On November 21, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released updated information regarding immigration inventories and delays. The latest data indicated a total of 2,166,800 applications encompassing permanent residence, temporary residence, and citizenship approvals within all IRCC inventories. As per the update, 43.2% of applications in these inventories surpassed established service standards. IRCC’s goal is to process 80% of applications within the stipulated service standard, recognizing that certain intricate cases may necessitate a thorough evaluation. Presently, 47% of requests for temporary residence, covering purposes such as visiting, studying, or working abroad, and 45% of applications for permanent residency are experiencing delays. Furthermore, 21% of citizenship applications are also surpassing the expected service standards.Listen to this article.
In processing temporary residence applications, IRCC has achieved notable milestones, setting records for efficiency. In 2022, the organization finalized approximately 919,000 study permit applications, surpassing the 2021 record by over 29%. Additionally, about 1,164,000 work permits, including extensions, were processed in 2022, a significant increase from the approximately 630,000 processed in 2021. IRCC is actively addressing backlogs in temporary residence applications, with a focus on students and workers.
As of October 31, 2023, IRCC is working towards processing 80% of applications within established service standards. However, these standards allow for anticipated delays in complex cases or when additional information is required. Notably, IRCC has prioritized applications from workers in essential sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, and transportation. Special initiatives include the extension of work permits for those on the temporary resident to permanent resident pathway, as well as for individuals with expiring post-graduation work permits. Moreover, a public policy extension permits all visitors in Canada with valid temporary resident status to apply for employer-specific work permits, irrespective of their arrival date.
IRCC has implemented measures to enhance processing speed, including the expansion of the Student Direct Stream to seven additional countries and a 20% increase in the 2023 International Experience Canada program. The organization is also extending work permit eligibility to family members of temporary foreign workers. To further streamline processes, IRCC is actively hiring more personnel and reviewing and enhancing procedures, leveraging technology to support employees and expedite application processing.
In 2022, IRCC demonstrated a remarkable performance, making over half a million decisions and welcoming more than 437,000 new permanent residents. This surpassed the set target of 431,645 new permanent resident admissions, marking the highest number of newcomers in a single year in Canadian history.
Efforts to enhance the permanent residence application process are underway, aiming to provide a better experience for clients. As of October 31, 2023, IRCC is actively working towards processing 80% of applications within established service standards, taking into account potential delays in complex cases or when additional information is required from clients.
Key initiatives include the launch of an online portal enabling some permanent residence applicants to apply and finalize their permanent residence without in-person interaction. Additionally, a new online application status tracker has been introduced for family class permanent residence applicants, sponsors, and their representatives in spouse, partner, and dependent child categories. IRCC implemented a one-time pathway to permanent residence for over 90,000 essential temporary workers and international graduates of Canadian institutions, effectively reducing the Express Entry application backlog.
To further expedite processing, IRCC is actively hiring additional employees and reviewing and improving processes, leveraging technology to support efficiency. The commitment to increasing annual permanent resident targets reflects a proactive approach to accommodate a growing number of new immigrants and further reduce backlogs.
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