Canada Immigration Backlog

Canada’s Immigration Backlog Hits a New High of 2.7 Million


Canada continues to strive with its immigration applications as the backlog hits a new high of 2.7 million people. Since June, the backlog has grown to 300,000 people over the last six weeks. It has doubled over the year and three folds since the start of COVID-19.

According to the recent Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada data, the Canadian citizenship inventory still stands at 444,792 candidates as of July 15, equating to 394,664 on June 1. The permanent residency inventory records 514,116 on July 17, compared to 522,047 on June 6. On July 17, the temporary residence inventory was recorded to be 1,720,123 compared to 1,472,173 people as of June 6.


All-Program Express Entry Program resumed due to backlog reduction

The decrease in Express Entry backlogs means that Canada can certainly hold all-program draws and processing times for new Express Entry candidates is back to the six-month standard. On July 6, Canada held its first all-program draw since December 2020.

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Family Class Inventory is Increasing 

The family class inventory has increased to 118,251 people compared to 112,837 people on June 6. The Spouses, Partners, and Children Program has augmented compared to early June. It calculates at 68,159 people compared to 67,929 people last month. All the statistics for July were calculated by adding Spouses and Partners to Children and Other Family Class for comparison.

On the other hand, the Parents and Grandparents Program has witnessed a spike, it has now reached 47,025 people compared to 41,802 people. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada is yet to announce the details of its plan for the PGP 2022.

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The temporary residence inventory has been amplified by approximately 250,000 people compared to June 6. The rise is recognized in the number of candidates for study permits, temporary resident visas, visitor records, work permits, and work permit extensions. The development of IRCC’s backlog is normal to an extent. During the summer season, more people apply for temporary resident visas to visit family and relatives in Canada. Moreover, most international students who complete their education in the spring go on to apply for Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP), which is Canada’s largest work permit category. The International students also submit their applications during the months leading up to the start of Canada’s academic calendar.  Each year, this results in Canada inviting international students leading into September.

The overall growth of the immigration backlog is approximately a three-fold increase since the start of the pandemic in 2020, which highlights continuing challenges with Canada’s immigration system. IRCC functions to welcome new applications throughout the pandemic even if the processing capacity was restricted for stretches of 2020 and 2021. Now, the department is making changes and planning to take steps such as hiring new staff and investing in technological upgrades to speed up the process.

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In June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to set up a special task force to address backlog challenges comprises of a group of federal ministers, who will make recommendations to address issues that are causing the delay in application processing. The aim is to create both long and short-term solutions that will clear the backlogs and improve the quality and speed of services.

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