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IRCC Digital Transparency

IRCC Testing New Automation Tools To Improve Processing

Last Updated On 16 March 2023, 11:09 AM EDT (Toronto Time)

IRCC is implementing tools to help process applications more efficiently as more people apply for IRCC programs.

With these tools, IRCC will be using the technology to aid, support, and inform IRCC decision-makers, but not replace them. 

However, IRCC staff will continue to play an essential role in IRCC’s decision-making processes.

The new tools are to automate certain tasks and activities, such as using systems to sort applications so their staff and decision-makers can dedicate more time to complex applications, issues, and final judgments.

For applicants to have digital transparency and better understand the tools used by IRCC, below is how IRCC states that they use automation and advanced data analytics to process applications.

Use of Advanced data analytics by IRCC to sort and organize

With advanced data analytics tools, IRCC uses these tools to sort and expedite applications for temporary residence visa applications submitted from outside Canada. 

IRCC has also begun a pilot program to use similar technology to speed up the processing of Canadian applications for spousal and common-law partner sponsorship.

Modern data analytics solutions can identify patterns to speed up the job and provide better information to decision-makers.

Additionally, advanced analytics help officers identify routine applications for quicker processing, such as certain applicants who have already received approval to travel to Canada within the last ten years.

With this procedure, IRCC can manage their workload better and help applicants receive decisions on their applications sooner. 

However, it is important to note that using advanced data analytics only determines if an applicant is eligible.

For example, when an applicant is considered for streamlined processing, advanced data analytics will help determine if the applicant is eligible before their file is passed to an officer.

Then the officer screens for admissibility, including security and criminality. 

IRCC officers being highly trained will continue to:

  • Conduct background checks on all applicants for security and criminal records 
  • be responsible for the final decision

Moreover, applications that are not considered routine are prioritized and sent to officers for standard manual processing.

It is only the officer who always has the final say on applications. As per IRCC, their system never refuse or recommend rejecting applications.

According to the department, only an officer makes the decision of refusing an immigration/visa application. 

In addition, IRCC will routinely examine the system to ensure that they are operating as planned and that the outcomes align with applications that have undergone thorough human assessment.

Before extending advanced data analytics to new fields, IRCC will evaluate its performance.

Responsible technological development

Before implementing any future technology, IRCC will be investigating its use and evaluate the need for that service, including its benefits and impacts on clients. 

A team of experts, including decision-makers, will be involved in developing and using future advanced data analytics tools at IRCC, including a comprehensive examination for bias and discriminatory implications.

Personal information protection

IRCC designed complex data analytics technologies using information from previous clients’ apps. Other IRCC systems will be designed in the same manner. 

If you are currently applying to an IRCC program or have previously applied, the information in your application and additional information gathered to support your application may be used by IRCC to create an advanced data analytics system within IRCC. 

IRCC may use these analytics technologies to assist in processing applications and decision-making in line with the Privacy Act, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The advanced data analytics systems exclusively use personal information that is relevant and required for the application process, including information provided by our law enforcement partners in compliance with established information-sharing agreements.

However, the systems do not use data from social media channels. As IRCC extends complex data analytics, privacy will remain a top consideration.

Accordingly, IRCC continues to take its personal information privacy obligations seriously and to observe and respect Canada’s Privacy Act and related directives and regulations. 

Source: IRCC


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