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Canada’s immigration backlog grows to 2.7 million people

Given that its inventory has grown to approximately 2.7 million individuals, Canada continues to struggle with its immigration applications.
This marks an increase of about 300,000 individuals over the previous six weeks.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the backlog has almost tripled and has nearly doubled during the past year.

As of July 15, there were 444,792 people applying for citizenship, up from 394,664 on June 1.

As of July 17, there were 514,116 residents in permanent residences, down from 522,047 on June 6.

The number of individuals living in temporary housing as of July 17 was 1,720,123, up from 1,471,173 as of June 6.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) responded to CIC News’ data request on June 30 and provided the information on July 18.

Express Entry draws resume due to backlog reduction

As of July 17, a total of 51,616 Express Entry candidates were awaiting judgments, a considerable decrease from the 88,903 reported on March 15 when comparable data was available.

The IRCC may once more hold all programme draws thanks to the decline in Express Entry backlogs, and the average processing time for new Express Entry applications has returned to six months. The IRCC’s first all-program draw since December 2020 took place on July 6.

Family class inventory is up slightly

Comparatively to June 6, when there were 112,837 candidates for the family class, there are now 118,251 applicants altogether.

Compared to early June, the Spouses, Partners, and Children Program inventory has grown. It now has 68,159 people as opposed to 67,929 people a month ago. For the purpose of comparison, the figure for July was obtained by adding Spouses and Partners to the Children and Other Family Class.

There has been yet another rise in the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP). Currently, there are 47,025 people as opposed to 41,802 people. Details of IRCC’s PGP 2022 plans have not yet been made public.

Summer backlog growth is normal, to an extent

Compared to June 6, there are roughly 250,000 more people living in temporary housing.

The number of people applying for employment permits, work permit extensions, visitor records, temporary residence visas, and study permits all increased.

In some ways, the IRCC backlog expanding during the summer is expected. During Canada’s warmest season, more people try to get temporary residence visas so they can visit family and friends.

Additionally, many foreign students who graduate in the spring submit applications for Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP), the largest category of work permits in Canada.

The majority of foreign students apply for study visas in the months before the start of the Canadian school year. This results in Canada usually welcoming over 200,000 new international students leading into September each year.

The main exception is the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET), which Canada introduced in March to provide Ukrainians with the opportunity to relocate following Russia’s invasion. Since March 17, IRCC has received 362,664 CUAET applications, causing its backlog to swell.

However, the overall growth of the backlog, a nearly three-fold increase since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, highlights ongoing challenges with Canada’s immigration system. It is a function of IRCC continuing to welcome new applications throughout the pandemic even though its processing capacity was limited for large stretches of 2020 and 2021.

Now that the department is trying to catch up, it is taking measures like employing more personnel for processing and considering technology enhancements.

Other branches of the federal government are aware of Canada’s difficulties with immigration applications.

The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) of the Canadian Parliament started researching the backlogs in May. A public study with suggestions for improvement will be the outcome.

A government task force was established in June by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to address the backlog issues. It is composed of a panel of federal ministers who will offer suggestions on how to deal with the problems that are delaying the processing of applications. The objective is to provide both long-term and short-term solutions to eliminate backlogs and enhance the quality and speed of services.

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