Canada is currently facing a humongous backlog of applications for citizenship and temporary and permanent residence.
IRCC’s inventory stood at 2.39 million persons as of June. The backlog includes applications from future citizens, permanent residents, international students, temporary workers, and visitors.
The backlog is partially attributed to Ottawa’s move to welcome an unlimited number of Ukrainians fleeing their war-torn country.
Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET):
It is a three-year temporary visitor visa for Ukrainians but holders of the visa can apply for a work visa at the same time.
The good news is that IRCC is processing Permanent And Temporary Residence Applications at a high speed. The burgeoning backlog of immigration applications is also attributed to the fact that Canada is welcoming new immigrants at a record-setting pace.
Temporary-to-Permanent Resident Program:
The huge growth in immigration numbers is also driven by the temporary-to-permanent resident (TR-to-PR) program which took applications until November and gathered 84,177 applications. The program targeted healthcare workers in Canada and recent international graduates from Canadian colleges and universities. The program covered the entire of Canada except for the francophone province of Quebec which operates its immigration system.
For the year 2022, Canada has targeted 40,000 new permanent residents under federal economic public policies for this year.
If the current rate continues, Canada could welcome 66,570 new permanent residents under the TR-to-PR pathway this year.
Measures to speed up the backlog clearance:
In January 2022, the Immigration Minister announced that Canada is planning to take the final decision on 147,000 permanent residence applications in the first quarter of 2022 itself. This can be taken care of by IRCC’s $85 million budget that will allow processing service standards to return to normal. This will apply to study permits, work permits, and permanent resident card renewals by the end of the year.
To counter the backlog, Canada is investing an additional $117 million. The amount will be used to implement Canada’s new immigration measures to welcome those fleeing the war in Ukraine.
This extra funding will also allow IRCC to process applications more quickly by procuring more resources such as employing more staff.
IRCC is also moving towards enabling a more integrated, modernized, and centralized working environment. For instance, digitizing the application process and implementing technology-based solutions will help in reducing the wait time. IRCC has also hired about 500 new processing staff.
Countering all speculations, the minister will announce Canada’s new Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024 within the next few days. This will ensure a greater sense of which permanent residence applications IRCC will prioritize moving forward.
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