In the 2021 Budget, Canada allocated $85 million to reduce processing times across all IRCC lines of business. Prime. Fraser is now saying the budget will allow Canada to return to processing service standards for study permits, work permits, and permanent resident card renewals by the end of the year. Canada is also working to reduce processing times for visitor visas and proof of citizenship.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made decisions on over 500,000 permanent resident applications in 2021. Fraser announced that Canada is planning to make 147,000 permanent residence final decisions in the first quarter of 2022—doubling that from the same period in 2021. Canada will also introduce a new Permanent Residence Application Tracker in February 2022 for spouses and dependents, to allow applicants to see their application information and status online.
Immigration Canada is currently facing a backlog of more than 1.8 million people waiting on decisions. This includes citizenship applicants, temporary foreign workers, families, students, refugees, and visitors
IRCC has also developed a portal to allow permanent residence applicants in Canada to finalize their process and receive their permanent residency cards without any in-person interaction
For citizenship applicants, IRCC has introduced online testing, created an online application tracker, and launched virtual citizenship ceremonies.
In the future, Canada is looking to allow people to self-administer their Oath by signed attestation, and celebrate their citizenship at a later date. This would shorten the waiting time for those at the final stage of their citizenship process.