A recent internal IRCC memo revealed that they are not declaring Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) FSWP to tackle its backlog. This internal memo was shared by IRCC with CIC News.
Furthermore, the memo stated that IRCC initially halted express entry FSW draws in December 2020 to focus on “aggressively” inviting CEC candidates as well as the candidates under TR to PR pathway. This strategy was planned to achieve aggressive target of welcoming 401,000 immigrants to Canada.
However, this strategy resulted in considerably high number of applications to IRCC, leading to backlog of applications. Also, this resulted in increase in processing time than normal for all the economic categories.
As per CIC, backlog has decreased by about 8,500 applications from September 3, 2021 to October 27, 2021. Latest statistics as of October 27, show that there were 99,968 express entry applications under processing. This number was at 108,500 on September 3, 2021. Looking into more insights, this number was 62,450 in September 2020.
IRCC states in the memo that “Adjusting to meet the Afghanistan resettlement objectives has created the need for trade-offs in the Spousal Sponsorship category, CEC, and the TR2PR program. As a result, the Department now anticipates concluding 2021 with a PR [permanent residence] inventory in excess of 760K persons, with 360K in the economic class.”
As of October 27, the permanent residence inventory stood at nearly 550,000 applications, out of which over 255,000 fell under the economic class. Additionally, IRCC mentioned in its memo that it will need to reduce the backlog of express entry applications by “more than half” in order to achieve its processing standard of six months or less.
The memo concludes by stating senior IRCC officials will return to the department’s highest ranking civil servant (i.e., non-political employee), the Deputy Minister Catrina Tapley, in November 2021 with a plan for Express Entry intakes throughout the remainder of 2021, and early 2022, once there is a better sense of the composition of immigrants IRCC will look to target in 2022.