immigration applications

About 1.84 million immigration applications are waiting to be processed

A Canadian news website recently obtained information from IRCC showing that Canada had a backlog of nearly 1.84 million immigration applications as of mid-March.

According to CIC News, the data represents the number of persons currently waiting to be processed by IRCC. Of course, this includes applications submitted by future Canadian citizens, permanent residents, international students, temporary workers, and visitors. Let’s explore some of the highlights.

Permanent residence

According to data received from the IRCC department on February 1,  the country had a backlog of 519,030 permanent residence (PR) applications. This included 158,778 refugee applications. As of March 15, the PR inventory showed some progress. However, this was not the case with temporary residence applications.

Immigration category Persons as of Mar. 15
Economic Class 230,767
Family Class 103,112
Humanitarian and Compassionate/Public Policy 27,218
Permit Holders Class 18
Protected Person 157,552
Total  518,667

Temporary residence

As of February 1, Canada also had a backlog of 848,598 temporary residence applications. Unfortunately, the new data showed an increase of 23,894 applications.

Immigration category Persons as of Mar. 17
Study Permit 111,192
Study Permit Extension 30,533
Temporary Resident Visa 419,243
Visitor Record 68,528
Work Permit 100,205
Work Permit Extension 142,791
Total  872,492

Moreover, at the end of February, the country had a backlog of 453,265 Canadian citizenship applications. This was about 5,000 more citizenship applications when compared to the end of December 2021.

Express Entry inventory

On the other hand, with Express Entry applications, Canada has seen significant progress.

Immigration category Persons as of Mar. 15 Persons as of Feb. 1
Federal Skilled Worker Program (EE) 41,336 49,751
Canadian Experience Class (EE) 10,388 15,139
Provincial/Territorial Nominees (EE) 36,590 (EE) + 34,621 (No EE) 68,682 (EE + No EE)
Federal Skilled Trades Program (EE) 589 805
Total  123,524 134,337

Immigration Minister says he is dealing with backlog

In February of this year, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said he had his “full attention” set on tackling the backlogs. “It will take resources and will take a little bit of time, but we’re not sitting on our hands,” the Minister told a panel discussion by Canadian Club Toronto.

The same month, the Canadian government revealed its Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-2024. It plans to welcome more than 1.3 million new permanent residents to the country over the next three years. However, immigrants and professionals have raised doubts about the government’s ability to bring more people to Canada while struggling with an unprecedented backlog. You can read more about it in the following articles:

In addition, Canada is investing $85 million to reduce backlogs in the immigration system. The government acknowledged the pandemic dramatically slowed down the pace of processing applications, and now it is investing in resources to speed up the process of obtaining citizenshipreuniting families, and welcoming immigrants who can help address Canada’s labour shortages.

“Our government is committed to bringing in 411,000 immigrants in 2022, the highest number in Canadian history. To help support this effort and reduce processing time for permanent and temporary resident and citizenship applications, we are investing $85 million in our immigration system.” The Honourable Chrystia Freeland.

Other measures

In addition to investing $85 million to reduce immigration processing backlogs in fiscal 2022-23, Canada will expand the following functionalities to transform the immigration system into a digital immigration platform:

  • IRCC expects to include more clients in summer 2022 for the digital application portal for permanent residence applicants.
  • In addition, IRCC has developed a portal to allow permanent residence applicants in Canada to finalize their process and receive their permanent residency cards without any in-person interaction. From June 2021 to December 2021, 225,000 permanent residents have used this portal.
  • For citizenship applicants, IRCC has introduced online testing, created an online application tracker, and launched virtual citizenship ceremonies. Canada has sworn in 170,000 new Canadians since April 1, 2020.
  • IRCC will also introduce a new Permanent Residence Application Tracker in February 2022 for spouses and dependents to allow clients easy access to their application information and status online.

Furthermore, IRCC is exploring more options for those who wish to self-administer their Oath by signed attestation, and celebrate their citizenship at a later date. This would shorten the waiting time for those at the final stage of their citizenship process.

Related Articles

Let us help!

If you have general immigration questions, you may fill out the following form. Of course, if you have specific questions, please book an appointment. Alternatively, you can fill out our assessment form or subscribe to our newsletter.

    Full Name (required)

    Email address (required)

    Have you entered your email address correctly?

    Your question (required):

    Read this in Spanish

    Related Posts

    changes to the pre-removal risk assessment PRRA for individuals from Chad

    Canada announces Changes to Pre-Removal Risk Assessment for Individuals from Chad

    Apr 1, 2023

    What circumstances put a removal order on hold in Canada?

    Apr 1, 2023
    Canada's 2023 Budget Unveils Major Boost for Immigration

    Canada’s 2023 Budget Unveils Major Boost for Immigration and Citizenship Processes

    Mar 31, 2023
    Online LMIA Applications

    Navigating the Shift to Online LMIA Applications

    Mar 30, 2023

    Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!

    This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

    The characters and places in the articles:
    All the characters and locations in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Therefore, any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.

    Important Notes:
    For our official addresses, trust this website only. We currently do not have offices outside Canada. Therefore, anyone who claims to be our agent is committing fraud. Also, note that we do not issue any work permits or study permits or similar documents. The government of Canada has the sole authority to issue such material.

    Click to read the disclaimer.

    Andrea Neira