The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) today released his analysis of Canada’s federal Express Entry immigration programs.
The report estimates the cost of the three federal immigration streams for skilled immigrants who want to settle in Canada permanently: the Federal Skilled Workers Program, the Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. The federal government’s stated goal is to process 80% of the applications received through these Express Entry immigration programs within six months.
The PBO projects that the gross cost of the federal Express Entry system – which includes processing, pre-arrival services and settlement services – will be $792 million over the next five years. This cost will be offset by $743 million in fee revenue collected from applicants, resulting in a net total cost of $48 million.
“Based on our analysis, current staffing levels at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are expected to be more than sufficient to meet the processing time goal for the next five years,” says Yves Giroux, PBO. “In fact, we estimate that IRCC has 65% more staff than needed to meet their goal this fiscal year.”
Quebec does not participate in the federal Express Entry system. Instead, it receives federal funding to run separate immigration programs. The PBO’s report does not estimate the costs of Quebec’s immigration programs.