Ottawa expands the use of automation tools for faster processing of work permit applications
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will expand the use of automation tools to process work permit extensions and post-graduation work permits (PGWPs) more efficiently. Automated tools are part of IRCC’s commitment to properly using technology to strengthen the immigration system for the benefit of all clients. These tools are routinely examined to ensure that they function as intended and that the findings are consistent with applications that receive thorough human assessment. Only an IRCC official has the authority to refuse an application; automated tools do not refuse or recommend refusal.
Automation tools for faster processing of work permit applications
These automated tools will help process applications faster for some applicants based on complexity, allowing officers to focus on assessing applications and making final decisions. The tools also assess eligibility and determine if an applicant qualifies for a work permit extension of PGWP. Applications that do not meet the automated criteria may still be approved manually by an officer.
The tools’ triage function handles the majority of the clerical and repetitive tasks associated with sorting applications, allowing officers to focus on reviewing applications and making final decisions. The tools sort applications using rules created by IRCC officers based on the program’s legal and regulatory criteria. Based on office abilities and officer experience, files are sent to the appropriate officers for further processing.
The tools’ eligibility function finds routine applications for streamlined processing, hence accelerating work. When analyzing an application, the tools identify whether it is a normal case and can determine whether an applicant is qualified for a work permit extension or PGWP using IRCC officials’ developed criteria. The case is subsequently forwarded to an officer who will decide if the applicant is still allowed to Canada and make the final decision. Applications that do not have their eligibility automatically accepted may still be manually authorized after a check by an officer.
IRCC is committed to creating and deploying data-driven technologies ethically, in accordance with privacy requirements and human rights protection.
IRCC has conducted an algorithmic impact assessment (AIA) to ensure responsible use of these tools, considering privacy and human rights protection. The AIA classified the systems’ effect level as moderate, and several steps are in place to limit the possible risks. These precautions include an assessment for any discriminatory effects, privacy and security considerations built into the tool’s design, and the ability of officials to overturn the tool’s conclusion.
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