According to Sean Fraser, Canada's new Immigration Minister, the country is prepared to increase immigration levels dramatically. Minister Fraser indicated in an interview with Bloomberg News that he is open to increasing immigration levels above the 411,000 new permanent residents outlined in the Immigration Levels Plan for 2021-2023.
Minister Fraser's remarks were echoed in the Throne Speech, which is delivered at the start of a new session of parliament. The Governor General of Canada stated in her speech: “That is why the Government will continue increasing immigration levels and reducing wait times, while supporting family reunification and delivering a world-leading refugee resettlement program.”
It is clear that the government continues to prioritize high levels of immigration. Despite the pandemic, Canada has admitted hundreds of thousands of new permanent residents. Admissions slowed at the start of the pandemic, but according to IRCC data, 45 000 new permanent residents were admitted in September, the highest figure on record up to that point.
Another ongoing effect of the pandemic is Canada's slow processing times and massive backlogs of unprocessed immigration applications. Between February 2020 and July 2021, the number of pending permanent residence applications nearly doubled, from 375,137 to 702,660.
One significant cause of the increased backlog is IRCC's commitment to land more than 400,000 new permanent residents in 2021. As a result, new immigration programs such as the TR to PR pathway were introduced, as well as a focus on "aggressively inviting" Canadian Experience Class candidates through Express Entry.
According to the IRCC memo, once backlogs are reduced, the department will re-invite Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) candidates to Express Entry draws. However, we don't know how much the backlogs must be reduced before all-program Express Entry draws can resume — and we don't know when that resumption will occur.
Increased immigration targets could be announced soon, though the government may choose to wait until more progress on existing backlogs has been made before announcing future increases. After all, "reducing wait times" is another of the government's immigration priorities outlined in the Throne Speech.
Another important way to avoid the backlog and make progress toward obtaining Canadian permanent residency is to begin your application as soon as possible. The best time to begin your application is always right away, so contact a New World Immigration consultant today to determine your eligibility and climb the ladder to the Canadian peak.