Canada is one of the most wonderful countries who welcome immigrants with open arms. Though they choose the immigrants based on their own requirements and systems. Currently, the immigration process has suffered a setback due to a pandemic situation. The country had to follow international travel restrictions. Even now they are following certain guidelines but still the process has begun. To fastrack and streamline the immigration process the country now wants to use an $85 million budget to return to normal processing standards for various immigration programs by the end of the year.

Website CWC

The Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has brought forward Canada’s plans to get the immigration system back on track. In the 2021 Budget, Canada allocated $85 million to reduce processing times across all IRCC lines of business. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also called on Fraser to work on the processing times in the minister’s mandate letter

The minister is positive that the  budget will allow Canada to return to processing service standards for study permits, work permits, and permanent resident card renewals by the end of this year 2022. Moreover, to cover-up the gap Canada is also working to reduce processing times for visitor visas and proof of citizenship. For more details you can also refer to website CWC.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) worked on  more than 500,000 permanent resident applications in 2021. Canada is looking forward to admitting 147,000 permanent residence final decisions in the first quarter of  the year2022 that means they will double that from the same period in 2021. Canada is also looking forward to introducing a new Permanent Residence Application Tracker in February 2022 for spouses and dependents, to allow applicants to see their application information and status online.

Furthermore, it has been revealed that the IRCC department is working on the processing times. It is believed that the actual anticipated processing times for economic immigration programs are much longer than what it says on the government website. On the same point, Fraser came forward and clarified that Canada will update the online processing times tool in the coming months to give IRCC clients more up-to-date estimates of how long it will take to process applications.

As per the November 24 memo, at the time, IRCC was expecting Foreign Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) application processing to take upto 20 months and beyond the processing standard of six months for Express Entry-managed programs. The same memo conveyed the processing time expected to be nearly eight months for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates.

This particular memo also shared that Express Entry draws would not invite FSWP and CEC candidates for the first half of the year 2022. Though a date is yet to be announced to resume these draws. The pausing of these draws to process the Express Entry inventory will allow IRCC to eventually hold draws without further exasperating the backlog. So, the withhold will serve as a beneficial factor for everyone. 

Immigration Canada is facing a heavy backlog of more than 1.8 million people waiting on their decisions. The backlog includes citizenship applicants, temporary foreign workers, families, students, refugees, and visitors. The Express Entry backlog alone stands at about 119,000 applicants as of December 2021.

To help the Express Entry candidates in Canada who may have to leave their jobs or leave Canada while IRCC holds off on draws for certain candidates, the minister said they are looking at alternate options to keep the workers in Canada, but they have not yet come up with a solution.

Fraser has come forward and owned up to the situation, and made a statement that “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.”

Well, the pandemic had highlighted the requirement  for IRCC operations to modernise. It has given the suitable time to reflect the changes required in the programme. To speed up the process the IRCC has hired about 500 new processing staff, digitised applications, and reallocated work among IRCC offices around the world.

Since public health measures reduced in-person services, IRCC has brought some paper-based immigration programs through the online process. It is believed the changes will be fully implemented in the spring or summer of 2022. IRCC says so far these efforts have allowed the average processing times for spousal sponsorship applicants to return to the service standard of 12 months for new applications.