According to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, Canada welcomed 108,000 new permanent residents in the first quarter of this year, after Ottawa made a record number of application approvals.
“While navigating unprecedented challenges in Canada’s immigration system, we have kept client experience as our focus, leading to record levels of newcomers in Canada,” said Fraser on Thursday.
“Helping clients come to Canada quickly, with predictable processing times and efficient communication, remains a top priority for me,” he said. “Canada is proud to be a destination of choice for so many people around the world, and we will continue to work hard to provide the best experience possible for them.”
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) exceeded the immigration minister’s objective of 147,000 permanent residency final decisions in the first quarter of this year. This is more than double the number of decisions made during the same time period last year. Because of the increased number of decisions, Canada was able to welcome all of the new permanent residents in three months.
With almost 210,000 new Canadian citizens, Ottawa has also exceeded its citizenship goals for 2021-2022.
On Thursday, the immigration minister also announced modifications to his department’s online processing times tool. This is to provide applicants with more precise predictions of how long it will take to complete their applications, which has been a major cause of aggravation for potential immigrants, who frequently complain on Twitter about the long wait times to get their applications reviewed.
“Most permanent residence and citizenship services will now employ dynamic processing timelines, with updated figures presented weekly based on statistics from the previous six months,” the IRCC states in a statement.
“Based on data from the previous eight or sixteen weeks, dynamic processing timeframes for temporary residence services are already in place.”
These improvements will give clients accurate and up-to-date information that reflects the volume of applications being processed as well as the most recent operational reality. They will allow anyone who desires to come to Canada to live, work, and study to make more precise arrangements.
The IRCC’s advancement of its services for people who want to become Canadians, such as offering online testing, virtual citizenship ceremonies, and an online application tracker to stay updated on their files, is being attributed to the higher-than-usual number of applications processed in the first three months of this year.
Ottawa set aside $85 million in its 2021 Economic and Fiscal Update to reduce the backlog of immigration applications to Canada. The funds will be used to employ more people and shorten processing periods for applications such as study permits, work permits, and permanent residence card renewals. Canadian immigration officials are also attempting to shorten the time it takes to process visitor visas and evidence of citizenship.
The IRCC established a new digital case status tracker in February to make it easier for some family class permanent residence applicants, sponsors, and their representatives to verify their application statuses online.
For the time being, the tracker is only available to permanent residents in the spousal, partner, and dependent child categories. In 2021, IRCC made over 500,000 decisions and welcomed over 405,000 new permanent residents, the highest number of arrivals in a single year in Canadian history.
Following a record-breaking year for study permits in 2019, IRCC increased its productivity by 32% in 2021, finalizing about 560,000 study permit applications. In the same year, approximately 169,000 applicants, a record amount, were granted permanent residency in Canada.
Virtual citizenship ceremonies were first held by Canadian immigration officials exactly two years ago. More than 198,900 people took the oath of citizenship in more than 12,400 ceremonies using a virtual platform between April 1, 2020, and January 31, 2022.
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