The immigration minister is positive about the progress in processing applications for permanent residence
On October 19, 2023, Marc Miller, the Minister of IRCC, issued a statement in response to the Auditor General’s report on processing applications for permanent residence. The report examined how IRCC handles applications and deals with backlogs.
In August 2022, IRCC started publishing monthly data to inform the public about their efforts to reduce application backlogs. Since then, IRCC has made significant progress in reducing backlogs through the digitalization of applications, staff recruitment and training, and implementing automation technologies.
The immigration minister expressed optimism as many areas of operation now meet service standards. Despite the challenges faced, IRCC has shown progress and remains dedicated to fulfilling its commitments and ensuring Canada continues to be a welcoming and inclusive destination.
Statement of the Honourable immigration minister Marc Miller about the progress in processing applications for permanent residence:
“On behalf of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), I welcome the Auditor General’s report on the processing of permanent residence applications.” The audit, which took place in 2022, looked at how IRCC processes applications as well as methods for dealing with backlogs, highlighting critical aspects of our nation’s immigration policies and procedures.
“Immigration is critical to Canada’s long-term success, and we understand the importance of keeping our systems operating smoothly.” To build a stronger immigration system, IRCC has prioritized improving processing times and client service in recent years. Our goal is to process 80% of all applications in line with service standards, and we are making constant progress toward that goal. IRCC also began publishing monthly data in August 2022 to inform the public about ongoing efforts to reduce application backlogs.
“As of August 31, Canada had already welcomed 339,000 permanent residents, up from 310,000 during the same period in 2022.” Since the audit, IRCC has worked to reduce backlogs by digitizing applications, hiring and training new employees, and using automation technologies to increase processing capacity and efficiency.
“Many lines of business are now back to or nearly service standards.” As of September 2023, the department had processed over 80% of federal high-skilled applications received since July 2022 within service standards. In addition, since April 2022, more than 80% of applications for spouses, partners, and children (except in Quebec) have been processed within service standards. We are also committed to monitoring and evaluating how we use technology to assist with application processing.
“IRCC is on track to open the online Permanent Residence Portal later this fall to private refugee sponsor groups and some of our government-assisted refugee referral partners.” The portal will provide a safe and convenient way for these organizations to submit applications and referrals. These actions immediately tackle some of the issues raised in the report.
“I am optimistic, considering the progress made by IRCC despite all of the challenges it has faced over the past years.” I’d like to acknowledge the diligent work of IRCC employees, whose efforts are a vital component of the application processing process. The Office of the Auditor General’s report serves as a timely reminder that we have to fulfill our promises and continue to make Canada a welcoming and inclusive destination for people seeking a better life.”
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