Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has unveiled a comprehensive strategy to revamp its immigration processes, aiming to bring processing times back to service standards and reassess them. The strategy emphasizes aligning application intake with available admission spaces to prevent prolonged waiting periods and enhance planning for applicants and their support networks. This initiative is crucial, especially considering the existing backlog, notably in programs like the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP), facing a three-year backlog due to continuous application acceptance during the pandemic.
IRCC’s latest Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026 sets targets, focusing on sustainable population growth and strengthening the economy. The strategy includes measures to prioritize applications based on key skills and their alignment with labor market demand. The plan also addresses challenges in various permanent residency programs, such as the PGP and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), by introducing application caps to better manage processing.
The strategy builds on recommendations from the Auditor General (OAG) report, advocating for achievable service standards and prioritization of backlogged applications. It also outlines IRCC‘s commitment to leveraging digital tools, including Advanced Analytics, to enhance processing efficiency and reduce the burden on immigration officers. The ongoing efforts to automate routine tasks, particularly in processing Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs) and Work Permit Extensions, signify a step toward a more streamlined and effective immigration system.
Despite progress, the current backlog remains a challenge, with 928,000 applications not meeting service standards. Temporary residence visas, including work permits and study visas, account for the highest backlog, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive strategy to address the various facets of the immigration process.
IRCC’s strategic plan reflects a commitment to enhancing the overall immigration experience, ensuring that applicants receive timely responses and facilitating their integration into Canadian society. As the immigration landscape evolves, these initiatives aim to strike a balance between meeting the demand for immigration and maintaining efficient processing times.