the foundation for CIC to fulfil its mandate of providing prospective immigrants overseas and newcomers in Canada with the information, path finding, and referral services to facilitate their integration into the Canadian labour market. Information on foreign credential recognition processes in Canada is now available worldwide through the FCRO website as well as through in-person and toll free telephone services offered through 330 Service Canada Centres across the country. In March 2009, the launch of the Planning to Work in Canada?–An Essential Workbook for Newcomers and the corresponding Google ad campaign resulted in an 80.6% increase in visits to the FCRO website from the previous month. A total of 287,378 visits to the website were recorded from July 2008 to March 2009 with 70% of these visits originating overseas. In addition, Budget 2009 committed to supporting CIC’s FCRO and HRSDC’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program, in partnership with provinces and territories, in their efforts to develop a Pan-Canadian Framework on foreign qualification recognition. This will involve the development of a common approach to foreign credential assessment that will provide the timely assessment and recognition of foreign credentials and ensure that immigrants are better integrated into the Canadian labour force. As part of this approach, the FCRO has begun developing an overseas platform to support a larger pool of immigrants, in more source countries, whose credentials and experiences are linked to identified, priority occupations.

In 2008, Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) was expanded to four new countries—Colombia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Jordan. COA provided orientation sessions to 13,225 immigrants, a record number of whom were refugees—5,295 refugee clients—an increase in refugees of 21% from 2007–2008. A client satisfaction survey was developed to better assess the impact of orientation on immigrants’ initial settlement in Canada. An Active Engagement and Integration pilot project was also launched in late 2008 in Taiwan and South Korea to provide group orientation and topic specific workshops to all categories of immigrants, except refugees. At the same time, the project explored new approaches for conducting needs assessments, personal case management, and referrals. In the startup period between November 2008 and March 2009, 354 clients received these services.

In addition to overseas activities, CIC also directly provides newcomers with information through print publications such as Welcome to Canada and online through the Going to Canada Immigration Portal. [note 49] This Portal, developed by CIC in partnership with HRSDC, offers comprehensive and integrated information to prospective and new immigrants to assist them in preparing to live, work, and study in Canada. In 2008, enhancements to the Portal included improved search functionality, and improvements to the Entry Requirements tool. Two federal-provincial-territorial workshops in 2008–2009 provided a forum for greater collaboration and the sharing of innovative practices, content, and tools for provincial and territorial portals funded under the Going to Canada Immigration Portal initiative. On average, the Portal receives over one million site visits per year.

In 2008–2009, improvements were made to the quality of language training provided to newcomers. The Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program was expanded to include training at higher levels of official language proficiency. French language assessment tools and curriculum resources for the Cours de langue pour immigrants au Canada (CLIC) were also improved to make them comparable to English offerings. Additionally, 14 Ontario colleges were involved in curriculum development and pilot projects for occupation specific language training initiatives to address the particular requirements of Canadian workplaces. In 2008, approximately 55,000 clients attended LINC classes, an increase of four percent over the previous year. [note 50]

A formative evaluation of the Enhanced Language Training [note 51] (ELT) initiative was completed in 2008. Findings indicate that, in general, ELT is a successful initiative that meets the immediate needs of the intended population. The flexibility of the initiative, which is viewed by stakeholders as one of its strengths, has resulted in a variety of delivery approaches. The evaluation found that some are more successful than others–in particular, the use of work placements was considered a key success factor by program participants. In preparation for the summative evaluation of ELT in 2010–2011, a new approach for measuring client outcomes was developed and piloted near the end of 2008–2009. CIC currently funds service providers across Canada for approximately 3,500 to 4,500 ELT clients per year.

CIC continued to offer HOST matching services that connected approximately 5,700 newcomers with volunteers in their communities, a five percent increase from 2007. The delivery of support services, such as interpretation, translation, and referrals was also significantly increased by 32% to enable approximately 114,000 newcomers to access needed services.

In 2008–2009, recognizing the growing pressures on the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP), CIC continued a second year of temporary funding to match provincial social assistance rates and to provide increased orientation services for approximately 5,400 government-assisted refugees under RAP. During this period, a case-management approach piloted in Ontario in 2006–2007 was expanded to include all six RAP service providers across Ontario and approximately 1,840 participating government-assisted refugees. This approach provides additional support to high need government-assisted refugees, and allows services to be tailored to the unique needs of each individual refugee. Similar pilot projects are underway in other provinces as well. An evaluation to assess the effectiveness of coordination, case management, and community capacity building delivered through the pilot was completed in March 2009. The results will be released in June 2009.

Lessons Learned

A key challenge for CIC is to assess program outcomes in both the short- and long-term. Currently, CIC uses the immigration Contribution Accountability Measurement System (iCAMS) to collect client and service data from service provider organizations. To date, the capacity to measure settlement program outcomes that go beyond information held within iCAMS has been limited. Furthermore, assessing outcomes on a national scale is difficult due to the lack of data comparability across provinces. British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec have alternative funding arrangements with CIC and have developed their own accountability and reporting regimes. In order to strengthen the capacity to measure program outcomes, the new Accountability, Risk and Audit Framework outlines an enhanced accountability regime for achieving and reporting results. This entails the development of a performance measurement framework that will link client and service data from iCAMS to resulting outcomes for newcomer integration. Work has been underway to support the collection and analysis of data and its subsequent use in making sound decisions regarding the management of contributions, funding, and future policy directions. This includes exploring options for obtaining client feedback. It is also anticipated that a variety of mechanisms would be used to assess settlement program results against the intended client outcomes.

