Immigration minister Sean Fraser provides an update on Canada’s immigration system
Sean Fraser, Canada's Immigration Minister, talked on August 24 in Vancouver on Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) ongoing efforts to minimize application backlogs, improve client service, and solve labor shortages.
IRCC has indicated that it will add up to 1,250 new personnel by late fall to increase processing capacity and reduce the backlog, while simultaneously working to make the system more efficient in the long run. IRCC claims the new staff will cut application wait times and allow new applications to be processed at pre-pandemic levels, including the service requirement of six months for Express Entry programs.
Processed data from January to July 2022
The IRCC set a target of admitting 405,000 new permanent residents in 2021 and 431,000 in 2022 in accordance with the Immigration Levels Plan. Between January 1 and July 31, 2022, the number of permanent residents in the nation will increase by 275,000. 349,000 new work permits, including 220,000 open work permits, were issued within the same period (OWP). A person who holds an OWP is eligible for employment in the majority of professions in Canada.
Additionally, there were more requests for study permits, which have now been awarded in 360,000 instances in 2022. This amounts to a 31% increase above the total quantity of research permits given during the same time period in 2021.
IRCC will release monthly backlog data
The IRCC claims that because of Canada's humanitarian response to crises and replacing outdated equipment to keep up with demand, processing backlogs have gotten worse. As of the end of July, all business lines put together had around 54% of applications in the system that was out of date with the service standard, per their analysis. In compliance with service standards, IRCC claims to be handling 80% of new applications at this time.
In recognition of the backlog, IRCC stated that it will publish monthly data on its website and provide further information on additional measures being taken to improve the current system in the coming weeks.
A summary of the immigration backlog
The IRCC's backlog has practically tripled as a result of the outbreak. The most current IRCC data that CIC News had access to showed that by mid-July, there were about 2.7 million applications in the backlog. However, more recent data made available by the IRCC today reveals that as of July 31, only 2.4 million applications were still awaiting processing.
IRCC has upgraded the department's definition of a backlog as well. On its website, it notes that requests handled in accordance with its service standards are not thought of as being in the backlog. However, backlogs are accumulated for applications that are processed outside of its service requirements.
Based on the IRCC service standards, the department creates criteria for each business line. For example, Express Entry has a service requirement that all permanent residency applications be processed in six months. The 639,500 applications for permanent residency that are presently being processed match 47% of the service standards, according to the new IRCC website.
Of the almost 1.4 million applications for temporary accommodation, 41% presently meet the company's service standards. The processing of about 65% of the about 379,000 citizenship applications complies with IRCC service requirements.
The agency has stated that it will fulfill 80% of requests in compliance with its service standards. On the department's new webpage, estimates for when it anticipates achieving this target across all of its business units are given. It anticipates achieving this objective for programs including Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program, and the Spouses, Partners, and Children program, for example.
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