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Canada’s immigration backlog remains at 2.6 million people

Canada’s immigration backlog remains at 2.6 million people

The number of immigrants pending in Canada is still 2.6 million. New information from IRCC indicates that the backlog's size has not altered over the past month.

New numbers from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) show that there are still 2.6 million immigrants in Canada's backlog. On October 14, the IRCC posted revised information, which is current as of September 30, on its website.

Since July 2021, the inventory across all business lines has developed as follows:

- 30, September 2022: 2,600,000 people (figure rounded by IRCC)

- 2,583,827 people as of August 31, 2022

- 2,679,031 individuals from July 15–17, 2022

- 2,387,884 people from June 1 to 6, 2022

- 2022 April 30 - May 2: 2,130,385 people

- 2022 April 11–12: 2,031,589 people

- 2022 March 15–17: 1,844,424 people

- 1 February 2022: 1,815,628 individuals

- 15th of December 2021: 1,813,144

- 1,792,404 people as of October 27, 2021

- 6th of July, 2021: 1,447,474 people

Current application inventories

Applications for citizenship, temporary residence, and permanent residence are all listed on the website. According to the IRCC, 1.11 million of these applications—less than half—were processed within service requirements.

1.49 million applications are still deemed to be outside of service criteria. To further split it down, a total of 46% of applications for temporary residence, 47% of applications for permanent residence, and 69% of applications for citizenship met service standards.

Service requirements

The internal barometer that IRCC uses to handle applications for each business line is called a service standard. In other words, processing the typical application for a certain immigration program is the objective that IRCC sets.

The actual average time it takes the IRCC to process applications for each program deviates from service requirements. In order to provide applicants with more openness, the IRCC said earlier this year that it will post regular updates on its website with typical processing durations.

Applications for permanent residency submitted through Express Entry programs typically take six months. For other economic class lines of business, it is lengthier.

According to IRCC, the minimum service requirement for spousal and kid family class sponsorship is twelve months. Depending on the type of application (job or study) and whether it was submitted from within Canada or overseas, temporary residency applications have service standards that range between 60 and 120 days.

Applications for citizenship have a service requirement of 12 months, and there are an extra 4 months between the application's approval and the scheduled citizenship ceremony.

The backlog shrinks for two business lines.

Since the latest IRCC update in September, the total number of applications has not greatly altered. Nevertheless, depending on the industry, the distribution of backlogged applications has changed.

Applications for citizenship and temporary residency have both decreased but there has been a significant increase in applications for permanent residence.

This occurs at a time when 1,500 individuals were asked to apply for PR and all-program Express Entry drawings resumed on July 6. Since then, with each draw, IRCC has invited a growing number of applicants, up to the most recent draw in which 4,250 candidates received an ITA.

The figures on hand are as follows:

- As of September 30, there were 352,000 people applying for citizenship, down from 371,620 on August 31.

- As of September 30, there were 614,600 individuals residing permanently, up from 513,923 as of August 31.

- Likewise, as of September 30, there were 1,644,100 people residing in temporary housing, down from 1,698,284 as of August 31.

As a result, there have been decreases in two of the three main immigration categories, however, there has been an increase in applications for permanent residence of about 100,677.

How soon will the backlogs clear?

Forecasts on the backlog's predicted state over the coming months are also available on the IRCC website. For instance, the website estimates that by December 2022, the backlog for Provincial Nominee Program applications and federal high-skilled permanent residence applications will both be less than 20%.

The backlog for family, spouse, and kid applications for permanent residence (outside of Quebec) will be 19%. By December 2022, there should be a 25% backlog in citizenship requests.

Depending on the type of visa, there are various forecasts for temporary residence permits that extend through March 2023. The backlog for temporary resident (visitor) visas will be 58%.

There will be a 23% backlog for study permits, and; By March 2023, there will be a predicted 30% backlog in work permits. In fact, according to IRCC, the backlog will rise to as much as 60% in December 2022 before declining once more.

IRCC's improvements

The IRCC has acknowledged the backlog and claims that it is improving the processing time for applications. A task force was established in June by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to assess the current backlog in services and offer recommendations for both immediate and long-term improvements. To that purpose, immigration minister Sean Fraser unveiled a number of system updates on September 1.

On September 23, IRCC started the shift to 100% digital applications for the majority of permanent resident programs, with provisions provided for people who are unable to apply online.

All applicants above the age of 18 can now submit their citizenship applications entirely online as part of this change. By the end of this year, IRCC hopes to convert all citizenship applications to digital format.

In order to enhance processing capacity, the department is also adding 1,250 more employees by the end of the autumn. It also claims to be modernizing and streamlining the system.

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