Update from IRCC on processing backlog applications!
Almost 500,000 fewer applications have been submitted overall since August of this year, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). When compared to the same period in 2021, when the department processed 2.5 million applications, this is almost twice as many applications.
Since the period of June 1–6-2022, when the total number of applications backlogged in the system was reported to be 2,387,884 people, this is the shortest application backlog that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has ever seen.
The IRCC’s overall backlog of applications has decreased to 2.2 million as of December 2, 2022, from 2.6 million in September.
After the backlog was decreased to 2.4 million in November, the IRCC is now reporting a decrease in the number of unprocessed applications for the second consecutive period.
Temporary residence applications make up the majority of those that are processed. In 2022, IRCC processed 670,000 student permits and approximately 700,000 work permits. Approximately 251,000 new citizens arrived in Canada between April and November.
The IRCC has 2.2 million applications in stock as of December 2 of this year. According to IRCC data as of November 30, 1.09 million applications, or just over 50% of all applications, are now in a backlog or are not being handled in accordance with service requirements. The most recent data is down significantly from 2.6 million in September and is an improvement over the data from November 3, when there were 2.4 million applications in inventory.
All new spousal sponsorship applications are now processed within the pre-pandemic service norm of 12 months, according to the IRCC, and new Express Entry applications within 6 months. The pandemic backlog of requests for renewed permanent residence cards are also reduced by 99% by IRCC.
As of November 30, the IRCC’s stock of citizenship applications had decreased from 331,401 on October 31 to 314,630 (-5.06%).
The number of applications for permanent residency (PR) has increased by 1.16% to 512,342 as of November 3. (December 2).
Temporary residence (TR): From 1,537,566 in November to 1,416,125 in December, the total number of applications across all TR programs has decreased by 7.89%.
There are still 43,326 applications for Express Entry in the IRCC’s database, up 3,737 since November 3.
Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): Total applications (basic + enhanced) in the database stand at 62,343.
The number of applicants for the Spouses and Partners sponsorship program is currently 62,106 across all business sectors.
Applications for the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) decreased by 1,883 from 55,653 in November to 53,770 in December 2022.
Since the beginning of the year, the COVID-19 pandemic-related travel bans and office closures have resulted in a significant backlog of applications that IRCC has been attempting to manage.
The IRCC has responded by making adjustments to address operational inefficiencies such the digitization of applications. For instance, all citizenship applications submitted by those above the age of 18 are now digital, and only 28% of the 318,000 applications now on file are regarded as backlogs.
In order to speed up the application processing process, the department also declared in August that it will hire 1,250 more employees by the end of the year.
By the end of 2025, the Immigration Levels Plan 2023–2025 seeks to welcome and accept over 500,000 new permanent residents to Canada annually.
The nation is currently attempting to fill critical labour force deficits, hence the high objective. By 2030, up to nine million Canadians could be of retirement age, and there won’t be enough native-born citizens to fill the jobs that will become available as a result.
The IRCC has put up a variety of initiatives over the past year to boost the number of immigrants entering Canada. For instance, the IRCC has lowered the 20-hour work limit for international students and extended work licenses to spouses and dependent children of temporary foreign employees who are of working age.
Along with Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP), the rural and Northern Immigration Pilot have also seen growth. Additionally, additional money for 2,000 skilled refugees will be provided via the Economic Mobility Pilot Program.
IRCC states that between January and October 2022 (4.2 million), it delivered 2 million more combined final application decisions on PR, TR, and citizenship applications than it did during the same time in 2018. (2.3 million total final decisions made between January and October 2021).
On September 23, 2022, IRCC started the process of totally digitizing its PR application management systems in an effort to continue lowering the backlog of applications around the country.
As a part of a larger three-phase effort to modernize Canadian immigration and aid in Canada’s eventual goal of eliminating the backlog completely, this digitization of applications for PR programs came to an end with the Atlantic Immigration program in October 2022.
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