A new document from the federal government sheds more light on how Canada believes its immigration system will be impacted following the coronavirus pandemic.
When global travel restrictions begin to ease, Canada expects a major increase in immigration applications. This is revealed in a new document that is available publicly on a website of the Federal Government.
The purpose of this document is to find a vendor who can assist Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in modernizing how it processes immigration requests.
Special immigration measures adopted by Canada during COVID-19
The document notes that the coronavirus pandemic has affected operations of IRCC. Canada has introduced travel restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19, and employees of the federal government in Canada and abroad adhere to strict social distancing and remote work initiatives.
Nevertheless, IRCC continues to do it's utmost to fulfil its mandate to foreign temporary workers, foreign students, visitors, permanent residents, citizenship seekers, refugees, asylum seekers and Canadian citizens.
During this time IRCC has introduced a number of special measures to support the processing of applications for foreign nationals. On the other hand, the document recognizes that much IRCC processing and contact centres have been shut down or are operating at considerably reduced capacity.
How IRCC looks to improve the processing of applications
When IRCC 's operations return to normal, the department aims to have significantly different policies, processes, and digital strategies in place to tackle the surge in post-coronavirus in applications it aims.
IRCC seeks to be proactive by developing new strategies, processes and digital systems to enable its mandate to be better fulfilled.
For example, IRCC would like to use digital processes to minimize the need for in-person or paper processes, wherever possible. This will not only protect the protection of IRCC and the public, but could also contribute to more effective and speedier delivery of applications.
As such, IRCC is looking for a vendor in the following ways to support its modernisation efforts:
• Build software and technologies to rapidly increase the operational ability of IRCC in order to tackle existing manual application processing challenges and the expected demand increase
• Create digital tools to tackle current social distance criteria by reducing the need for personal meetings through digital solutions (e.g. online citizenship testing, and applications for visas and citizenship);
• Identify IRCC's case management system with digital technology solutions
• Integrate data analytics tools to provide insights into operational volumes and processing capabilities so IRCC can respond effectively to changes in Canada and abroad
• Develop Cyber Security Strategies for IRCC
Canada committed to welcome immigrants, workers, students and visitors
Under the current Plan 2020-2022 for Immigration Levels in Canada, the country is seeking to welcome more than one million immigrants in the coming three years. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic delayed immigration to Canada but immigration minister Marco Mendicino says Canada remains committed to accepting immigrants to help its economy.
Canada currently still holds Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws, plus processing study and work permits, and allowing immediate family entry into the country.
Canada is highly likely to see a major spike in arrivals of permanent and temporary residents once the global health and economic situation improves. Canada had been welcoming record numbers of immigrants, foreign workers, and international students before the pandemic started.
By using technology to modernize its processes, IRCC should be in a stronger position to accommodate even more foreign nationals once the pandemic is over.