BREAKING: Sean Fraser provides update on Canada’s immigration system

IRCC has also launched a new website to allow the public to track the immigration backlog.

Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, spoke in Vancouver today about Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) ongoing work to reduce application backlogs, improve client experience and address labour shortages.

As an immediate measure, IRCC has announced that it will have hired up to 1,250 new employees by late fall in order to speed up processing capacity and reduce the backlog, while also making efforts to make the system more efficient in the long term. IRCC says the new hires will decrease application wait times and allow new applications to be processed at pre-pandemic levels, including the service standard of six months for Express Entry programs.

Record numbers processed between January to July 2022 

IRCC welcomed 405,0000 new permanent residents to Canada in 2021, with a 2022 target of 431,000 based on the Immigration Levels Plan. So far in 2022, 275,000 new permanent residents have arrived between January 1 to July 31. In the same period, 349,000 new work permits have been issued, including 220,000 open work permits (OWP). An OWP, will allow permit holders to work anywhere in Canada in most occupations.

There was also an increase in study permit applications as well, with 360,000 permits finalized so far in 2022. This is up 31 per cent from the total number of study permits issued over the same period in 2021.

IRCC to publish backlog data monthly 

IRCC says that processing delays have been exacerbated due to Canada’s response to humanitarian crises and updating aging technology to meet current demand. They report that at the end of July, roughly 54 per cent of applications in the system have been there longer than the service standard, over all lines of business. IRCC says it is currently aiming to process 80 per cent of new applications within their service standards.