The Canadian federal government department that used to be called Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has been renamed Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Usage of the new name began soon after the new government of Canada took office in November, 2015, but has become more apparent over the opening weeks of 2016.IRCC facilitates the arrival of immigrants to Canada, provides protection to refugees, and offers programs to help newcomers settle in Canada. IRCC’s mandate also extends to granting citizenship, issuing travel documents (such as passports) to Canadians, and promoting multiculturalism.
While the acronym ‘CIC’ continues to be used in some cases, particularly on older webpages and program guides, it has become increasingly apparent over the first few months of the present government’s term in office that ‘IRCC’ is preferred in most official publications and communications.
The addition of the word ‘refugees’ in the official name of the government department reflects the current government’s focus on humanitarian and refugee immigration to Canada. That being said, the government has made it clear that Canada will uphold an open and welcoming immigration policy for skilled immigrants and family class programs. There is no evidence to suggest that economic immigration or family reunification is less important to this government than its predecessors; indeed, the government has pledged to increase funding allocated to IRCC to improve program delivery and processing times.
In addition, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has issued a public mandate to the Minister overseeing IRCC, John McCallum, to increase the maximum age for dependents to 22, from 19, to allow more Canadians to bring their children to Canada. Minister McCallum has also been asked to look into giving additional points under the Entry Express immigration selection system to provide more opportunities for applicants who have Canadian siblings.