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A Comprehensive Look into the Review of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)

Silhouettes representing global population around a stylized globe with a forward arrow symbolizing immigration progress and direction.

Canada's immigration landscape is set for a major overhaul. The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced a comprehensive review of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), marking a significant milestone in the nation's immigration policy update. This article delves into the details of this strategic update, outlining its implications and potential impacts on Canada's immigration system.

"The changes we propose will ensure that our immigration system continues to be modern, efficient, fair, transparent, predictable, and timely." - IRCC

A New Strategy for the Future of Immigration

The review of IRPA is part of an ambitious plan dubbed "An Immigration System for Canada's Future". This strategy aims to enhance processing efficiency and adopt a more comprehensive approach to immigration. The IRCC has identified three pillars to achieve these objectives:

  1. Creating a more welcoming experience for newcomers

  2. Aligning immigration with labour market needs

  3. Developing a comprehensive and coordinated growth plan.

The Strategy seeks to ensure that Canada continues to attract and retain the talent it needs to thrive in the future.

The Role of Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in Canada's Immigration System

The IRPA is a key piece of legislation that governs Canada's immigration system and sets the framework for IRCC operations. It hasn't been thoroughly examined since it was enacted in 2002, making this review a long overdue yet necessary step for modernizing Canada's immigration laws.

The IRPA outlines the responsibilities of the immigration minister and how they should be executed. It also contains provisions for creating new immigration pathways, such as the recent introduction of category-based Express Entry. The Act also regulates how federal and provincial governments share immigration responsibilities.

Potential Impacts of Updating the IRPA

An updated IRPA could bring numerous benefits to Canada's immigration system. For starters, it could enable the creation of more specialized pathways for newcomers with in-demand skills. It could also lead to more consultations with stakeholders like settlement services, providing a clearer picture of Canada's capacity to integrate newcomers.

Moreover, the review could lead to revised regulations surrounding application submission and processing. This could help the department better meet the rising demand for immigration.

Express Entry Category-Based Selection

One of the significant updates to IRPA in recent years was the introduction of category-based Express Entry. This allows the immigration minister to issue Invitations to Apply to candidates with human capital attributes that align with one of six categories:

  1. Healthcare

  2. STEM professions

  3. Trades

  4. Transport

  5. Agriculture and agri-food

  6. French language proficiency

These categories align with IRPA's objective to maximize the economic benefits of immigration. By selecting newcomers with in-demand skills in high-vacancy sectors, IRCC can help support and strengthen the national economy.


Canada's Immigration Strategy Update is a crucial step towards a more efficient and inclusive immigration system. The review of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act promises to make the system more adaptable to new challenges and opportunities. As we await the outcome of this review, one thing is clear—the future of Canadian immigration is poised for transformative change.

Are you’re interested in learning how to immigrate to Canada? We can help!

Working with immigration counsel can save you time and money throughout your immigration process. Get started today by booking your free Consult and a member of our team will contact you to discuss your options!

This update has been compiled with the latest available information for the general information of Border Law clients and other interested parties. This Update is not comprehensive and should not be relied upon without appropriate legal advice.


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