Program Activity 6 – Citizenship Program

2008–2009 Financial resources (in $ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
54.0 77.9 77.5

Explanation of resources used: Total authorities increased by $23.9 million over planned spending due to additional funding through Supplementary Estimates for the Global Case Management System, new collective agreements, and internal transfers.

Expected Result

Citizen’s full participation in Canadian society.

Performance Indicator Target Performance Status Performance Summary
Number and percentage of people who take up citizenship from permanent residence Maintain or improve on current rate of 85% of permanent residents who become naturalized citizens Met all Canada continues to maintain a high level of naturalization among eligible newcomers. According to the most recent census data (2006), 85% of eligible newcomers became Canadian citizens. In 2008, over 176,000 persons were granted citizenship and over 41,500 proofs of citizenship were issued.

Benefits for Canadians

Canadian citizenship, with its inherent rights and obligations, is the shared status which brings Canadians together and forms the foundation of Canada as a cohesive nation. The Citizenship Program contributes to a diverse society that promotes multiculturalism and social inclusion. This is achieved by granting citizenship to eligible newcomers and by enhancing the values and promoting the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship for all Canadians. In 2008, 2,719 ceremonies were held to celebrate Canada’s newest citizens. Promotional activities such as Celebrate Citizenship Week, the Citation for Citizenship Award, reaffirmation ceremonies, and the 385 ceremonies that took place in community settings contributed to a wider appreciation of the value of citizenship and a shared sense of belonging, loyalty, and attachment to Canada for all Canadians. Recent changes to the Citizenship Act, which restored citizenship to many who lost it due to provisions in previous legislation, will enable these persons to finally gain access to services that depend on citizenship such as obtaining a Canadian passport.

Performance Analysis

Canada continues to have one of the highest naturalization rates among comparable countries—United States, 40%, Australia, 75%, United Kingdom, 56%. [note 52] According to the 2006 Census, [note 53] 85.1% or the majority of foreign-born people who were living in Canada and were eligible for Canadian citizenship chose to become Canadian citizens. This represents an increase from 83.9% in 2001 and demonstrates that Canadian citizenship is a desired status and many newcomers see the benefits of attaining citizenship in order to be able to fully participate in Canadian society.

The naturalization rate is just one indicator of attitudes towards Canadian citizenship, albeit a strong one. In 2008–2009, CIC continued to develop a strong and dynamic evidence base with which to measure various dimensions of Canadian citizenship. Also, a public opinion research study completed in January 2008 to better understand motivations for naturalization highlighted a variety of motivations for coming to and naturalizing in Canada. However, taking up citizenship was often considered part of the overall process of coming to Canada.

In May and June 2008, CIC conducted consultations with experts from across the country to explore the continued relevance of the Government’s approach to citizenship. Validation of the current model, which places obligations on both immigrants and the host society, enabled the Department to move forward with a review of citizenship tools. Subsequently, improvements were made to the citizenship test study guide, the knowledge test, and materials distributed at ceremonies. These new products will be available in 2009–2010.

Bill C-37, an Act to Amend the Citizenship Act, received Royal Assent in April 2008 and efforts during the year leading up to its implementation included the development of supporting regulations, information systems changes, application kits and forms, training materials, communication products, and policy and program manual updates. Bill C-37 protects the value of citizenship in a number of ways. It restores citizenship to many so-called lost Canadians–persons who lost citizenship due to provisions in previous citizenship legislation–and gives citizenship to the children born outside of Canada to Canadians in the first generation who were not previously eligible for citizenship. It also introduces a limit to passing on citizenship by descent to one generation born outside of Canada to a Canadian citizen.

In 2008, over 176,000 permanent residents were granted citizenship and over 41,500 persons who were already Canadian were provided proof of their citizenship status. However, application intake continued to outpace CIC’s capacity to process cases. In 2008, over 239,600 applications for a grant of citizenship were received—up from 227,520 in 2007—and over 186,200 applications were processed. This was similar to the number processed the previous year. Additionally, over 43,000 applications for proof of citizenship were processed in 2008, down from approximately 59,000 in 2007. Processing times have risen as demand for citizenship services continue to exceed processing capacity.

Lessons Learned

To enhance the value of Canadian citizenship, there is an ongoing need to ensure that citizenship tools such as the test and study guide and promotional materials remain relevant. The Department is developing initiatives to strengthen knowledge of Canadian history, identity, and values, and will introduce enhancements to citizenship materials and the knowledge test.

CIC is streamlining its citizenship and proof of citizenship application processing in response to rising inventories and longer processing times, including working toward the development of online applications for the citizenship program to help address these challenges. In addition, pilot projects were conducted to explore ways to further streamline the processing of applications.

Citizenship legislation is very complex, which makes it difficult to interpret for many people who may benefit from the amendments to the Citizenship Act. In order to address this issue, and to avoid excessive demand on processing resources caused by inappropriate applications, an online self-assessment tool will be implemented early in 2009–2010 to coincide with implementation of the legislative amendments.