On January 31, Canada's new Federal Immigration Minister Sean Fraser made an announcement on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's commitment to improve and modernize the immigration system and resolve the backlogs and frustrations currently facing IRCC and their clients:
Today I announced new measures that will help reduce wait times, improve client experience, and help modernize our immigration system.
These measures build on the work we've already done to reduce wait times, including hiring 500 new processing staff and digitizing applications.
As a result of closed offices, quarantines and travel restrictions due to the pandemic, there are many processing backlogs and challenges to Canada's immigration system including processing delays that have led to frustrations for those trying to come to Canada to work or reunite with their families. The promised IRCC improvements announced include:
- Permanent Residence
- Create a permanent resident tracker for spousal sponsorship applications
- Phase out paper intake of applications
- Enable clients to renew the PR online
- Process new Family Class and CEC applications under the current service standards
- Canada plans to make 147,000 permanent residence final decisions in the first quarter of 2022
- Temporary Residence
- Reduce existing application inventories and meet the service standards for work permits and study permits
- Reduce the existing application inventories for visitor visas
- Reduce the inventor of 60,000 clients waiting to take their citizenship oath
- Schedule citizenship oaths within 4 months of approval
- provide clients with the status of their application
- Update online processing times tool in the coming months to give up-to-date estimates of how long it will take to process applications
Immigration Canada is currently experiencing a backlog of more than 1.8 million people who are waiting for a decision or update on their immigration status. According to the IRCC press release,
- Immigration accounts for almost 100% of Canada’s labour force growth.
- Roughly 75% of Canada’s population growth comes from immigration.
- Immigrants help address labour shortages in critical sectors such as health care, create jobs, drive economic growth, and enrich Canadian communities.
IRCC has committed to increased use of technology to expedite the immigration process and minimize the paperwork delays and frustrations.
I know that processing delays have been incredibly frustrating for many individuals. Helping clients come to Canada quickly, with predictable processing times and efficient communication with IRCC, remains a top priority for me. Immigration benefits all Canadians—it helps grow our economy and strengthens our communities across the country. Many people are choosing Canada as the place to visit and build their future, and to ensure that we stay competitive, we have introduced concrete measures to make sure those who want to come to Canada have the client experience they deserve.
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Minister Fraser shared the following graphic to explain the measures to improve client experience and modernize the immigration system.
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