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Canada’s Current Immigration Backlog Stands at 930,000 Applications

Austin Campbell



Current Immigration Backlog

The latest data from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) sheds light on the Canada Immigration Backlog standing at a staggering 930,000 applications as of January 31, 2024. Let’s delve into recent policy changes, and contemplate the reasons behind this monumental figure.

Canada Immigration Backlog Overview

As of January 31, 2024, the IRCC is diligently processing a substantial 2.2 million applications, a meticulous task that encompasses citizenship, immigration, and temporary visa applications. The specific breakdown reveals a detailed look at the backlog, with temporary residency applications witnessing a noteworthy reduction of 5.79%, owing to recent strategic measures implemented by the immigration minister.

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Backlog Month-on-Month Comparison

To comprehend the dynamics of this backlog, a month-on-month comparison is crucial. The data highlights the intricate changes in backlog percentages for citizenship, permanent residence, and temporary residence applications. Despite fluctuations, the overall backlog has seen a marginal reduction of 2.05%.

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Application TypeBacklog As of Jan 31Backlog As of Dec 31(%) Change
Permanent Residence309,300308,9000.13%
Temporary Residence570,900590,800-3.37%

Applications within IRCC Service Standards

The silver lining lies in applications within IRCC service standards, showcasing a positive shift in processing inventory. Despite increased new citizenship and permanent residency applications, the overall backlog has improved, attributed to a reduced burden on staff processing study permit applications.

Citizenship Applications within Service Standards

  • Jan 31: 217,600
  • Dec 31: 212,300

Permanent Residence within Service Standards

  • Jan 31: 413,200
  • Dec 31: 393,100

Temporary Residence Applications

  • Jan 31: 627,600 (Within Service Standards)
  • Dec 31: 666,200 (Within Service Standards)

Key Backlog Causes

The persistent backlog is a multifaceted challenge, influenced by several factors:

  1. Policy Changes and Processing Delays
  2. Increased Demand
  3. Resource Constraints
  4. Complexity of the System

Exploring Recent Measures

The Canadian government’s recent measures, including capping international students and introducing the requirement of a provincial acceptance letter (PAL) for study permits, have played a pivotal role in the reduction of the temporary visa application backlog.

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Now, as we stand at the crossroads of February 2024, the anticipation builds for the forthcoming IRCC data release around March 20. Observing the impact on the number of temporary residency applications under processing will be intriguing, especially considering the recent measures and their apparent positive influence. Canada’s immigration backlog, though a formidable challenge, highlights the nation’s popularity as a destination of choice. As the government continues to navigate IRCC policy changes and streamline processes, the resilience of the system will determine its ability to manage the IRCC backlog effectively.

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