Canada: Federal Budget for 2018 Announced

The Canadian federal government announced its 2018 budget, which shows a strong commitment to innovation, immigration compliance and enforcement as well as support for asylum seekers in Canada.

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Mar 15, 2018

The situation

The Canadian federal government announced its 2018 budget. Immigration-related highlights are discussed below.

A closer look

  • Increased funding for immigration. CAD 440 million is designated to support the increased immigration levels announced for the next three years.
    • Impact. This amount will be distributed across a number of government agencies, principally to increase the application processing capacity and to provide settlement services for new arrivals.
  • Increased immigration compliance efforts. CAD 194.1 million will be granted over five years to support unannounced inspections under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the continued implementation of the International Mobility Program (IMP) compliance regime and the ongoing collection of labor market information related to open work permits.
    • Impact. Employers of foreign nationals in Canada should expect a continued focus on compliance, with an increased likelihood of on-site inspections. The increase in inspections is seen as a means of protecting foreign nationals from unfair practices.  
  • Protection of foreign workers. CAD 3.4 million will be designated from the Employment and Social Development Canada’s existing resources to establish, on a pilot basis, a network of support organizations for temporary foreign employees who are dealing with potential abuse by their employers.
    • Impact. Foreign workers who experience unfair practices in Canada will have additional recourse to support organizations.
  • Strengthening the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). CAN 88.5 million will be allocated in 2018-2019 to enable the CBSA to manage Canada’s borders by enforcing laws, government, trade, and travel and supporting legitimate cross-border travel.
    • Impact. Foreign nationals may see additional scrutiny upon entry to Canada. Increased resources will be made available to handle irregular migration to Canada.
  • Support for asylum seekers. CAD 173 million will be allocated to support security operations at the Canada-U.S. border and the processing of asylum claimants arriving in 2018-2019.
    • Impact. The additional funding will be used to manage the increase in the number of asylum claimants, including security screening at the border, and supporting decision-making capacity at the Immigration and Refugee Board. 
  • Start-up visa program. CAD 4.6 million in funding will be allocated over five years to support the Start-Up Visa Program, which pairs Canadian investors with foreign applicants; and CAD 0.8 million will be allocated per year on an ongoing basis to enhance the Start-Up Visa client-service experience by ensuring applicants, private sector partners and immigration officials are able to process applications electronically and more efficiently beginning in 2018-19.
    • Impact. The Start-Up Visa Program, which was initially launched as a pilot program, will be made a permanent pathway to immigrate to Canada as of March 31, 2018. 

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to

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