Canada's immigration backlog has increased to 1.84 million people

Canada’s immigration backlog has increased to 1.84 million people

IRCC reports a backlog of 1,844,424 people across all lines of business as of mid-March.

As of mid-March, the IRCC’s inventory contained 1.84 million persons awaiting determinations.

Through a media request, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) gave the most recent inventory data to CIC News. Future Canadian citizens, permanent residents, international students, temporary workers, and visitors have all submitted applications to the database.

Since the summer, the backlog has progressed as follows:

On the 15th and 17th of March, 2022, 1,844,424 people will be present.
1,815,628 people on February 1, 2022
1,813,144 people on December 15, 2021
1,792,404 people on October 27, 2021
1,447,474 people on July 6, 2021

Comment on data reporting

The figures represent the number of people who are currently awaiting IRCC processing.

CIC News is providing the information as it was provided by IRCC. The data for permanent residence inventory is from March 15, while the data for temporary residence inventory is from March 17. The reason for the discrepancy is that the “visitor record” data was absent when IRCC initially delivered the March 15 temporary residence data. The media representatives were unable to verify the March 15 visitor record data since IRCC does not preserve snapshots of their inventory until specifically requested. When requested, the data for the temporary dwelling on March 17 was provided.

The February 1 comparison data is identical to what IRCC provided at the time. IRCC did not provide information in several cases, marked “N/A.”

What progress has the IRCC achieved since last month?

Applications for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) are making significant progress. Only 10,400 CECs remain to be processed, indicating that IRCC may be able to clear the backlog by the spring. Meanwhile, significant development on FSWP applications is being made. IRCC has processed more FSWP candidates in the last two weeks than it did in a seven-month period in 2021. Between February 28 and March 15, the agency processed 4,000 FSWP applicants. At this rate, the department may be able to complete the FSWP backlog by the end of the year.

Express Entry inventory

Immigration CategoryPersons as of Mar. 15Persons as of Feb. 1Difference
Federal Skilled Worker Program (EE)41336497510-8.415
Canadian Experience Class (EE)10.38815.139-4.751
Provincial Territorial Nominees (EE)36.590(EE) + 34.621(No EE)68.682 (EE + No EE)+2.529
Federal Skilled Trades program (EE)589805-216
Grand Total123.524134.337-10.813

In the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP), as well as the humanitarian and caring category, the family class inventory has shown some progress. Despite some rise in the categories of spouses, partners, children, and others, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has stated that new application processing standards have returned to the 12-month standard. Spousal sponsorship applicants can use a service provided by the government to track the status of their applications.

Family class immigration

Immigration CategoryPersons as of Mar. 15Persons as of Feb. 1Difference
FCH-Family relations – H&C3.323.35-30
Parents and Grandparents35.32436.046-722
Spouses, partners, children, other family55.301(spouses) + 9.166(Children and other)62.826+1.641
Grand Total103.112102.222+890

What has happened to the backlog since February?

The citizenship inventory was at 453,265 at the end of February 2022. All potential, mailroom estimates, and unopened electronic applications are included in this number.

The backlog for citizenship applicants was estimated to reach around 448,000 on December 31, 2021, according to the IRCC.

When compared to the end of December, there were around 5,000 more citizenship applications in the inventory at the end of February.

A total of 5,400 people applied for the Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence (TR2PR) programme. IRCC received all applications for this programme between May 6 and November 5, 2021, but they were saved in a cloud environment and were not yet deemed part of the inventory, according to an IRCC representative. After that, the applications were transmitted to the Global Case Management System and inventoried. For the TR2PR programme, IRCC received around 91,000 applications in total. The inventory contained 35,341 people as of March 15.

The paper-based Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), the Caring for Children Program, and the Quebec Skilled Worker Program all saw considerable growth in their permanent residency programme inventory.

Permanent residence

Immigration categoryPersons as of Mar. 15Persons as of Feb. 1Difference
Economic Class230,767230,573+194
Family class103,112102,222+890
Humanitarian and compassionate/public policy27,21827,436-218
Permit holders class1821-3
protected persons157,552158,778-1,226
Grand Total518,667519,030-363

Economic class immigration

Immigration categoryPersons as of Mar. 15Persons as of Feb. 28Persons as of Feb. 1Difference From earliest avilable date
Agri-food pilot program649653N/A-4
Atlantic immigration pilot programs2,6722,577N/A+95
Canadian experience class (EE)10,38812,08815,139-4,751
Canadian experience class (No EE)10784N/A+23
Caring form children program17,58516,31616,085+1500
Fedral self employed5,2635,1815,396-133
Fedral skilled Workers(C-50)190197N/A-7
Fedral skilled Workers(EE)41,33645,43749,751-8,415
Fedral skilled Workers(Pre C-50)2323N/A0
High Medical needs program1615N/A+1
Live-in Caregiver Program1,2681,328N/A-60
Provincial/Territorial Nominees(EE)36,59037,48468,682(EE+NO EE)-894
Provincial/Territorial Nominees(NO EE)34,62132,106N/A+2,515
Quebec entrepreneur408146N/A-8
Quebec Investor14,30913,84514,117+464
Quebec self employed12189N/A+32
Quebec skill workers26,99726,21725,263+1,734
Rural and Northem Immigration pilot870897N/A-27
Skilled Trader(EE)589632723-134
Skilled Trader(NO EE)33N/A+126
Start-up Business1,4211,295N/A+126
TR to PR35,34134,30429,864+5,477
Ministrial Instuction Economic ProgramsN/AN/A5,553N/A
Total Economic Class230,67231,187230,573+194

There was also a rise in the number of applications for temporary residency. Between February 1 and March 17, the number of work permits increased by around 14,700. Work and study permit extensions, as well as visitor records, were all on the upswing.

Temporary residence

TR CategoryPersons as of Mar.17Persons as of Feb.1Difference
Studey Permit111,192112,185-993
Studey Permit Extension30,53326,479+4,054
Temporary Resident Visa419,243420,097-854
Visitor Record68,52865,093+3,435
Work Permit100,20585,526+14,679
Work Permit Extension142,791139,218+3,573
Grand Total872,492848,598+23,894

Since the autumn of 2021, there have been significant developments.

Since the fall of 2021, IRCC has stopped holding Express Entry lotteries for CEC candidates, and since December 2020 for FSWP candidates. The rationale for this was to clear out a big backlog of applications that were causing processing times to lengthen. Because the Express Entry draws for these programmes have been paused, no new applications have been received, allowing officers to work through the backlog. IRCC, on the other hand, has been hosting biweekly PNP draws in record numbers.

Express Entry drawings for FSWP and CEC candidates are expected to begin in 2022, according to public IRCC data, once backlogs are eliminated and the six-month processing norm can restart.

Canada budgeted $85 million in the 2021 Budget to decrease processing times across all IRCC lines of business. Minister Fraser has stated that by the end of the year, Canada will be able to resume processing service requirements for study permits, work permits, and permanent residence card renewals. The temporary reduction in Express Entry admissions is to allow IRCC to complete its TR2PR program processing.

In February, Canada issued its Immigration Levels Plan for the years 2022-2024. For the following three years, the government intends to welcome a record number of newcomers each year. For 2022 and 2023, the Express Entry targets are drastically reduced, but for 2024, they are increased to over 110,000 immigrants.

The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) is an expedited temporary residence pathway for Ukrainians fleeing conflict. These particular safeguards for Ukrainians, according to the IRCC, will have no influence on the processing of refugee applications.