Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2008

Subjects

Canada; immigration policy; migration; multiculturalism; citizenship; refugees; Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; IRPA; social integration

Abstract

Like Australia and the United States, Canada is usually considered a ‘traditional’ immigrant receiving country in contrast to many countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa where large-scale immigration is a relatively recent phenomenon. This chapter reviews past and current Canadian immigration policy. Section one provides a brief historical overview of Canadian immigration patterns. Section two outlines current immigration policy, including the changes introduced by Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (2002). Section three discusses the relationship between immigration policy and the integration of immigrants in Canadian society. The chapter concludes with the proposition that, while Canada’s immigration policy converges with developments in other countries worldwide, its immigration experience also poses a challenge for those scholars who postulate a strong inverse relation between higher immigration rates and an advanced welfare state. Differences also include increased recognition rates for asylum claimants as well as the comparatively lower focus on immigration as a subject of public debate in Canadian political culture.

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