Canada’s immigration applications backlog hit 2.62 million in mid-July despite a drop in the inventory for permanent residence and citizenship, the latest Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) figures show.
“In terms of temporary residence, IRCC is receiving a much higher volume of applications,” noted IRCC spokesperson Julie Lafortune in an e-mailed response to Immigration.ca on Friday.
“During the first five months of 2022, IRCC received 31 per cent more temporary resident applications, or 1,940,993 compared to 1,482,143, during the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.”
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Permanent residence applications at the IRCC had dropped about 1.5 per cent, to 514,116 on July 17 from 522,047 about five weeks earlier.
And citizenship applications in the backlog also fell by a little more than 1.8 per cent during that time, from 394,664 to 387,368.
The IRCC is processing a more applications this year than it did in 2019, the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic. There are, in particular, a lot more study permits going through the system.
“It is worth noting that between January and May 2022, IRCC processed 221,522 study permit applications,” said Lafortune. “This compares with 128,021 in 2019, before the pandemic. This represents a 73 per cent increase in processing of international study permits so far in 2022 compared to the same time period in 2019.”
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But the IRCC is still facing a mountain of applications.
“Global migration has been upended by the pandemic,” said Lafortune. “Application inventories grew during the pandemic while health and travel restrictions were in effect and it will take some time to fully recover. IRCC is committed to providing quality client service across its global network by managing our programs and services in an efficient manner aligned with our goals.”
The number of applications in the system for temporary residence are skyrocketing this year, jumping by 248,950, or roughly 16.9 per cent, from by 1,471,173 in early June to 1,720,123 by mid-July.
CUAET Driving Surge In Temporary Residence Applications
A big driver of the jump in temporary residence applications is the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET), a program launched by Ottawa on March 17 to welcome an unlimited number of Ukrainians fleeing their war-torn country.
The latest IRCC figures show 362,664 applications were received under that program as of July 5, up 66,501, or 22.4 per cent, from 296,163 only a month earlier. Just under half of those, 151,353, had been approved as of early this month.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reports that 58,869 Ukrainians have came to Canada in the first six months of this year, including 9,223 at land crossings and 49,646 by air.
“This is the fastest, safest, and most efficient way for Ukrainians to come to Canada,” tweeted Immigration Minister Sean Fraser earlier this year. “It eliminates most of the normal visa requirements for all Ukrainian nationals, with the exception of background and security screening.”
Another big driver of immigration this year has been the one-time, temporary-to-permanent resident (TR-to-PR) program which took applications until November and was flooded with 84,177 applications.
|Canada’s Backlog of Permanent Residence Applications Nudged Down to 514,116 by Mid-July|
|Immigration Category||PR IMM Cat Sub Component||Grand Total|
|Economic||Agri-Food Pilot Program||765|
|Atlantic Immigration Pilot Programs||2,380|
|Atlantic Immigration Program||33|
|Canadian Experience Class (EE)||5,195|
|Canadian Experience Class (No EE)||109|
|Caring for Children||60|
|Federal Self Employed||4,502|
|Federal Skilled Workers (C-50)||123|
|Federal Skilled Workers (EE)||18,127|
|Federal Skilled Workers (Pre C-50)||23|
|High Medical Needs||7|
|Home Child Care Pilot||18,191|
|Home Support Worker Pilot||6,912|
|Interim Pathway Measure||767|
|Provincial/Territorial Nominees (EE)||27,925|
|Provincial/Territorial Nominees (No EE)||35,599|
|Quebec Self Employed||94|
|Quebec Skilled Workers||24,570|
|Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot||1,118|
|Skilled Trades (EE)||369|
|Skilled Trades (No EE)||2|
|TR to PR||51,392|
|Economic – Total||211,903|
|Family Class||Children & Other Family Class||9,147|
|FCH-Family relations – H&C||3,067|
|Parents and Grandparents||47,025|
|Spouses & Partners||59,012|
|Family Class – Total||118,251|
|Humanitarian & Compassionate / Public Policy||HC & PH class-ADM Dependant Person Overseas||44|
|Humanitarian & Compassionate Straight||11,362|
|Humanitarian & Compassionate with Risk or Discrimination||13,062|
|Public Policy With RAP||39|
|Public Policy Without RAP||5,341|
|Humanitarian & Compassionate / Public Policy – Total||29,848|
|Permit Holders Class||Permit Holders Class||16|
|Permit Holders Class – Total||16|
|Protected Persons||Blended Visa Office-Referred||150|
|Dependants Abroad of Protected Persons||26,628|
|Federal Government-assisted Refugees||33,531|
|Privately Sponsored Refugees||71,076|
|Protected Persons Landed In Canada||21,770|
|Quebec Government-assisted Refugees||943|
|Protected Persons – Total||154,098|
|Overall – Total||514,116|
|Application Type||Grand Total|
|Study Permit – Extension||35,482|
|Temporary Resident Visa||903,971|
|Work Permit – Extension||180,036|
|Overall – Total||1,720,123||—
|IRCC had Backlog of 387,368 Citizenship Applications in Mid-July|
|Application Category||Inventory Total|
That pathway targeted healthcare and other workers in Canada and recent international graduates from Canadian colleges and universities. It applied across the country with the exception of the francophone province of Quebec which operates its own immigration system.
By mid-July, 51,392 immigrants gained their permanent residency to Canada under this pathway.
In its Immigration Levels Plan for 2022 to 2024, Canada had targeted 40,000 new permanent residents under federal economic public policies for this year, which includes the TR-to-PR pathway, with a range of 30,000 to 48,000 new permanent residents. It has already surpassed that target.
In the backlog, the latest figures from the IRCC show 211,903 applications for economic immigration, 118,251 for family sponsorships, 29,848 for humanitarian and compassionate grounds, and 154,098 for protected persons and refugees.