In a significant move toward fostering an efficient and user-friendly immigration experience, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Government of Canada have introduced a groundbreaking initiative named Digital Platform Modernization (DPM). This strategic endeavor, detailed in the immigration strategy titled “An Immigration System for Canada’s Future,” aims to revamp IRCC’s operating platform, enhance automation, and streamline services for individuals in Canada and around the globe.
Understanding Digital Platform Modernization (DPM):
DPM represents a transformative leap for IRCC, poised to revolutionize the way it conducts business. This initiative is driven by the need to stay competitive globally, attract top-tier talent, and ensure modern, proficient service delivery. The central focus of DPM is to create a state-of-the-art digital platform that maximizes efficiency, responding to the unprecedented demand for various immigration programs such as work, study, visit, and residency.
Implementation of Digital Platform Modernization (DPM)
The implementation of DPM is a multi-year, multi-phase initiative that will gradually replace IRCC’s existing Global Case Management System (GCMS), an aging IT platform. The DPM program unfolds in three consecutive phases, each designed to achieve specific objectives:
- Phase 1: Primarily aimed at risk avoidance and stabilizing GCMS, focusing on reducing the technical debt accumulated over the years.
- Phase 2: Continues the standardization of IT operations and further reduces technical debt to pave the way for digital transformation.
- Phase 3: The most complex phase involves a comprehensive transformation in the way IRCC operates, delivering a new digital platform and supporting processes and policies. This phase is currently underway and is set to continue until December 2026.
Key Objectives of Digital Platform Modernization (DPM)
IRCC envisions DPM as a nimble, flexible, and responsive tool that actively contributes to the organization’s objectives:
Reducing Application Processing Times
DPM seeks to expedite application processing, providing a more streamlined experience for applicants.
Improving Tools for Officers
The platform aims to enhance the efficiency of officers through improved tools and resources.
Meeting Immigration and Diversity Priorities
Aligning with government priorities, DPM will play a crucial role in achieving immigration and diversity goals.
Adapting to Changing Needs
As global competition for talent intensifies, DPM will enable IRCC to respond effectively to evolving client expectations.
DPM and IRCC’s Overall Goals
Digital Platform Modernization is a crucial component of IRCC’s broader strategy to create a more welcoming experience for newcomers. The strategy outlines key actions to achieve this:
- Reducing Wait Times: IRCC is committed to minimizing wait times and enhancing service standards.
- Removing Barriers: Efforts will be made to eliminate obstacles in welcoming individuals vital for Canada’s future.
- Strengthening Partnerships: Collaborating with employers and institutions, while addressing fraud and fortifying protections for students and workers.
- Human-Centric Approach: IRCC aims to improve communication, prioritize a human-centric approach, and make applications more user-friendly through digital and virtual technologies.
- Advancing Reconciliation: The strategy emphasizes the importance of reconciliation as Canada welcomes newcomers.
Investments and Initiatives
To address backlogs and enhance operational capacity, IRCC has made substantial investments, including technological improvements and the recruitment of over 1,200 officers during 2022-2023. The integration of digital tools to facilitate efficient processing and the alignment of application intake with available admission spaces are instrumental in preventing prolonged waiting times.
Protecting Students and Workers
IRCC’s commitment to safeguarding students and workers involves initiatives such as Letter of Acceptance (LOA) verification, the implementation of a Recognized Institutions Framework to combat fraud in international student programs, and the Recognized Employer Pilot offering benefits to compliant employers in occupations facing labor shortages.
Human-Centric Approach and Reconciliation
A noteworthy step is the establishment of an advisory body comprising individuals with lived immigration experiences. This body will guide policy development and service delivery, ensuring a more human-centric approach. Furthermore, IRCC’s dedication to advancing reconciliation is underscored by the development of a new Citizenship guide that reflects the historical challenges faced by Indigenous People.