Canada Moving Towards Fully Online Immigration System

Immigration Minister Reveals Commitment to Developing Virtual Immigration Processes

After successfully launching the world’s first online citizenship test in 2020, Canada will continue developing virtual immigration processes, with the goal of eventually creating a fully online immigration system. Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino elaborated on this goal in a recent interview on the TVO news program, The Agenda.

Mendicino told host Steve Paikin that while Canada is already a world leader when it comes to online immigration processes, he would like to see this trend continue.

He cites the online citizenship test and ceremony launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as just one of the ways in which Canada has recently modernized its immigration system, and that will influence future developments.

“In a world that is increasingly going virtual, we are leading the way, especially when it comes to our immigration system,” said Mendicino. “We are the only ones that have moved our citizenship ceremony online, to my knowledge, and now we are also moving into the digital space when it comes to testing applicants.”

Canada has also offered online services through the Express Entry System to help newcomers settle into their communities and gain access to services and support before they arrive in Canada.

Going forward, Mendicino would eventually like to see a 100% online immigration system.

“My vision for our immigration system going forward is that it is completely virtual and touchless and that each and every one of these steps is integrated so that we become the envy of the world,” he said.

The federal government is aiming to welcome more than 1.2 million newcomers between 2021 and 2023, and an online immigration system could be extremely attractive to newcomers.

To help reach its targets, the federal government is also looking for ways to make it easier for foreigners already living in Canada – such as temporary foreign workers and international students – to remain in the country and secure permanent resident status.

“We’ve got a unique opportunity to take a look at the domestic immigration population that is already within our borders […] temporary workers who work in the healthcare sector (or) who work in the building trades,” said Mendicino.

Mendicino went on to describe international students studying in Canada as “among the best and brightest who are in the early stages of their lives and have chosen Canada to come and take part in an education.” He added that “they are very much looking forward to staying and contributing.”