Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently launched a portal for sponsorship applicants to track their Canadian immigration application status online.
The tracker allows individuals who have applied for Canadian sponsorship to easily access the status of their application online. Currently, the portal is available for spousal, common-law, and dependent child sponsorship applications. Both applicants and immigration representatives can access the portal to check the status of an application.
IRCC announced that they would be implementing the new PR application tracker last week. The announcement was part of Canada’s larger efforts to modernize the immigration system and improve client experience.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the lack of transparency provided to Canadian immigration applicants on their application. Throughout the pandemic, application processing was paused for many overseas applicants. IRCC provided few status updates to these applicants, and were unclear as to what might be causing the delay.
IRCC currently offers an online tool to check processing times for different application types. However, this tool has been criticized for not providing accurate processing times, namely for the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program. The “check processing times” tool currently states the processing time for FSW applications as 6 months despite a recent internal IRCC memo revealing the average to be over 20 months.
IRCC addressed this concern in their recent announcement, confirming that they will update the “check processing times” tool in the coming months. By improving the tool, IRCC will provide hopeful newcomers with a more accurate estimate of how long their application will take to process.
Canada has been ramping up efforts and investing significant funds toward reducing the significant backlog leftover from COVID-19. With about 500 new processing staff, and efforts to digitalize processes, IRCC is slowly returning to processing applications at a pre-pandemic service standard.
Minister Sean Fraser recently confirmed that the processing time for sponsorship applications has returned to 12 months. For PR card renewals, work and study permits, he expects to return to pre-pandemic processing by the end of 2022.
Allowing sponsorship applicants to check their Canadian immigration application status can provide peace of mind to those awaiting a decision.
IRCC’s new PR tracker portal is a promising step toward a smoother immigration process for sponsorship applicants. It is also reflective of the greater efforts Canada is making to facilitate a faster, more streamlined immigration system.
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