Canada is known for its welcoming immigration policies, attracting people from around the world. However, like many countries, Canada has faced challenges in processing immigration applications efficiently.
In this article, we’ll dive into the latest developments regarding Canada’s immigration backlog, what it means, and how the government is addressing it.
What is the Immigration Backlog?
The immigration backlog refers to the number of applications that have not yet been fully processed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
IRCC sets service standards, which are the average processing times for different types of applications. These standards vary based on the type of immigration application.
The goal is to process 80% of applications within these service standards while keeping the backlog at 20% or less.
Positive Signs of Immigration Backlog Reduction
As of July 31, 2023, there were 802,600 applications in the immigration backlog. This might sound like a lot, but it’s actually an improvement from May when there were 820,000 backlogged applications.
This progress is noteworthy because summer usually sees a surge in applications, especially for study permits, work permits, and temporary resident visas.
Latest IRCC Backlog Update 2023
|Application Type||Backlog as of July 31, 2023||Change within Service Standards|
|Citizenship||67,900 (-5.69%)||229,000 (-0.43%)|
|Permanent Residence||290,500 (-4.13%)||341,000 (0.00%)|
|Temporary Residence||444,200 (4.27%)||902,000 (1.16%)|
|Total||802,600 (0.20%)||1,472,000 (0.64%)|
Permanent Residence (PR) Applications:
For those seeking permanent residence in Canada, there were 631,500 applications in inventory as of July.
Out of these, 290,500, or 46%, are considered part of the backlog.
Compared to May’s data when there were 640,000 PR applications, the backlog percentage has decreased.
Breakdown of PR Application Backlog:
Federal High-Skilled Workers (Express Entry):
In July, the backlog stood at 16%, slightly higher than the projection but an improvement from May’s 15%.
30% of PNP applications were in backlog, exceeding the projection by 8% and the target by 10%.
This category had an 18% backlog, lower than the projected 24% and 2% less than May’s figures.
If you’re applying for Canadian citizenship, here’s the latest data:
As of July, out of 296,900 citizenship applications, 67,900, or 23%, are considered backlog. This is an improvement from May when 27% of applications were in backlog.
In July, there were 902,000 applications in inventory for temporary residence, a decrease from 1.3 million in May.
Nearly half, 47%, were not processed within the 14-day service standard in July. This is a slight increase from May’s 45%.
The backlog for study permits remained steady at 17%, which is below the targeted 20%.
In July, the backlog for work permits was 25%, slightly improved from May’s 27% but higher than the projected backlog of 22%.
IRCC’s Actions to Reduce the Immigration Backlog:
The government is taking several steps to reduce the immigration backlog:
- Online Portal: A new online portal allows some permanent residence applicants to apply online, streamlining the process.
- Work Permit Extensions: IRCC is extending work permits for those with expiring post-graduate work permits.
- Extended Stay for Parents and Grandparents: Parents and grandparents visiting Canada on a Super Visa can now stay for up to five years with the option for a two-year extension.
- Expanding Eligibility: The student direct stream now includes seven additional countries and work permits are now available for family members of temporary foreign workers.
Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET):
IRCC received a staggering 1,191,619 applications through CUAET before the program stopped accepting applications on July 15.
Canada’s commitment to addressing the immigration backlog is evident in the recent improvements. The government’s efforts to streamline application processes and meet service standards are making a difference.
While challenges persist, especially in certain categories, there’s hope on the horizon for those looking to call Canada their new home.
Stay informed about the evolving immigration landscape, and if you have questions or need guidance, consult with immigration experts for the latest updates and support.