IRCC Minister Sean Fraser

Here Is IRCC Minister Announcement With Detailed Transcript

Today, IRCC Minister, Hon’ble Sean Fraser announced two measures to reduce the processing time and modernize Canadian Immigration system. We shared the video of announcement in our previous post(click anywhere on blue text to watch). However, a lot of readers (not much fluent in English) reached out as they were not able to understand the announcement clearly.

We respect all the languages, so for our readers, we generated the transcript of announced measures and minister’s indication on processing of few key application types. You can select your preferred language below to better understand Minister’s statements.

IRCC Minister Announced Following Measures:

Hon’ble Sean Fraser categorized the measures into two “buckets”:

  1. “The first is efforts to reduce processing times with the $85 million that was included in the recent economic and fiscal update.”
  2. “The second is new functionalities that have recently come online or will be coming online soon as part of IRCC’s effort to transform Canada’s immigration into a modern and digital platform.”
IRCC Minister’s Statements On The Processing Of Key Application:
Work Permits

Minister said “In my conversations with Canadian businesses and the organizations that represent them, they say it’s incredible that we’ve seen such a strong economic recovery to date with more people working today in Canada than were working before the pandemic, but there’s also a major labor shortage and we want to make sure that we can get our workers here on time as a result of the investments in the economic and fiscal update and other measures we expect to see work permit processing times return to the service standard this year.”

Study Permits

“Those international students and the institutions that seek to bring them here, I want you to know that we’ve processed over almost 560,000 study permit applications in 2021 which by the way corresponds with a 32% increase over pre pandemic levels which we thought were pretty big back then. We’re going to be putting additional resources to get the study permit processing times back to our service standard this year in hopes that we can get as many students here on the schedule as they need to complete their academic programs.”

Visitor/Tourist Visa

“We also are going to be making sure that we’re putting additional resources to reduce processing times for temporary visitors to Canada because as the pandemic allows reaching a stage where we are allowed to welcome more people who want to visit Canada, we want to make sure that the process of getting them here is efficient, so more people can come and spend money and Canadian businesses in sectors that have been hit particularly hard.

Proof of Citizenship

“In addition, we are going to be putting additional resources towards expediting the proof of citizenship for individuals who made it through the citizenship process and are waiting for those documents to confirm their status.”

Permanent Residency

“We also will be putting additional resources towards permanent residency. In particular, we do expect when it comes to permanent residency for renewals, we will be able to eliminate the inventory and get back to a stage where we’re managing these current renewals as they come in.”

Spousal Reunification

“I will point out that you may have noticed spousal reunification which is incredibly important for people to come to Canada was not amongst that particular list and that’s because as a result of investments that have already been made for applications that are made today, we have already achieved the service standard of 12 months for those who are coming for family reunification purposes.”

PR Cards

“We’ve now developed a portal to allow permanent residency applicants to finalize their process and receive their permanent residency cards without any in-person interaction over the past half a year or so. We’ve seen 225,000 permanent residents have used this new portal. This is particularly important because we’ve seen the impact of different variants on our in-person operations in different parts of the world and here in Canada as well when the pandemic precluded the ability for someone to go in person to pick up their PR card. It meant that they had to wait until that in first service has been restored. With the introduction of this new permanent residency card portal to finalize PR applications, people will be able to finalize their PR status without that in person interaction and will allow them to complete the process digitally.”

Oath of Citizenship

“I also want to address another frustration that I’ve been hearing about and that’s the fact that there are 60,000 applicants who are in Canada today currently waiting to complete their oath of citizenship that have satisfied the other requirements of the process. Now this is the final stage of the citizenship process and while we’ve already expanded the use of citizenship ceremonies hosting 300 and more virtual ceremonies each month with more than 170,000 new Canadians being sworn in virtually since April of 2020, we know we can do more and we continue to increase the number of new citizens moving forward. We’re going to continue to increase the number of citizenship ceremonies and we’re looking at how we can potentially expand the number of applicants who can go through the process during an individual virtual ceremony. We also intend to introduce an option for those who wish to quickly self-administer a digital oath by signing attestation and celebrate their citizenship at a later date. Now once available, this has the potential to significantly shorten the waiting time for those who reach this final stage of citizenship.

Future Applicants

“Finally and this is important because it responds directly to a concern that has been raised with me on a number of occasions. There’s a lot of applicants who are considering coming to Canada that look at IRCC’s website for processing times and they see that the broadcasted processing times and service standards don’t necessarily match perfectly with the actual experience. We will be looking in the coming months to give our clients more up-to-date information by publishing accurate service standards, not just service standards but status updates on the actual processing time during eight different lines of business, in order to help us attract more of the people we need.”

Use Of Technology By IRCC:

“We’ve expanded the use of advanced analytics to help sort and process temporary residents applications. The use of data analytic systems to process some visitor cases over the past few years has allowed IRCC to process routine files 87% faster helping some applicants get their decision sooner, but I wanna be absolutely clear as IRCC case officer will always make the final decision, the advanced analytics do not have the ability to make a refusal or even recommend refusal. This is done exclusively by an IRCC officer, but the system will include proof client service and help IRCC manage the increasing volume of visitor visa applications going forward as more people seek to come to Canada to visit to support those who wish to live in Canada.”

“We’re also planning on finalizing permanent 147,000 permanent residency applications in the first quarter of this year which will double what we’ve done during the last year and importantly we’re going to be expanding the permanent resident online application portal, so more clients can submit application documents electronically on this particular piece. We’ve been running a soft launch in a pilot phase of the digital intake system for 15 different lines of business by this summer. We expect to have all of the cases be directed towards the digital intake system. Presently, 10 to 20% of the cases are being directed towards digital intake system and by this summer we hope to dedicate all of them or direct all of them rather to the digital system. We will maintain the paper based system for applications that demand it in the short term, but this is going to be a game changer for those who are seeking to come to Canada and being applying for their permanent residency status through the digital portal.”

“On permanent residency and this is a big deal for family reunification, we will be launching the permanent resident case tracker in February of this year for spousal common law and dependent clients allowing them to more easily access their own application information online. This is going to address one of the major frustrations that I’ve heard when people who are trying to get through to an overburdened system at IRCC. and are calling their MP’s office is trying to get updates. They will be able to get those updates themselves by logging into the new system that we’re creating to give them updates on the family reunification lines of business and for those who are already in Canada.”

“Canada needs to bring our immigration system into the 21st century and these measures are a step forward in that direction but let me be absolutely clear these measures are not a silver bullet. The pandemic has created challenges for our system and they didn’t create them overnight and they won’t be solved overnight, but these investments are going to make a meaningful difference some for the short term and some in the medium term. There’s lots of work to do to improve client experience in our immigration system in return to service standards that applicants and prospective Canadians could quite rightly expect us to achieve. We know that more precedent said changes going to be needed now. I look forward to keeping Canadians updated on that we’re working on to help us reach our goals throughout this pandemic.

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