Increase in Applications in Inventory and Backlog Revealed by IRCC Data
Newly released data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) highlights a rise in the number of applications in inventory and backlog since April of this year.
As of May 31, the total number of applications in inventory across all lines of business reached 2,248,000, surpassing the figure of 2,006,000 recorded on April 30.
Applications in inventory represent submissions that are awaiting a decision from IRCC but have yet to be finalized.
The increase in the backlog of applications can be partly attributed to the labor disruption caused by the Public Service Alliance of Canada strike, which took place between April 19 and May 1.
Additionally, the summer months traditionally experience a surge in the number of applications for visitor visas, study permits, and work permits.
IRCC has set a goal of processing 80% of all applications within the specified service standards, which vary depending on the type and complexity of each application. Temporary residence permits have service standards ranging from 60 to 120 days, depending on whether the permit is for work or study.
Applications that do not receive a final decision within the expected timeframe are considered part of the backlog.
PR Backlog Projections by IRCC
The data for May indicates a slight increase of 8,000 in the number of PR applications compared to the figures from April 30, which recorded 632,000 permanent resident applications in inventory. Moreover, the PR applications in backlog decreased from 51% (322,000) in April to 48% (308,000) in May
This reflects a decrease compared to the figures from April 30, which recorded 294,000 citizenship applications in inventory, with 75% processed within service standards.
The number of processed citizenship applications is slightly lower than IRCC’s projection of 24%, with the actual percentage at 23%.
Temporary Residence Applications
IRCC exceeded its projected target for study permit applications processed within service standards, reaching 17% instead of the anticipated 15%.
Temporary resident permits saw a slight improvement in processing time from 50% backlog in April to 45% in May, although it falls short of the projected 42%.
Work permits, on the other hand, did not meet the projected rate of 24% backlog for May, with 27% of applications not meeting service standards. This marks an increase compared to April’s 22%.
Notably, around 72% of work permits in the May inventory are from the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) program, which allows displaced Ukrainians to arrive in Canada as visitors while simultaneously applying for work permits without a fee.
As of June 2, 2023, the CUAET program has received 1,059,154 applications between March 2022 and June 2, 2023, according to the latest available data.