While providing asylum claimants with a safe place to live falls under provincial and municipal jurisdiction, the federal government recognizes the need for all orders of government to work together to address pressures on the shelter system. Since 2017, the federal government has provided almost $960 million through the Interim Housing Assistance Program, which helps provincial and municipal governments prevent homelessness for asylum claimants on a cost-sharing basis. Budget 2024 proposes to provide $1.1 billion over three years, starting in 2024-25, to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to extend the Interim Housing Assistance Program. Funding in 2026-27 will be conditional on provincial and municipal investments in permanent transitional housing solutions for asylum claimants. The federal government is working with all orders of government to find long term solutions to prevent asylum seekers from experiencing homelessness.

Around the world, the number of people displaced by political instability, conflict, poverty, and climate change continues to rise. According to the UN Refugee Agency, in 2022, the worldwide number of new individual asylum applications increased by 83 per cent compared to 2021. Canada is not immune to these dynamics, and more than ever before, people come to Canada in search of safety and stability. Canada’s asylum system, including the processes and rules guiding the work of the border officers, immigration officials, and members of the Immigration and Refugee Board who process, investigate, and adjudicate asylum claims, has struggled to keep up with the unprecedented number of asylum claims. This has resulted in longer periods of uncertainty for those in legitimate need of protection and delayed removals of those with denied claims. To uphold the integrity and fairness of the asylum system, Budget 2024 proposes to provide Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency, and the Immigration and Refugee Board with $743.5 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $0.9 million in remaining amortization, and $159.5 million ongoing, to support the stability and integrity of Canada’s asylum system. Of this amount, $72 million over two years, starting in 2027-28, and $36 million ongoing would be sourced from existing departmental resources. Budget 2024 also proposes to introduce changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to simplify and streamline the claims process in support of faster decisions and quicker removals.

At NPZ Law Group, our U.S. and Canadian lawyers seek to assist clients with regard to employment and family immigration issues. If you or your friends or family should have any questions about any aspect of U.S. and Canadian Immigration Law, please feel free to contact us at or you can call our office at 201-670-0006 (ext. 104). We look forward to being able to assist you.