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IRCC shows Impressive Progress, Slashes Backlog Despite Rising Application Numbers

Austin Campbell



IRCC shows Impressive Progress

The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is tasked with processing a vast number of immigration applications each year. For aspiring immigrants, this means navigating a system that can sometimes be challenging due to Canada Immigration backlogs. However, despite a surge in applications, IRCC makes remarkable strides in immigration backlog reduction.

IRCC Slashes Application Backlog

Recent data from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals encouraging progress in reducing the application backlog. As of July 31, there were 802,600 backlogged applications out of a total of 2,274,600. When we look back to May 31st, with 820,000 backlogged applications out of 2,248,000, this marks a substantial reduction.

IRCC defines applications in inventory as those awaiting finalization, and if they exceed service standards, they are classified as backlogged. Backlogs occur when the number of applications received exceeds the processing capacity of the immigration authorities. This can happen for several reasons, including changes in immigration policies, increased demand for immigration, and resource limitations.

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IRCC’s Meeting Service Standards and Tackling the Backlog

Service standards set processing time targets for different application types, like Express Entry (6 months) and study permits (60 days). IRCC aims to handle 80% within these times and keep a backlog under 20%. In 2022, IRCC processed 5.2 million applications successfully.

A Snapshot of Application Progress and Backlogs

In the latest update from IRCC, there are 631,500 Permanent Residence (PR) applications on record, with a 46% backlog, slightly improved from May’s 48%. The backlog for Federal High Skilled Workers is at 16%, up from May’s 15%, while Express Entry under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) remains at 30%. Spouse, partner, and children PR applications have been reduced to an 18% backlog.


For citizenship applications, there’s a 23% backlog, down from May’s 27%, aligning with IRCC’s projection of a 24% backlog, expected to reach 26% in the coming months.

In temporary residences, the inventory dropped to 902,000 from 1.3 million in May. 47% of TRVs take longer than the 14-day standard, slightly up from May. Study permits have a 17% backlog, and work permits are at 25%, above the 22% target, indicating evolving processing trends at IRCC.

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IRCC also reports that 15% of visitor visas and 71% of work permit applications in inventory are from the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET). A total of 1,191,619 CUAET applications were received before the program closed on July 15.

IRCC’s Strategic Measures to Reduce Backlog

IRCC has implemented various measures this year to tackle the backlog in temporary residence applications, including:

  • launching an online portal for certain permanent residence applicants;
  • extending work permits for post-graduate workers;
  • allowing longer stays for parents and grandparents on Super Visas;
  • expanding the student direct stream to seven more countries; and
  • broadening work permit eligibility for family members of temporary foreign workers.


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British ColumbiaMay 2279 invitations
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