I'll pick up where Fraser left off.
Once again, we are here with you to give you an overview of the programs, but also of service delivery.
My job as an ADM of operations is to oversee many operational components, so I'll go a little bit deep into the operational realities of the department.
I'll start with the fact that as immigration happens, we want to protect and safeguard the health, safety and security of Canadians; that is of utmost importance to us. Immigration screening is thus a critical tool used to manage the entry to Canada.
Screening happens to ensure that the travellers are genuine, to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians as the immigrants enter, as well as to maintain public confidence among Canadians in immigration. That's of prime importance for both temporary and permanent residents.
They undergo a different kind of screening when they come to Canada. It depends upon the level of screening required or the level of risk posed by a visitor, which is currently also determined by their nationality. Also, screening for security, criminality and crimes against humanity is performed, in partnership with Canada Border Services Agency. We'll talk about that a little later.
On this slide we describe some very important things. For example, we describe who we're talking about and what we're talking about, which is temporary residents, the temporary resident visa and the electronic travel authorization. Then we describe the places we're talking about: overseas, at the border, and in Canada.
Most of what is happening is aimed at providing or getting from the clients information that is important for us to screen; for example, biographic information—fingerprints, facial recognition and that kind of stuff, information that is held by trusted partners such as the RCMP, M5 partners and so on. There is also information already existing in our system—for example, if somebody has applied earlier. There are also certain additional screening aspects that are needed.
Next is an important piece, in that very few are aware that we are in the business of screening and monitoring the health of immigrants in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The immigration medical exam applies to all foreign nationals who plan to be in Canada for more than six months. If you're coming here for more than six months, the immigration medical exam will be done, or if you're coming here permanently, an immigration medical exam will be needed from you. This exam screens for any danger to public health, such as active tuberculosis and other diseases, and danger to public safety; for example, severe mental health issues and excessive demand....
This health screening helps us to protect Canada against the arrival of infectious diseases. Also, the department itself is very much involved in another program that is an off-shoot of the migration health program, which is the interim federal health program. The interim federal health program provides temporary funding or health care coverage to those in need—refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable populations—until they become further eligible for provincial or territorial health coverage. That is an important part in which the department plays a big role.
In terms of Canadians, what my colleague Marian referred to is that when we bring in permanent residents, the ultimate impact is that they are going to become citizens at one point and then holders of a Canadian passport.
Citizenship is an important aspect. IRCC is not simply about bringing people from abroad; it is also to help them attain Canadian citizenship as well as Canadian values. Citizenship is granted to those who are born in Canada, those whose parents were born here, or those naturalized, which is the group I described. There is a process in which we go through different stages: residency requirements, a language test, another test of citizenship values, and that's when we get to the citizenship point.
We're proud that Canada is a country in which, according to the 2016 Census 86% of eligible adult permanent residents have transferred their status to citizenship. This is among the highest naturalization rates of all countries.
Canadian citizenship means a lot to new Canadians. If you have ever been to a citizenship ceremony, you will have seen a range of emotions when new immigrants become Canadians.
There is also another aspect where eligibility is concerned that the IRCC is responsible for. Canadian citizens in some circumstances may lose or renounce their citizenship. That part is also something that rests with the IRCC. Citizenship may be revoked from naturalized Canadians if obtained as a result of fraud or misrepresentation and in some other circumstances. That's a part that also rests with the IRCC.
Our next slide is on passports. The next natural step from citizenship is getting a passport. A passport, actually, is a foundational identity document. This document is required for Canadians to travel internationally. Again we are proud that 66% of Canadians at this time hold a valid passport. This means almost 24 million passports in circulation.
The IRCC is responsible for granting different types of passports or travel documents to Canadians. One thing that is very much in our purview is that passport service delivery is done in collaboration with two other partners. One is ESDC or Service Canada, which does the domestic delivery. Global Affairs does it in terms of our services abroad through the consular services.
