Canada Immigration Minister: Improve Immigration Processing Times

Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says he does not know when regular express entry draws for federal economic programs will resume (Immigration Processing), like Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) prepare to deal with a large application backlog.

Sean Fraser says about Immigration Processing

Fraser was responding to questions about an IRCC memo from November 2021 that said high-skilled immigration numbers may have to be halved in 2022, while the backlog can be dealt with.

express entry draw

He declined to confirm hard numbers, saying his immigration leveling plan would be presented to parliament in February.

Instead, the minister said there would be no shortage of economic migrants coming to Canada this year in various streams, including the provincial nominating program, the newly-permanent Atlantic immigration program, and other economic pilots.

“I know that delays in processing have been incredibly frustrating for many individuals, Fraser said.

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“Helping customers arrive in Canada quickly with predictable processing times (Immigration Processing Time) and efficient communication with IRCC is a top priority for me.”

He had good news for work permit processing via Global Talent Stream, saying that processing times will return to service standard by the end of this year, perhaps sooner.

Fraser said he was confident Canada was “winning the global competition for talent”.

“We are the best in the world at welcoming economic migrants in large numbers to fill jobs in our communities,” he said.

“But we have to work harder. We have to continue to raise immigration levels.”

Study Permit, Visitor Visa, and Reunification of Spouses

In addition to work permit processing, he also committed to returning study permit processing to the standard of service by the end of this year, noting that the number of applications processed has increased by 32% compared to before COVID-19, up to about 560,000.

He also said the additional resources will be aimed at assisting the tourism industry to process requests for visitor visas.

Meanwhile, spouses’ reunification applications have already been returned to the 12-month service standard for processing.

Additional resources come from Ottawa’s promise in the Economic Statement to spend $85 million on reducing the backlog in 2022 and 2023.

Permanent Resident Processing

Fraser said Canada plans to make a final decision on 147,000 permanent residency applications in the first quarter of 2022, doubling the 2021 figure, adding that officials were working to expand the use of the online application portal. He said that by the summer, every permanent residency application would be directed towards the online portal, compared to the current 15%. However, the paper-based application option will still be retained.

In addition, IRCC will launch a Permanent Residence Application Tracker in February to allow spouse and dependent family reunification applicants to track the process of their applications. This system will be introduced for other immigration classes in the future.

Citizenship Update

On citizenship, Fraser said the IRCC is working to expand participation in virtual ceremonies, with 5,000 applicants currently taking the oath a week.

He also said that a plan was being worked out to make candidates self-administer their oaths by signature verification as a tool to reduce processing time.

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The online citizenship test that started in November 2020 was also successful, with 5,000 applicants per week completing the online test.


One thought on “Canada Immigration Minister: Improve Immigration Processing Times

  • February 10, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    Salut je suis à la recherche d’un emploi au Canada et je suis conducteur poids lourd Berne Semi remorque et Toupie


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