IRCC Canada immigration

A big new plan to reduce the processing time of Canadian immigration by 2022

A big new plan to reduce the processing time of Canadian immigration by 2022

There is a big new plan to reduce Canadian immigration processing hours by 2022. This is a promise made by Sean Fraser, Canada’s immigration minister, at a press conference on January 31, 2022. Minister Fraser announced a number of new measures to help reduce processing time for many of Canada’s most prestigious immigration programs. 

The new plan to reduce immigration hours includes an ambitious goal of processing 147,000 permanent residence applications by the end of March. This will reduce the backlog of several immigration programs, including express entry, which has seen many backlogs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applicants for work permits and study permits can deliver on Minister Fraser’s promise to return these temporary residence applications in accordance with IRCC standards by the end of 2022, if not as soon as possible. In 2022, the processing time for visa visas will also be reduced.

How will Canada reduce immigration processing times in 2022?

To shorten the hours of processing Canadian immigration by 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will spend $ 85 million in new funding provided by the Department of Economic and Fiscal Update 2021.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRCC has tried to keep pace with the demand for immigration applications. This is partly due to homework guidelines, which create problems for immigration officials. The problem is exacerbated by the increased need for an immigration system as a result of Canada’s introduction of new measures to welcome Canadian immigration applicants by 2021.

Thanks to the new funding, the IRCC will be able to allocate additional resources to reduce processing time for many different programs. The IRCC has already hired and estimated 500 new processors and relocated to offices around the world.

Another important part of the major new plan to reduce Canadian immigration processing time is the expansion of digital functions for immigration applicants and IRCC staff processing applications. Specifically, Canada will implement the following steps:

  • Expansion of the use of data analytics to process visitor visas faster: Data analyzes have been used for years to process temporary residence visas and have led to an 87% increase in processing time. It will be expanded in 2022 with additional visa applications for visitors. 
  • The new digital permanent residence application portal will be expanded: The IRCC plans to acquire 100 percent of PR applications from a new digital portal this summer. The PR application portal is a digital reception system that will soon replace the need for paper PR applications and ensure more efficient processing.
  • A new PR case tracker tool will allow applicants to track progress: The new tracker will allow applicants to closely monitor the processing of their PR requests. This should reduce the number of questions sent to the IRCC requesting updates. The PR case tracker will be introduced for the first time in February for applicants for family sponsorship.
  • IRCC will update its “Check processing times” tool to make listings more accurate: Since the beginning of the pandemic, the processing times reported in the IRCC Check Processing Times have been inaccurate. The department’s goal is to update the website by the end of 2022 to reflect accurate processing times.

Express Entry: Processing times for 2022

At a press conference on January 31, Minister Fraser announced that Canada was taking steps to resolve the backlog of permanent residence applications. It expects 147,000 permanent residence applications to be processed in the first three months of 2022. In 2021, this will be doubled if the number of requests is processed in the same window.

However, Minister Fraser did not specify how many of these requests came from Express Entry.

In fact, during a press conference, Secretary Fraser provided some information on Canadian plans for express applicants in 2022. He confirmed that express entry is attracting Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates to remain suspended – temporarily – as the ministry lists pending 548,195 PR applications last October.

The IRCC memorandum of November 2021 suggests that the time of Express Entry processing for FSW candidates could be increased to 36 months by 2022. CEC requests are currently processed in an average of 7.6 months – almost 80 percent of IRCC requests are processed within six months. or less.

If the IRCC is able to process the high number of PR requests outlined by Minister Fraser while introducing a number of enhanced digital features, the visibility of express applicants is likely to improve. Unfortunately, this improvement does not seem to be felt for at least a few months if the IRCC continues to play.


Family Sponsorship: Processing times for 2022

As of January 2022, sponsorship applications meet the IRCC processing standard to process 80 percent of applications within 12 months of submission.

This means that at least 80 percent of spouses, common law and dependent children who wish to apply for permanent residence this year can expect their applications to be processed within 12 months or less.

Fraser’s update does not process parent/guardian support requests. The most recent timeline listed on the IRCC website for PGP applicants takes 20-24 months to process, but may be updated after 2022.

A unique update for family class applicants is the introduction of a new tool for monitoring PR cases. The launch of a new PR case tracker is expected in February and will allow these applicants to track the progress of their application through the IRCC system. It will initially apply to family reunification applications submitted by spouses, legal partners and dependents, but is expected to be extended later to suit other applicants.


Work Permits: Processing times for 2022

By the end of 2022, Canada wants to reduce processing time for work permit applicants to meet IRCC processing standards.

The IRCC processing standard is to process at least 80 percent of work permit applications submitted outside of Canada in 60 days or less. For International Experience Canada (IEC) applicants, the processing criterion is to process 100 percent of applications within 56 days or less.

To extend work permits submitted by applicants in Canada, the IRCC seeks to process 80 percent of applications within 120 days of submission.

Minister Fraser said that efficient processing of work permit applications is essential for Canada’s continued economic growth. This is especially true in 2022, as Canada has a labor shortage, despite the fact that more people now work in Canada than before the pandemic.


Study Permits: Processing times for 2022

By the end of 2022 or earlier, Canada aims to shorten the processing time of study permits to meet IRCC processing standards.

For study permit applications submitted outside Canada, the IRCC processing standard is to process at least 80 percent of applications within 60 days. For study applications submitted within Canada, the standard application processing window is 120 days.

By 2021, Canada will process nearly 560,000 applications for study permits. This is a 32 percent increase over 2019, as Canada remains a major destination for international students from around the world.


Canadian citizenship applications: Processing times for 2022

During 2022, the IRCC will try to schedule state oath ceremonies within four months of the applicant’s final decision.

Canada is working to reduce the inventory of 60,000 applicants currently awaiting a citizenship oath. These are candidates who have met all civic requirements except the oath.

To address this shortcoming, Canada is expanding the use of virtual citizenship ceremonies and exploring the possibility for individuals who want to manage their own citizenship oath.


PR Card Renewals: Processing times for 2022

Canada hopes to completely clean up its pending PR card exchange requests by the end of 2022 and return to the processing cartridge.

Unfortunately, the IRCC did not publish its PR card processing formulas on its website. However, the standard for processing the first application for a PR card is to have 80 percent of applications processed within 60 days of submitting the application (at the port or ground office).

The last processing times listed on the IRCC PR Card Recovery website indicate 120 days for processing, although they may be updated later in 2022.


Visitor visas: Processing times for 2022

Canada aims to reduce the time taken to process visitor visa applications by 2022, although a precise target has not yet been defined.

The IRCC processing threshold is 80 percent of visitor visa applications submitted from outside Canada within 14 days of receipt. This pattern is currently not met.

Minister Fraser announced that the IRCC would expand the use of advanced data analysis to help officials more efficiently process and process visitor visa applications filed outside Canada. The data analysis system has had limited capacity for many years. At the time, it was shown that the use of advanced data analysis could increase processing time by 87 percent.

The IRCC notes that even if data analysis is used to process the application, the final decision on each application will always be made by the IRCC immigration officer.

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