IRCC to seek more direct input from newcomers on policy and service delivery with new advisory board

Vimal Sivakumar
Published: November 8, 2023

This initiative was announced as part of the report from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) called “An Immigration System for Canada’s Future.”

Recently, the Canadian government, led by the country’s immigration department, released a report detailing its findings and action plan following months of consultation with various stakeholders on a new strategy for Canada’s immigration system.

As part of that report, IRCC has outlined its plan to “build an advisory body [including people] with lived experience in immigration to guide policy development and improvements to service delivery.”

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IRCC indicates that this part of the action plan is intended to help with the department’s desire to “create a more welcoming experience for newcomers.” Specifically, IRCC lists this advisory council as an action focused on helping the department improve communications and ensure Canada follows a “human-centric” approach with its immigration system.

More details about IRCC’s new advisory body

As part of the government’s commitment to respect that “the people who use Canada’s immigration system are more than … file numbers”, IRCC says that “the way [it delivers] services must account for the fact that users of Canada’s immigration system “are individuals, families, and employers making life-changing decisions.”

As part of this effort, IRCC has indicated that the planned advisory body will involve newcomers in a way that allows people with such “lived experience in immigration” to provide advice and help “strengthen policy and program development [while ensuring that Canada’s immigration system remains anchored] in a human-centric approach.”

This advisory council will include Canadian newcomers with a variety of perspectives and experiences within Canada’s immigration system, presumably ranging from temporary residents such as international students and foreign workers to permanent residents.

Note: IRCC can be expected to release more details about this new advisory board when the time comes

This is not the first time that IRCC has sought to involve the opinions of the public on immigration matters. More on IRCC’s public consultation history is available below.

Important: This is the first advisory council created by IRCC dedicated exclusively to the voices of newcomers to Canada with direct lived experience in the country’s immigration system.

IRCC’s history of consulting the public on immigration

IRCC consistently conducts public consultations with Canadians to help the department make decisions related to immigration programs and policies.

In 2023 alone, the immigration department has released consultation reports on the country’s immigration levels, the larger immigration system in this country – the consultation that produced this advisory council component of IRCC’s action plan – and the category-based draws that were introduced as part of Express Entry earlier this year.

The reports on each of the aforementioned consultations can be viewed at the appropriate hyperlink above.

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