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Express Entry: IRCC Has 65% More Staff Than Is Required

Last Updated On 9 March 2023, 9:32 AM EST (Toronto Time)

A new report by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) on March 7 revealed analysis of IRCC’s Express Entry system.

This report estimates the costs of the Federal Skilled Workers Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

Moreover, it also provided projections on IRCC staffing and meeting Express Entry processing standards to meet targets until 2027

Furthermore, the cost includes the gross spend on processing, pre-arrival services, and settlement services on these 3 programs.

According to the report, $792 million will be spent over the following five years to meet the target under Express Entry system.

Moreover, this cost will be offset by $743 million in application fee revenue. As a result, there will be a net total cost of $48 million on government.

Express Entry Cost

In 2022-23, the net cost per accepted Permanent Resident is expected to be $91.

Express Entry Processing

IRCC has objective to process 80% of the Express Entry applications within 6 months of submission.

The PBO says that existing staffing levels at IRCC will be more than adequate to fulfil the processing time objective for the next 5 years.

Additionally, they estimate that IRCC has 65% more workers than is required to process Express Entry target in 2023.

As the number of applications grows, this percentage will decrease year by year, eventually reaching 4% in 2026-27.

Although, report highlights that IRCC has 65% more staff, but still Express Entry processing times are way higher than service standards.

This is mostly due to quite a high number of applications from backlog as well as resumption of new draws.

Express Entry Projections Until 2027

The report highlighted that the government often exceeded its immigration objectives in the three EE streams, in past year.

However, because the objectives are higher for 2023-2025, the PBO expects the targeted immigration levels to be reached rather than exceeded.

Furthermore, the PBO estimates that Express Entry targets may increase 7% annually after 2025, equivalent to the annual growth rate between 2015 and 2025.

Projected number of Express Entry stream admissions

The report also highlights below listed points:

  • In 2020, fewer PRs were accepted through EE due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several persons who would have immigrated in 2020 instead came in 2021, resulting in increased admittance numbers in 2021.
  • There were no draws for the three EE streams from September 2021 to July 2022. This enabled IRCC to address a backlog of applications that had accumulated during the pandemic’s early stages.
  • The immigration objectives for the EE streams in 2022 were met before the end of the year. This is not likely to happen again in the foreseeable future.

Source: PBO Report


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