The Honourable Sean Fraser, IRCC Minister discusses current efforts to reform Canada’s immigration system with an emphasis on managing labour shortages, reducing backlogs, enhancing client experience, and reuniting families.
As part of the strategy, the Minister declared that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will complete hiring of up to 1,250 more personnel by the end of the fall. This is in order to boost processing capacity and reduce backlogs. Additionally, they will take steps to make immigration system more sustainable in the long run.
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In 2021, the IRCC was able to provide more over 199,000 work visas. From January 1 through July 31, 2022 IRCC issued more than 349,000 new work permits, compared to roughly 112,000 between the same time frame in 2021. These include more than 220,000 open work permits, which entitle its holders to work practically anywhere in Canada.
Furthermore, he said that wait times have been reduced and IRCC has restored pre-pandemic service standards for new clients in below business lines:
- Six-month service standard for the Express Entry permanent residence pathway
- 12-month service standard for family reunification through spousal sponsorship, and
- Permanent resident cards
These are achievable because of new hires and assistance provided by the $85 million from the Economic and Fiscal Update 2021.
A popular choice for overseas students is Canada. Nearly 560,000 study permit applications were approved by the IRCC in 2021, breaking their previous record from 2019 by 31%. With almost 360,000 study permits granted between January 1 and July 31, 2022, IRCC is already exceeding that figure, as opposed to roughly 306,000 finalised during the same time period in 2021.
IRCC will post monthly data on their website to keep Canadians informed of our progress in eliminating the backlogs. In the upcoming weeks and months, they will provide more details on other initiatives that will aid in reunifying families, bringing people into the labour force, and ensuring that the immigration system benefits all parties.
“There is unprecedented interest in Canada as a destination for newcomers from around the world. A well-run immigration system supports our communities’ futures and allows our industries to tap into essential talent and new business opportunities, so they can continue to grow and remain competitive. We will continue to take steps to strengthen immigration, for the benefit of our businesses, our economy, and all Canadians.”IRCC Minister, Sean Fraser