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At 2.6 million applications, Canada’s Immigration Backlog remains steady throughout September 22

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada released the immigration inventory data on October 14, 2022.

The backlog of applications for immigration under various programs remains steady at 2.6 million persons as per the data till September 30, 2022.

Canada uses a unique benchmark of Service Standards for processing applications under various categories of immigration. IRCC categorizes applications as Citizenship, Permanent Residence, and Temporary Residence. 

Canada processed 1.11 million within-service-standards applications out of the inventory of 2.6 million. A total of 1.49 applications are not within service standards. The break-up of applications within service standards is as below:

  • Citizenship applications– 243,000 (69% of total citizenship applications)
  • Permanent Residence applications– 288,900 (47% of total PR applications)
  • Temporary Residence applications– 756,300 (46% of total Temporary residence applications)

Service standards set average standard processing times for these three categories of immigration. The approximate service standards for these programs are:

  • Citizenship applications– 12 months
  • Permanent Residence applications– 6 months (through Express Entry)
  • Temporary Residence applications– 2 to 4 months

The resumption of All-program Express Entry draws on July 6 boosted the processing of Permanent Residence applications. There is a steady rise in the number of Invitations to Apply in each subsequent draw. 4,250 applicants received ITAs in the most recent EE draw compared to 1,500 in the July 6, Express Entry draw.

IRCC is adopting steps to speed up clearance of the immigration backlogs across categories, like setting up a task force to recommend improvements. Shifting to a digital-only application system, hiring 1,250 new staff, and system upgrades are a few improvements for speeding up the processing of applications.

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