OTTAWA : After COVID-19 caused a massive backlog in the processing of immigration applications and long waits for persons seeking status in Canada, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says the government will be back on schedule by the end of the year.

The government said last year that it will spend $85 million to process the backlog of applications, which Fraser says would primarily be used to recruit more people.

The extra immigration personnel will assist the government in meeting its stated turnaround periods for study and work permits, permanent residence renewals, visitor visas, and proof of citizenship applications.

Family unification applications are noticeably lacking from the list, according to Fraser, because they have already met the one-year processing deadline.

“I should tell out that while these measures will not fix all of Canada’s immigration capacity challenges quickly, they will begin to make a difference. And some of them will make an immediate difference “In an interview on Sunday, Fraser expressed his thoughts.

He anticipates that by the end of the year, the government will have cleared the backlog of permanent residence applications and will begin processing new applications more quickly.

The minister also vowed to update the government’s website with more realistic processing times so that consumers can have a better understanding of how long it will take to process their application.

When those estimates will be posted online is unknown.

While the government makes more permanent improvements, the new employees should be able to relieve the short-term load on Canada’s immigration system and applicants, Fraser said.

The government plans to expand a trial programme that permitted 10 to 20% of permanent residence applicants to file their applications online. All permanent resident applications will be directed to the digital intake system starting this summer, with the exception of individuals who still require paper forms.

The more current approach also offers assurance that your application has been submitted, so you have something to rely on, according to Fraser. “It’ll make a significant difference.”

In February, the government will launch an application monitoring tool that will allow spouses, partners, and dependents to check the status of their claim in real time, something that is “very difficult to access under the paper-based approach,” he said.

According to Fraser, the government also wants to extend virtual citizenship ceremonies and establish an electronic oath of citizenship so that people don’t have to wait for approval before becoming a Canadian citizen.

Virtual ceremonies and electronic oaths have yet to be decided whether they will be used as a temporary expedient during the pandemic or as a permanent feature on the path to Canadian citizenship.

According to the minister, over 60,000 persons have been authorised for citizenship and are awaiting a ceremony.

“We’ll have discussions to ensure that we manage the system in a way that enhances efficiency while still allowing folks who want to participate in a formal ceremony and be welcomed into the Canadian family in that traditional fashion to do so,” he added.

While Jenny Kwan, the NDP’s immigration critic, is pleased that the government is finally acting to fix the immigration backlog, she points out that these issues have persisted for a long time.

In an interview, she stated that Fraser did not believe it was necessary to address family reunion as part of the backlogs.

“The enormous wait in processing for family reunification is very real,” Kwan said, noting her experience as an immigration critic dealing with constituents and people.

She added that the government should develop service standards for all industries, not just some, and that caregiver applicants should not given timetables for processing their applications.

“People’s lives are being impacted and placed on wait. It would be critical for them to have access to this basic information “Kwan remarked.

Conservative immigration critic Jasraj Singh Hallan said in a statement that the Liberal administration has failed to take serious steps to address the backlog or increase openness and trust.

“The fact that 1.8 million applications are still pending is inexcusable. By overpromising and underdelivering, liberal mismanagement continues to fail the immigration system “Hallan remarked.

The Conservatives want the minister to follow the House citizenship and immigration committee’s recommendations and lay out a clear plan for clearing the unprecedented application backlog, he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *