Canadian Immigration Minister Provides Update on Reducing Wait Times & Backlog

Canadian Immigration Minister Provides Update on Reducing Wait Times & Backlog

August 29, 2022 – With an emphasis on solving labour shortages, enhancing client experiences, and reuniting families, IRCC Minister Sean Fraser outlined below points on how Canada is trying to enhance its immigration system and minimize application backlogs.

  • Hiring up to 1,250 extra personnel by the end of the fall to boost processing capacity and short-term address backlogs.
  • Modernizing and simplifying our processes to increase the long-term sustainability of the Canadian system;
    Welcoming more than 300,000 new permanent residents by August 22, surpassing the milestone earlier than any prior year.
  • 349,000 new work permits were issued from January 1 to July 31 this year, compared to about 112,000 during the same time in 2021;
  • Finalizing about 360,000 study permits between January 1 and July 31, 2022, vs roughly 306,000 for the same time in 2021;
  • Approving more than 216,000 requests for the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel for Ukrainians and family members seeking safety in Canada from March 17 to August 24, 2022;
  • Introducing application status trackers for citizenship and some types of permanent residents to provide timely information on their files; these will be made available to more customers in the upcoming year; and
  • Keeping Canadians informed of our efforts by posting monthly data on our website.


On September 1, Minister Sean Fraser announced new online immigration services to help applicants have a better user experience and reduce backlogs.

The minister made below listed 4 announcements:

  1. Steps To Reduce IRCC Wait Times

IRCC will exempt permanent and temporary resident applicants already in Canada from the immigration medical examination (IME) who meet certain requirements. It will help increase processing capacity and address the backlogs, in addition to previously announced measures last week.

This exemption from IME will help save time and money and reduce wait times. To put this in perspective, this will help roughly 180,000 applicants in Canada.

IRCC is also working to increase the availability of virtual interviews at overseas offices for spousal sponsorship applicants at its Canadian and international offices.

2. Expanding online applications for permanent residence

Today, Minister also declared that IRCC would begin transitioning to 100% digital applications for 19 permanent residence programs on September 23, 2022. Additionally, alternative formats will be available for people who require accommodations.

The transition will start on September 23, 2022 beginning with 8 PR programs. Furthermore, this will be completed for all 19 PR programs by October 28, 2022. Click here to list 19 PR programs that will transition to 100% online.

3. Improving IRCC processing time transparency 

Starting in fall 2023, IRCC will publish proactive estimates of how long it will take for an application to complete processing. This increases predictability for applicants so they can make their plans accordingly.

Previously launched new application status tracker in February 2022 for permanent residence applicants, sponsors and their representatives in the spouse, partner and dependent child categories will include 7 more permanent residence and temporary residence programs.

4. Updating Canada Citizenship Program

IRCC has also changed course to provide citizenship applicants with more online services, such as virtual ceremonies and online citizenship tests.

In August 2021, IRCC introduced a new technology that enables most citizenship applications to be submitted online. The application process now allows groups of adults to apply together and is open to applicants at least 18 years old. By the end of the year, IRCC plans to expand this capability to include online applications for children under 18.


Compiled by: Eaglestone Immigration Services 
for Dean de Jesus, CPA, CMA, RCIC

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