May 20, 2024 12:08 PM

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Visitor Visa Update: Canada Plans Aggressive Steps to Clear the Backlog by February 2023

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced strong measures, including easing legibility requirements to eliminate the backlog of visitor visas.

Swelling inventory of immigration applications

 IRCC reported in December 2022 about the rising inventory of immigration applications and the urgent need to clear the backlog. Over 2 million applications remained in the application inventory of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.

It included nearly 700,000 applications for Temporary Resident Visas representing a minor portion of the vast overall inventory of immigration applications. The application inventory of over 2 million comprised immigration applications for work permits, study permits, and Permanent Residence applications.  

Processing delays cause frustrations among potential immigrants

Canada’s immigration department is battling the rising pressure of immigration backlog, representing a bulk of applications awaiting processing longer than the standard period. The number of applications in the backlog was over 2.1 million in November 2022. These processing delays are causing dissatisfaction among aspiring immigrants from across the world.

Clearing of visitor visas

Canada is taking firm steps to avoid erosion of confidence in the immigration department because of the mounting backlog of immigration applications at the end of 2022. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC) is contemplating concrete steps to deal with the mounting inventory of visitor visas.

  • Strategy 1 – Bulk processing of all 195,000 immigration applications. These will comprise applications requiring a Visitor Visa.
  • Strategy 2 – The immigration minister is considering the relaxation of a few eligibility criteria except admissibility requirements. The relief may include setting aside the need to establish the intent of leaving Canada on the expiry of the temporary visa.

Although IRCC’s visa processing times are improving, there is a long way to go if the department wants to restore pre-pandemic processing standards. The immigration minister is confident about clearing the visitor visa applications by the end of February 2023.  

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