Canada is opening up an operations centre in the Canadian embassy in the Philippines in an attempt to build enough capacity to boost immigration levels beyond the current, record-breaking numbers.
“Canada is set to welcome a record number of newcomers in the years ahead to fuel our economic growth. This will give us an advantage in the global race for talent, and support key sectors and industries,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
“Today’s announcement to open a new centre supported by 37 new employees in the Philippines is another example of Canada’s work to boost immigration processing as we continue to promote greater diversity among those looking to visit, study, work and live in Canada.”
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The Philippines was the fifth most important source of new permanent residents to Canada last year with 22,070 new arrivals, up 22.5 per cent from the level of immigration from that country in 2021, the latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals.
The Southeast Asian country was also the second-most important source of new Canadian citizens last year, providing 41,540 new citizens in 2022, up a staggering 127.7 per cent, or 23,297 Filipinos, from the country’s contribution the previous year.
Prior to the pandemic, the Philippines had provided 33,921 new Canadian citizens in 2019.
According to the 2021 census, 960,000 people of Philippine origin live in Canada while a growing number of Filipino citizens visit family and friends in Canada, study at Canadian colleges and universities or immigrate to Canada.
“Canada and the Indo-Pacific share deep people-to-people ties which are not only vast but expanding rapidly,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly.
Operations Centre Deemed Vital To Boost Immigration To Canada
“This operations centre will help facilitate travel, attract highly skilled workers to Canada, and meet the needs of our economy today and in the future.”
The opening of the operations centre is part of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and Ottawa hopes it will boost immigration application processing within Canada’s centralized network as well as abroad.
“Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy is crucial in addressing the impact of the region on Canadians, including the Filipino community,” said Mississauga—Streetsville MP Rechie Valdez in making the announcement for immigration minister.
“The opening of the new application processing centre in Manila is a strategic investment that will benefit Filipinos by providing more efficient processing of visas and supporting Canada’s planned increases to immigration levels. By expanding our presence overseas, we are committed to facilitating the immigration process for those who want to visit, study, work, or immigrate permanently to Canada.”
The IRCC’s current Immigration Levels Plan calls for Canada to welcome 465,000 permanent residents in this year, 485,000 next year and 500,000 in 2025.
Throughout the world, Canada has visa offices in more than 50 locations in Canadian embassies, high commissions, and consulates.
Under its Indo-Pacific Strategy, Canada is investing $74.6 million over five year and $15.7 million in on-going funds to boost the IRCC’s application processing capacity both domestically and in the Indo-Pacific region.
The opening of the operations centre in Manila comes as Canada and the Philippines mark their 74th year of diplomatic relations.