Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has achieved an all-time high in 2022 with the processing of 4.8 million applications. This is a significant increase from the 2.5 million applications processed in the same period in 2021. The department is on track to admit a record breaking 431,000 permanent residents to Canada by the end of the year.

Record Breaking Immigration Levels

The number of applications processed by IRCC reaches a new peak this year with a total of 4.8 million applications. The majority of these applications are in the temporary residence category, with nearly 700,000 work permits and 670,000 study permits being processed. Canada has also welcomed approximately 251,000 new citizens between April and November of this year. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser commented on the progress, “Our government has reduced its pandemic backlogs by nearly half a million, while also processing a record-breaking number of immigration applications this year. Our actions are ensuring that we can continue to welcome and support newcomers who come to Canada to work, study, visit, or settle here. It is through the dedication and hard work of those who administer our immigration system, and our willingness to modernize and adapt, that we are able to uphold Canada’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive country.”

Reducing the Backlog

As of December 2, 2020, IRCC had 2.2 million applications in inventory. Of these, 1.09 million applications, or just over 50%, are considered to be backlog, or not processed within service standards. This is a marked improvement on the November 3 data when there were 2.4 million applications in inventory, and is down significantly from 2.6 million in September. IRCC has reduced its pandemic backlog of applications for permanent resident card renewals by 99%. Additionally, the department has implemented changes to correct operational inefficiencies such as the digitization of applications, with citizenship applications being 100% digital for anyone over the age of 18.

Efforts to Streamline

IRCC has also hired 1,250 new staff by the end of the year to help with streamlining application processing. Moreover, the department has implemented measures to increase the number of immigrants arriving in Canada, such as extending work permits to the spouses and working-age dependents of temporary foreign workers and lifting the 20 hours-per-week work cap for international students. There have also been expansions to the Atlantic Immigration Program and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.

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