Canada announces initiatives to reduce the time it takes to process immigration applications.

By the end of the year, Canada plans to spend $85 million to restore to regular processing standards for several immigration programs.

Canada's intentions to get the immigration system back on track have been presented by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

To reduce processing times at IRCC, $85 million is being allocated in the Canada Budget for 2021. In his letter to Fraser on his mandate, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also requested that processing times be shortened.

 By the end of the year, Fraser claims, the budget will allow Canada to resume processing service standards for study permits, work permits, and permanent residence card renewals. Canada is also aiming to minimize the time it takes to process visitor visas and citizenship evidence.

A total of more than 500,000 applications for permanent residency were decided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in 2021. Fraser revealed that in the first quarter of 2022, Canada plans to make 147,000 permanent residency final decisions, more than double the number from the same period in 2021. Canadians will be able to check the status of their Permanent Residence applications online in February 2022 with a new Permanent Residence Application Tracker for spouses and dependents.

Find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada.

Internal IRCC documents have revealed that the department's actual projected processing times for economic immigration program are significantly longer than what is stated on the government website in recent weeks. IRCC clients will be able to see more accurate estimates of the processing times of their applications as Canada updates the online processing times tool, according to Fraser.

According to a memo dated November 24, IRCC expected application processing for the Foreign Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) to take 20 months, far longer than the six-month threshold for Express Entry-managed program. The same document stated that processing for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates would take roughly eight months.

The document further stated that during the first half of 2022, Express Entry drawings would not invite FSWP and CEC candidates. Fraser could not say when the draws would restart, but he did say that the measures put in place today were meant to speed up immigration processes. He claims that putting these drawings on hold while the Express Entry inventory is processed will allow IRCC to eventually hold draws without adding to the backlog.

For Express Entry candidates in Canada who may be forced to leave their jobs or return to their home countries while the IRCC delays draws for some candidates, Fraser said they are looking at options to keep workers in Canada, but no "ideal solution" has yet been found. More than 1.8 million people are now waiting for judgments from Immigration Canada. Citizenship applications, temporary foreign employees, families, students, refugees, and visitors all fall under this category. As of December 2021, the Express Entry backlog totaled at 119,000 applicants.

"I understand that processing delays have been quite aggravating for many people."It's still a major focus for me to help clients come to Canada swiftly, with predictable processing timelines and effective communication with IRCC," Fraser said in a statement. "Immigration benefits all Canadians because it contributes to the growth of our economy and the strengthening of our communities across the country." Many people are choosing Canada as a destination to visit and build their future, and in order to stay competitive, we've put in place tangible measures to ensure that those who wish to visit have the best possible experience.

How the IRCC has begun to shorten processing times?

The epidemic brought attention to the need for IRCC operations to be updated. IRCC has employed roughly 500 new processing personnel, digitized applications, and shifted work among IRCC locations throughout the world in response to pandemic-related problems.

Since public health precautions have curtailed in-person services, the Immigration and Refugee Commission (IRCC) has moved several paper-based immigration programs online. The online application gateway is expected to be completely operational in the spring or summer of 2022, according to an email from IRCC to CIC News. According to the IRCC, so far, these initiatives have allowed typical processing times for spousal sponsorship applicants to revert to the 12-month service standard for new applications. IRCC has also created a site that allows permanent residency candidates in Canada to complete their applications and acquire their permanent residency cards without having to visit the IRCC in person. This portal was utilized by 225,000 permanent residents from June to December 2021.

In a recent press release, the IRCC stated that it is employing advanced data analytics to expedite Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) applications. IRCC officials confirm that only immigration officers may decline or deny applications. Hence, the system does not decline or deny applications.

It was originally implemented in 2018 and enables for an 87 percent faster assessment of applications.

IRCC has established online testing, created an online application tracker, and enabled virtual citizenship ceremonies for citizenship applicants. Since April 1, 2020, Canada has sworn in 170,000 new citizens. Virtual ceremonies are becoming more popular in Canada.

Canada plans to allow people to self-administer their oath through signed attestation in the future, and then celebrate their citizenship at a later date. For individuals towards the end of their citizenship process, this would reduce the amount of time they have to wait.

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