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Canada Point Plan to Speed Up Case & Clear Immigration Backlogs

December 22nd, 2023 at 01:18 am

Canada Point Plan to Speed Up Case & Clear Immigration Backlogs

A standing committee of the House of Commons has stated that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) needs to establish a timeline for clearing its backlog of applications and implement accountability measures to ensure the deadline is fulfilled.

Sukh Dhaliwal, the chair of the standing committee on citizenship and immigration, went so far as to suggest creating a special task force to address the issue in his study In-Demand Yet Unprocessed: Endemic Immigration Backlogs. Regretfully, the amount of applications has greatly exceeded the processing capacity, and the shift to a digital processing environment has been fraught with difficulties, creating an intractable backlog. Dhaliwal notes in the document

As of October 31, the most recent date for which data was available, immigration officials in Canada were dealing with a backlog of 2,166,800 applications, including almost a million, or precisely 936,500, which are deemed to be backlogged or exceed the IRCC’s service requirements.

47% of the 1,256,600 applications for temporary residence at that time were backed up. Additionally, 639,000 applications for permanent residence were filed with the IRCC, and 45% of those were pending. It appeared that immigration officers were keeping up with citizenship applications better. By the end of October, there were 271,000 of those, and just 21% of those were in the backlog.

IRCC Updates

On its website, the IRCC states, “We are taking action to reduce the backlogs of applications within our inventories.” “We want to process 80 percent of applications per our service standards.” This permits anticipated delays in certain extremely complicated cases or in situations where we want further information from our clients before completing their files.

To investigate application backlogs and processing timelines, the standing committee resolved in February of last year to begin holding sessions on May 5. It had heard from 44 Witnesses by the end of November, including attorneys and consultants, settlement workers, business advocates, and refugee organizations.

The standing committee heard testimony from business organizations noting that Canada’s reputation suffers when business people cannot arrive in time to attend conferences. These backlogs not only cause problems for foreign nationals applying to become permanent residents, temporary foreign workers seeking work permits to fill jobs in Canada, and international students whose studies may be negatively affected by application processing delays.

Effects of Backlogs

Business associations claim that backlogs are harming Canada’s image overseas. At several international conferences and events, Canada’s standing has been damaged because attendees were unable to enter because they were unable to obtain a visa. The president of the Quebec advocacy group, Clare Lune, allegedly informed the standing committee

Beth Potter, president and CEO of the Tourist Industry Association of Canada, reportedly stated that tour operators had also encountered difficulties in bringing international groups into Canada.


The report of the standing committee was published on December 14th of this year. A list of forty proposals to reduce backlogs and enhance the processing of immigration applications is included in it for the House of Commons. These suggestions are as follows:

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After students graduate, the IRCC immediately grants them work permits for post-graduate courses. In addition, the IRCC works with the governments of Quebec and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

To address the labor force crisis in Canada, the provinces and territories that have a better understanding of their respective labor markets act quickly by creating comprehensive plans for economic development, education, and training that will meet labor market demands in the short, medium, and long term. When the file is submitted online, the IRCC electronically provides an acknowledgment of receipt.

Respecting the authority of Quebec and the provinces that receive and approve applications for private sponsorship, the IRCC waives the UNHCR’s requirements for refugee determination for all refugees who are sponsored privately.

To assist in the selection and processing of refugee applications, the IRCC ceased relying solely on the UNHCR and instead enlarged the list of referral partners to include other respectable, well-established organizations. Concerns about the program Integrity framework and the new obligations for holders of sponsorship agreements are addressed by the IRCC.

The IRCC makes it plain to everyone that they are free to select the citizenship ceremony procedure that best suits their needs, that virtual ceremonies should be permitted in addition to online ceremonies, and that any self-administered oath of citizenship must pass stringent integrity standards.

Additional Recommendations

The IRCC improves the ability of Visa offices to handle applications and, more importantly, to interact with customers efficiently. It is departmental staff, not outside contractors, who handle applications for the IRCC at abroad visa application centers. The IRCC verifies that all internet forms that are visible to the public are operational and examines the online portal process for faults and defects. It also promises to fix these issues right away.

