IRCC Takes 350,000 Off Canada Immigration Application Backlog In Two Months

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IRCC Takes 350,000 Off Canada Immigration Application Backlog In Two Months
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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reduced the enormous application backlog to just over 2.2 million by early December from more than 2.5 million two months earlier.

“We have seen a decrease in our overall inventory of over 350,000 applications since Sept. 30, with the most significant decreases in temporary residence programs,” IRCC spokesman Remi Lariviere told Immigration.ca.

Faster processing of applications before the IRCC is credited for the drop in the department’s inventory.


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In the first 10 months of this year, IRCC officials came to almost 87 per cent more final decisions for permanent residents, temporary residents (excluding Electronic Travel Authorizations), and citizenship applications, 4.3 million compared to 2.3 million final decisions for the same period last year. 

Study permits are also on track to set a new record. In the first 10 months of this year, the IRCC processed about 593,000 study permit applications or 30.3 per cent more than the roughly 455,000 processed in the same period last year. 

“In addition, Canada has issued approximately 645,000 work permits from Jan. 1 to Oct. 31, 2022, compared to about 163,000 over the same period in 2021,” said Lariviere.

“We are also on track to reach our record-setting target of over 431,000 new permanent residence admissions in 2022, with approximately 388,000 new permanent residents already welcomed between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31 this year.”


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Under fire in the House of Commons over its backlog of applications, the federal government switched gears earlier this year and began to refer to all applications before the IRCC as its “inventory” of applications and only those who had been in the system longer than stipulated under the service standards as its “backlog”. 

That backlog now constitutes 54 per cent of applications to the IRCC, said Lariviere.

“We remain on track to meet our goals to reduce overall backlogs and process 80 per cent of new applications within service standards and we will continue to do what it takes to get there,” he said. 

Hiring Blitz During The Autumn Months Boosted IRCC’s Processing Capacity

The drop in the backlogs at the IRCC comes in the wake of a hiring blitz that sought to bring 1,250 more employees on board.

The latest IRCC data reveals citizenship applications in the department’s inventory have fallen by almost 18.8 per cent, or 72,738 applications, from 387,368 in mid-July to 314,630 at the end of November.

Permanent residency applications, which nudged down about 1.7 per cent from mid-July through to the start of October, are still down off that mid-summer high. 

The latest trend, however, has seen that inventory of applications rise a bit and it now sits at 512,342 applications, barely three-tenths of a percentage point from the 514,116 in mid-July.

The biggest change in the inventory of applications to the IRCC is for temporary visas, including work permits and study permits. In two months, the number of applications for temporary permits fell by almost 14.3 per cent, to 1,416,125 in early December from  1,651,649 in early October.

Permanent Residence Applications by Immigration Category as of Dec. 2

Immigration Category Grand Total
Economic Agri-Food Pilot Program 728
Atlantic Immigration Pilot Programs 772
Atlantic Immigration Program 466
Canadian Experience Class (EE) 15,079
Canadian Experience Class (No EE) 78
Caring for Children 47
Federal Investor 4
Federal Self Employed 3,504
Federal Skilled Workers (C-50) 118
Federal Skilled Workers (EE) 11,916
Federal Skilled Workers (Pre C-50) 19
High Medical Needs 4
Home Child Care Pilot 19,531
Home Support Worker Pilot 10,290
Interim Pathway Measure 441
Live-in Caregiver 688
Provincial/Territorial Nominees (EE) 16,101
Provincial/Territorial Nominees (No EE) 46,242
Quebec Entrepreneur 249
Quebec Investor 10,391
Quebec Self Employed 79
Quebec Skilled Workers 15,716
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot 1,048
Skilled Trades (EE) 230
Skilled Trades (No EE) 5
Start-up Business 3,458
TR to PR 45,091
Economic – Total 202,295
Family Class Children & Other Family Class 8,683
FCH-Family relations – H&C 2,532
Parents and Grandparents 53,770
Spouses & Partners 62,106
Family Class – Total 127,091
Humanitarian & Compassionate / Public Policy HC & PH class-ADM Dependant Person Overseas 44
Humanitarian & Compassionate Straight 10,738
Humanitarian & Compassionate with Risk or  Discrimination 13,496
Public Policy With RAP 24
Public Policy Without RAP 4,268
Humanitarian & Compassionate / Public Policy – Total 28,570
Permit Holders Class Permit Holders Class 22
Permit Holders Class – Total 22
Protected Persons Blended Visa Office-Referred 135
Dependants Abroad of Protected Persons 28,067
Federal Government-assisted Refugees 30,082
Privately Sponsored Refugees 67,918
Protected Persons Landed In Canada 27,512
Quebec Government-assisted Refugees 650
Protected Persons – Total 154,364
Overall – Total 512,342

Temporary Residence Applications as of Dec. 2

Application Type Grand Total
Study Permit 110,978
Study Permit Extension 33,842
Temporary Resident Visa 754,951
Visitor Record 75,078
Work Permit 285,246
Work Permit Extension 156,030
Overall – Total 1,416,125

As the school year got well underway during those two months, study permit applications fell by 23,003, or more than 17.1 per cent, from 133,981 to 110,978 while study permit extensions rose almost 7.9 per cent to hit 33,842.

Temporary resident visas in the queue also fell almost 17.3 per cent from 912,846 to 754,951 in two months and work permit applications dropped from 315,316 in October to 285,246 two months later.

Economic Programs Still Have About The Same Number Of Applications In The Queue

Among the applications for permanent residency, economic immigration programs still have almost exactly the same number of applications waiting to be processed, just a tad over 202,200, as there were two months ago. The number of applications for family sponsorships is also up just a smidgeon.

But there are considerably more applications under the protected person program.

Privately sponsored and government-sponsored refugee applications together amounted to roughly 96,830 such applications in early October and that number was little changed two months later. 

But the number of applications by protected persons who landed in Canada grew during that two-month period. This category includes immigrants who applied for refugee protection status while in Canada and who seeking permanent resident status based on what is considered to be a well-founded fear of returning to their country of origin.

In early October, there were 23,435 such applications and that grew by 17.4 per cent over the next two months, or 4,077 applications, to 27,512 in early December.

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