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Summarizing IRCC’s efforts to modernize immigration to Canada

Summarizing IRCC’s efforts to modernize immigration to Canada

IRCC recently unveiled its intentions for modernizing application management systems to improve client communication and processing times. The IRCC's plans are summarized here.

At a meeting on October 12, 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provided this IRCC Digital Modernization slides to immigration representatives, including the Immigration Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association. An outline of the actions the IRCC is doing to modernize application management systems is provided below.

Why Canada has made enhancing its immigration policies a top priority

Canada understands that improving the application management systems for its immigration programs is essential for the prosperity of the nation. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser stated in a press release from January 2022:

"I am aware that many people have found processing delays to be quite upsetting. Our major emphasis is still assisting clients in entering Canada swiftly, with predictable processing timeframes and effective contact with IRCC. All Canadians gain from immigration because it enhances local economies and communities across the nation.

Many individuals are choosing Canada as the location to travel to and establish their future, therefore in order to maintain our competitiveness, we have put in place specific steps to guarantee that those who wish to immigrate will receive the high-quality services they deserve.

The actions IRCC is taking to modernize Canadian immigration

In order to satisfy the nation's objectives for faster processing times and better applicant experience, Canada is implementing the following steps to update the application management systems throughout Canadian immigration.

1. Investment of money

Canada recommended extra funding of $85 million in the Economic and Fiscal Update 2021 to lower application inventories. The development and delivery of an enterprise-wide digital platform that would progressively replace IRCC's antiquated Global Case Management System (GCMS) cost Canada $428.9 million over five years, with $398.5 million still to be amortized.

2. Increased Utilization of Advanced Data Analytics

According to data analytics used for visitor visas, routine files may currently be evaluated 87% faster.

3. Making the digital application portal more accessible to applicants

Application processing has so far reverted to the service standard of 12 months for new spousal sponsorship applications. In September 2022, IRCC started its move to 100% digital applications for programs granting permanent residency, however alternate formats are still available for those who need accommodations.

4. Launch of the Application Tracker for Permanent Residency

5. Online Permanent Residency Cards Receiving System

225,000 permanent residents utilized this gateway between June and December 2021.

6. Changes Affecting Citizenship Applicants

These changes include:

- online examination

- An online mechanism for tracking and submitting applications

- Virtual ceremonies for citizenship

- enabling interested individuals to self-administer their oath by a signed attestation, followed by a celebration of their citizenship

7. Revision of Current Procedures

IRCC strives to:

- Update the online processing times tool and start providing anticipated processing times for applications.

- Make sure candidates are excluded from immigration medical examination requirements.

- increase the availability of virtual interviews at our abroad offices and even some visa application centers, conduct more phone and video interviews for select programs, and


The IRCC has outlined the following three phases for the full implementation of its digital program modernization plan, with the first phase beginning in December 2020:

- Initially, stabilize (December 2020 to November 2021)

"Stabilizing the GCMS until a new platform can be supplied in phase three" is the main goal.

- Phase 2: Normative (December 2021 to March 2023)

Focus: "Building the fundamental cloud components that will underpin the capabilities that will be made available in phase three"

- Phase 3: Improve (April 2023 to December 2026)

Deliver a new digital operational platform and support initiatives to make sure [IRCC] is "digitally ready."

Expected results

In general, the aforementioned steps will shorten the time it takes to process applications and give clients better two-way communication capabilities. The following are more precise anticipated results and advantages that applicants will experience as a result of Canada's efforts to make improvements.

- More latitude in application processes and interviews

- enhanced application support and processing

- Better time estimates for application processing should be provided.

- decreased wait times

- To assist officers in sorting and processing visitor visa applications received from outside Canada, and permit the appointment of additional application processing personnel.

- Aid IRCC in managing the growing number of applications

- minimize the time it takes to process paper applications that are linked to COVID-19.

- Immediately inform clients when application submission is successful.

- facilitating online access to application progress updates and information

- assist candidates in time- and money-saving measures for the medical examination procedure

- letting candidates schedule their immigration journey

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