Visa Crunch

Amid Huge Backlog, More Work Needs To Be Done Before Federal Express Entry Can Resume: Canadian Immigration Minister

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is battling a massive application backlog and does not know when regular Express Entry lotteries for federal economic programs will begin, according to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

During a teleconference on January 31, Fraser acknowledged that there was still a lot of work to be done to lower the backlog before Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Worker invites could be given.

The minister was replying to queries regarding an IRCC communication dated November 2021, which stated that high-skilled immigration levels could be slashed in half in 2022 while the backlog is addressed. He refused to provide exact statistics, instead stating that his immigration levels proposal would be presented to parliament in February.

Meanwhile, the minister stated that there would be no lack of economic immigrants entering Canada this year through a variety of channels, including the Provincial Nominee Program, the newly permanent Atlantic Immigration Program, and other economic pilots.

“I know that processing delays have been incredibly frustrating for many individuals, Fraser said.  “Helping clients come to Canada quickly, with predictable processing times and efficient communication with IRCC, remains a top priority for me.”

The Immigration Minister had excellent news regarding work permit processing, including through the Global Talent Stream, indicating that processing times would return to normal by the end of this year, if not sooner. He stated that Canada is “winning the global talent competition”.

“We are the best in the world at welcoming large numbers of economic migrants to fill jobs in our communities,” he said. “But we need to do more. We need to be the best we can be. We need to continue to grow immigration levels.”

During the call, Fraser discussed a variety of immigration priorities. The minister promised to bring study permit processing to the service standard by the end of this year, highlighting a 32% increase in applications completed compared to before COVID-19, reaching about 5,60,000. In addition, he stated that additional resources would be devoted to processing visitor visa requests in order to boost the tourism industry.

Meanwhile, Fraser stated that spousal reunification applications have already been returned to the 12-month service standard for processing. The additional funds are a result of Ottawa’s vow in the fall economic statement to invest $85 million on backlog reduction in 2022 and 2023.

Fraser stated that Canada intended to make judgment calls on 1,47,000 permanent residence applications in the first quarter of 2022, more than tripling the total from 2021 and that officers were striving to increase the usage of the online application platform.

By the summer, he said, every permanent residence application would be forwarded to the internet platform, up from 15% now. The paper-based application alternative, on the other hand, would be kept, he stressed.

Also, in February, IRCC will create a Permanent Residence Application Tracker to allow applicants for spousal and dependent family reunification to track the status of their applications. He also indicated that the system would be expanded to include more immigration groups in the coming years.

In terms of citizenship, Fraser stated that the IRCC is working to increase participation in virtual ceremonies, with up to 5,000 applicants administering the oath each week. He also stated that a scheme was being developed to allow candidates to self-administer their oath through signed attestation as a measure to reduce processing delays.

The Immigration Minister stated that online citizenship testing, which was implemented in November 2020, had also been a success, with 5,000 candidates per week completing the test online.

Read all the Latest News here. Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

Subscribe to get the latest news and updates.

No Spam, we promise.

Add comment

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular

Most discussed


Book your appoinment today!