Chinook: the controversial tool used by IRCC
Immigration application volumes are constantly rising, and clients are increasingly expecting quicker and easier interactions. Therefore, IRCC has been using advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve client services. However, does the Chinook tool utilize artificial intelligence? Does it make decisions on applications? How do IRCC officers use this tool?
In this article, we’ll answer these questions, but first, let’s explore what Chinook is.
What is the Chinook tool?
Chinook is a Microsoft Excel based tool developed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for temporary resident application processing. According to IRCC, Chinook simplifies the visual representation of a client’s information. But, what does this mean?
Chinook displays (in a more user-friendly way) information stored in:
So it offers a consolidated view of these platforms, instead of a multiple-screen layout of the application’s information. “This is especially important in countries where computer bandwidth is slow, which would otherwise slow down application processing,” said IRCC. It also added that the tool shortens review times per application, which increases productivity.
In December 2020, IRCC measured the performance of Chinook through a sample study for overseas migration offices. The results determined there was an 18-30% gain in efficiency.
When was Chinook created and how is it used by IRCC officers?
IRCC personnel, experts in immigration processing and/or computer sciences, developed Chinook in 2018. However, they officially launched the tool in 2019. Of course, IRCC has implemented multiple iterations as Chinook is subject to further updates and development.
IRCC officers may use the Chinook tool for assessing:
The application information is extracted from The Global Case Management System (GCMS) and presented within Chinook.
For those who are not familiar, GCMS is IRCC’s integrated worldwide electronic information management system. Moreover, IRCC uses this system to (internally) process applications for citizenship, immigration, and certain passport services. Accordingly, the application information in Chinook is the same data as in GCMS.
Chinook administratively supports different steps in the process of assessing an application, depending on the module used. The various modules can assist IRCC with steps such as file management, indicator management, and pre-and post-decision management.
Does the Chinook tool use artificial intelligence?
“It is always an IRCC officer, not the Chinook tool, that makes the final decision on an application,” noted IRCC. It continues:
“Chinook does not assess or make decisions on applications. Officers continue to review all client-submitted information to ensure informed and fair decisions.”
In what applications does IRCC use advanced data analytics?
On January 24, 2022, IRCC expanded the use of advanced data analytics to reduce the increasing volume of TRV applications. At the time, IRCC said that the analytics system was going to identify routine applications for streamlined processing. It was also going to sort and triage non-routine applications based on their level of complexity. However, the analytics system won’t “refuse or recommend refusing applications,” said IRCC.
To know more about this, please read the following articles:
- Deep Dive in the Use of AI for Immigration Processing, and
- IRCC is now using advanced data analytics to process TRV applications submitted outside of Canada
You can also read: IRCC officers can access your travel information.
Ask your questions!
If you have a broad question about immigration to Canada, please fill out the following form. Of course, if you have specific questions, book a consultation session. You may alternatively fill out our assessment form.
Read this in Spanish
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.
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.