Modernizing Canada’s immigration system to support economic recovery and improve client experience

News release

January 31, 2022 — Ottawa — Immigration is the engine of the Canadian economy, helping to address labour shortages and keep our communities thriving. Newcomers have played an essential role in addressing some of our most severe labour shortages throughout the pandemic, including on the front lines. However, there remain challenges, including processing delays that have led to frustrations for those trying to come to Canada to work or reunite with their families. While Canada welcomed the highest number of permanent residents in a single year in 2021 by processing a record number of applications, border restrictions and other pandemic-related factors have led to delays for many applicants, and long waits for application updates. We know these need to be addressed.

Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced measures to improve client experience and modernize the immigration system. These measures are part of a broader process to address key challenges faced by our clients, and achieve the more predictable processing times that our clients expect and deserve.

We know that many talented and skilled newcomers have waited long during the pandemic. In the Economic and Fiscal Update 2021, the Government of Canada proposed $85 million in new funding to reduce application inventories. The investment will support additional staff, allowing us to welcome people who can help address labour shortages and to return to processing service standards in various programs by the end of this year, including for study permits, work permits and permanent resident card renewals. We are also working to reduce processing times for visitor visas and proof of citizenship.

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