Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced a policy that exempts some temporary and permanent resident applicants from appearing for medical examination as part of the Canada PR process. The need for the exam has been waived for at least 180 000 applicants currently in Canada.
The reason is that Canada is adding more than 1200 employees to process applications faster and clear the backlog as early as possible. The IRCC is also going digital to process immigration documents and give quick results to immigration aspirants.
“Immigration is about people. It’s about starting a new job, reuniting a family, and creating a new life in this beautiful country we call home,” said Fraser.
Canada is taking every measure to strengthen and overhaul its immigration system by updating its technical systems. The country is committed to putting applicants’ interests at the heart of what it does with the immigration systems and policies. By increasing the number of staff and leveraging digital technology, Canada makes it easier for applicants to apply seamlessly and give newcomers the support they need for a smooth transition.
Recently, IRCC officials also started to conduct telephonic and video interviews for family class applicants.
Despite the pandemic and public health challenges, the department was able to invite over 69,000 spouses, partners, and children by 2021. With Canada’s service modernization efforts and the necessary staff support, the country can return to the pre-pandemic Canada PR application process of 12 months for all new spousal sponsorship applications. The IRCC plans to switch to 100% digital applications for most permanent residence programs on September 23.
IRCC Still Deals with a Massive Application Backlog
According to an update provided by IRCC, the number of application backlogs as of July 31 was 2.4 million. Temporary residence applications get a significant share of the backlog, with 1.4 million still pending. 41% of them were within the usual service standards.
On the contrary, the situation for PR visa applicants looks much better with 639,500 permanent residence applications, where 47% were within the service standard. There were also 379,000 Canadian citizenship applications pending approval.
$85m Funding to Clear Application Backlogs
In 2021, the immigration authorities in Canada received funding of $85 million from the Economic and Fiscal Update. With this, Canada continues to direct its efforts on reducing the application inventories accumulated during the pandemic.
The past few months have witnessed an impressive reduction in the pile of applications by a few hundred thousand. However, thousands of applicants are still awaiting a decision and are fed up with the delays.
Canadian immigration officials are trying to assure people through regular updates and feedback on their application status.
In February 2022, the IRCC launched an application status tracker tool for permanent residence applicants, spouse visa candidates, and dependent children. The tool allowed them to check their application status online and stay updated with their visa process.
“By spring 2023, we will have expanded this application status tracker to include seven more permanent residence and temporary residence programs,” the IRCC wrote.