The IRCC itself also handles special passports—for example, diplomatic passports, travel documents for non-Canadians, and so on. That itself is very much a security matter that maintains Canadian passport security and integrity. The value of the Canadian passport is that it allows unrestricted entry to the more than 120 countries who respect it.
Among our key partners I mentioned a few earlier—the RCMP, GAC, and ESDC. We do a lot of our work in partnership. We're dependent on our partners. That is our biggest friend and biggest value, too.
The Canada Border Services Agency is the main co-delivery partner for IRPA, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which manages the flow of travel of Canadians at the port of entry. We are not at the port of entry; the CBSA is. They provide intelligence on security matters and also manage irregular migration at borders.
Similarly, as I mentioned, ESDC, which provides services through Service Canada for passports, is also responsible for the labour market impact assessment, which is necessary for temporary foreign workers.
As for Global Affairs, as I mentioned earlier we have our missions abroad, from which we operate as well as deliver passports.
I also mentioned the Public Health Agency of Canada, which is responsible for giving us direction for medical screening.
I would be remiss if I did not mention, on slide 18, the key partners, which are the provinces and territories, who play a very important part. The FPT landscape in immigration has been very solid. Every year there is a set-up for the way we can have a shared federal, provincial and territorial playing field in immigration.
Provinces and territories leverage immigration to meet their economic needs and provide social services to newcomers in their jurisdictions. The only exception, which we mention on the slide, is Quebec. Quebec and Canada have a distinct relationship: they have the Canada–Quebec Accord, which allows Quebec to publish its own immigration level annually and decide how the selection of immigrants will happen.
I will move on to slide 19 on international relationships. Again, our international relationships are very important to our success. The U.S., Mexico and M5 are the partners with whom we've worked very closely.
The two partners that we have listed here under “international organizations”—the IOM, the International Organization for Migration, and UNHCR—operate in the field of refugee claims determination. Without their collaboration, we would be unable to provide the services we do in partnership with them. It's a very valued partnership between us and UNHCR and IOM.
The next area is the delivery of our services. One thing I want to put some focus on is that the department, as structurally described here, also has the portfolio organization of the Immigration and Refugee Board. That is, as you know, an independent administrative tribunal that is accountable to Parliament and reports to the IRCC minister as a separate entity. I also want to draw your attention to the college of immigration and citizenship consultants, created just to provide oversight. The college doesn't actually exist, per se, but implementation is anticipated later on in this year. This is just to make sure you see the whole landscape under the IRCC minister.
I might be a little repetitive on the delivery of our services, but I want to give you an idea of the reach of IRCC. Our domestic and settlement offices handle complex decision-making as well as routine citizenship, humanitarian and compassionate cases. There are around 23 client-facing offices across all provinces. There are case processing centres in Sydney, Ottawa, Mississauga and Edmonton for specifically centralized intakes of applications and processing. For example, in Mississauga it's for parents and grandparents, spouses and partners. Similarly, the central intake office in Sydney is for federal skilled workers.
We do have a call centre—as we call it, our “client support centre”—in Montreal. It provides client-centric services. Our operations support centre is another place where we provide a 24-7 service on biometrics and resettlement operations that help us with assessing the resettlement situations. On passports, again, I won't put more emphasis than I already have. Passports are delivered through our partner Service Canada, and that's all over Canada.
On page 22 you will see a pictorial diagram. The black circles represent where IRCC domestic and settlement offices are. The green circles show the number of passport service locations. They show you how wide the network is. In terms of the delivery of our services through the operational network abroad, an important part of our intake abroad is done through the 161 visa application centres, commonly referred to as “VACs”, in 108 countries. They are our way to intake all the applications. These visa application centres are where temporary resident applications and student and work permits are received. We process them, whether they are done in Canada or abroad. We have a footprint, although in fewer places—60 places—but almost 212 missions abroad provide services in terms of passports.
The last slide gives you an idea of our international footprint. There is a lot of work done, and our reach is beyond Canada. We cover almost all the area globally.
Thank you, Madam Chair, for your time.