Canadian Immigration minister Sean Fraser recently informed that Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) plans to use its $85 million budget to reduce processing times for immigrants moving to the country. Sadly, the hold-up has been caused due to the pandemic. However, he had previously advised that the processes involved would return back to normal by the end of 2022. These include service standards for work and study permits, proof of citizenship, and residence card renewals.

The IRCC has stated on their website that processing times for work permit applications made by most countries aren’t fulfilling requests properly. Either way, they’re still processing more work permits than they were before. Canada processed around 420,000 permits in 2021 under the International Mobility Program (IMP) and Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which is much higher in comparison to the roughly 405,000 that were made just two years before.

The TFWP has granted Canadian employers to allow foreigners to be hired where jobs are needed and to prevent understaffing issues. The IMP is making attempts to help enhance the economic, societal, and cultural interests of the country.

Processing times for work permits made outside of Canada usually take around 60 days to be completed. One exception is permits made for International Experience Canada (IEC), which generally take 56 days. Extensions that are submitted within the country will usually take 120 days. Before the pandemic, IRCC maintained correct processing times around 87% of the time, however, the numbers for 2020 to 2021 have are yet to be provided.

The pandemic put a hold on IRCC operations around the world when it began back in 2020, leading to a backlog in work permit applications. From the start of February 2022, has over 85,000 applications still waiting to be processed.

Daniel Mills, the Assistant Deputy Minister of IRCC, explained in a meeting that the $85 million budget granted will not speed up the processing times for applications made by permanent residents. However, the funds will allow for online applications and trackers to be developed to make the process easier. Fraser made a declaration beforehand that the time taken for new spousal sponsorship applications to be complete is back to normal at one year.

Canadian politicians from major political parties form The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. Their work includes carrying out studies and making suggestments regarding policies involving immigration.

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