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Canada’s Current Immigration Backlog stands at 2 Million

Austin Campbell



Canada Immigration Backlog

According to the latest update from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada’s immigration backlog is somewhat more than 800,000. Currently, there are 2,006,000 million applications.

IRCC said it cleared more than 5.2 million applications in 2022, double the amount finalized in 2021. The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) strike, which lasted 12 days from April 19 to May 1, 2023, created a significant labor interruption that is not fully captured in the most recent inventory data. In the last week of the strike, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser told reporters that there were roughly 100,000 applications that would have been processed but weren’t because of the strike. He added that IRCC would quickly get back on track and handle the backlog that resulted.

Express Entry and PNP Inventories – Permanent Residence

Till April, there were 632,000  applications for permanent residence awaiting processing. Out of which, a total of 322,000 experienced backlogs. IRCC also has a backlog of 17% of Federal High Skilled Workers (Express Entry) applications, exceeding the target of processing 80% of applications in a timely manner.

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The backlog for Express Entry applications for Provincial Nominee Program candidates is still higher than the intended 20% and 28% of applications were not processed in accordance with service standards. In addition, there was a 23% backlog in applications for permanent residency seekers’ wives, partners, and children.

Temporary Residence

Of the 1,080,000 applications in inventory, a total of 414,000 applications—or 38%—are pending for temporary residence. According to the data, only 50% of temporary resident (visitor) visas are being handled within service standards. According to Minister Fraser, this is one area where the strike had an impact and the department may need more time than expected to process all tourist permits. The data shows that a total of 82% of applications were completed on time, exceeding the service criteria for processing study permits. Work permits fell below 20% in March, but they rose up to a standard-unsatisfactory level of 22% in April.



According to IRCC, 221,000, or 75%, of the 294,000 citizenship applications in inventory have been handled according to service standards. The data from August 2022 shows that 30% of citizenship applications did not adhere to service standards. However, as of April 2023, IRCC had made progress in closing the gap to the current 25%.

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Service Standards

In order to meet the backlog, IRCC strives to handle 80% of applications from all business lines, within service standards. Depending on the kind of application, a different service standard applies. It takes more than 6 months for other economic class categories if not a permanent residence application. 



PNP Draws & Updates

ManitobaMay 23253 invitations
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