Canadian Government Must Admit More PRs Faster to Meet 2021 Targets

Published on: September 30th, 2021

Canada welcomed 144,820 new permanent residents (PR) in the first two quarters of 2021. If Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) plans to meet Canada’s immigration target of 401,000, they will need to begin finalizing applications at a record-breaking pace.

Recovering from the processing effects of COVID-19

As of July 6th, 2021, the permanent residence application backlog had increased by 70% since February 2020. Much of this backlog was attributed to COVID-19 travel restrictions. However, numbers from an April 2020 IRCC HR status report revealed that about 75% of IRCC staff were on leave across Canada’s major visa processing centers. Processing times have since picked up and more applications were finalized in the first month of the third quarter.

In July 2021, Canada welcomed a total of 39,560 new permanent residents. This was nearly triple the number of permanent residents invited in the same month last year.

Record immigration targets within the next three years

The Canadian government has committed to accepting a record-breaking number of permanent residents within the next three years. By 2023, Canada plans to welcome 1,233,000 new permanent residents. In a recent campaign stop, Justin Trudeau also mentioned that he planned to increase immigration targets even further to make up for lost time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To achieve this, the Canadian government has taken steps to ease the processing time for hopeful permanent residents.  For example, since the pandemic the requirement to provide biometrics was waived for applicants who had already given them for a temporary resident application within the past 10 years.

Canada has also allocated significant funds in the 2021 budget toward modernizing immigration application platforms. The funds will be used to develop a “secure, stable, and flexible enterprise-wide digital platform that protects people’s information, will improve application processing and help Canada remain a destination of choice.”

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