The Federal Government – through Citizenship and Immigration Canada – is responsible for regulating the entry of immigrants and refugees to Canada, and processes applications for visas, residency status and citizenship.
Federal laws and policies of note include:
- The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which establishes the framework for Canadian immigration policy
- The Multiculturalism Act , which recognizes Canadian cultural diversity; and
- The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which assures Canadians’ fundamental freedoms, democratic rights and equality rights.
Canada is also signatory to certain international laws, such as the United Nations Convention and Protocol Related to the Status of Refugees.
British Columbia is one of only three provinces in Canada to have signed an Immigration Agreement with the Federal Government that gives them the power to design and deliver federally funded immigrant settlement programming.
Provincial governments have some input into immigrant selection, including through the Provincial Nominee Program.
Municipal governments are increasingly exploring policies related to immigrant attraction and retention as well.