For the government to properly troubleshoot the frequent portal glitches and technical issues that the IRCC immediately implements, the IRCC consults with users of the online system and portal. Additionally, the IRCC uses plain language in all of its application processes, and the website is updated to improve the quality of written French in the online application process for francophone applicants.

The IRCC makes sure that exceptional immigration measures are granted to all persons and their immediate families who have supported the various Canadian missions in Afghanistan as soon as possible. They will be exempt until they land on Canadian soil if they have already completed a prior biometric examination as part of their missions.

To guarantee that all refugee applications—regardless of their nation of origin—are handled following the same standards during a humanitarian crisis, the IRCC drafts public policy. The IRCC establishes a timeframe for clearing the backlog and puts in place safeguards to make sure it is fulfilled.

A deadline for processing older backlog applications is set, and a special task force is created. The IRCC improves its public and online-facing internet systems to give individuals, their designated Advocates, and anyone else they approve to view their data on their behalf, access to real-time case updates. Accurate processing times are posted online by IRCC.

Recommendations Part 3

The Immigration and Refugee Council of Canada (IRCC) expeditiously grants open work permits to asylum seekers in Canada. The IRCC has established a temporary public policy for protected persons, enabling them to immediately receive permanent residence after years of waiting in the backlog. According to his mandate letter, the minister of immigration, refugees, and citizenship acted to expedite family reunification applications for both family class and refugee applications, and the government routinely released the processing timeframes for both streams.

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All illegal individuals and temporary foreign workers in Canada are granted open work permits by the IRCC. To regularize undocumented individuals and temporary foreign workers in Canada, including caregivers who have labored there to seek permanent residence and for whom the backlog has negatively impacted their lives and means of subsistence, the IRCC established a temporary public policy.

The IRCC eliminates the two-year work experience criterion for the live-in caregiver program and the cap per program for the home support and home child care provider pilots. For officers and the general public to comprehend how these decisions are made, the IRCC creates appropriate standards that are specified in detail.

For accountability, the IRCC or third-party interviews will be recorded, and the tape will be admissible in any court proceeding involving a review of the application decision. The Immigration and Refugee Committee of Canada (IRCC) examines immigration officer training in different jurisdictions to see whether there is a model that works best in the Canadian setting.

Because of this, the IRCC creates and delivers training to help officers make judgments sensitive to cultural differences and well-informed.

Recommendations Part 4

The IRCC collaborates with outside parties to process applications and interview candidates, such as Quebec stakeholders, lawyers specializing in Quebec civil law, and leaders of faith communities. Together, these parties establish best practices, new training programs, and guidelines to help visa officers identify and comprehend various cultural norms surrounding marriage and how to ask candidates sensitively to gauge the sincerity of a relationship.

To process certain applications and streams, the IRCC appoints and educates local officials and teams. To guarantee that applicants receive updates on their files through a more advanced and effective method, the IRCC provides all pertinent officer notes to applicants at every stage. Before returning or rejecting immigration petitions, the IRCC gives applicants enough opportunity to submit or remedy any mistakes, including missing documents.

The IRCC established the position of an immigration odds person to oversee IRCC operations and, with action powers, to supervise processing times for all immigration streams, including temporary immigration streams, and to mandate changes to processing times to provide more client-centered service.

For processing applications from those experiencing emergencies, the IRCC establishes a departmental division apart from others in resources and staffing. To prevent resources from diverting from the delivery of current programs—thus, when the government of Canada introduces new immigration measures, additional resources, and additional level numbers to meet the demands of the new initiatives—the government of Canada and the IRCC invest in emergency preparedness programs to respond to global humanitarian crises.

Final Recommendations

For Afghan interpreters and their families who have migrated to third countries, the IRCC offers housing help. For Afghans who served in Canada and for their loved ones in need of protection, the IRCC waived the restriction. The IRCC quickly and urgently relocates Afghans who served in Canada, together with their loved ones, to safety.

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To adequately solve the application backlogs and processing delays that have plagued the department for years and severely disrupted the lives of refugees, immigrants, temporary foreign workers, and students, the Canadian government has increased staffing and resources at the IRCC. More staffing resources and call centers are provided by the IRCC to ensure that people get timely information about their cases.

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