As laid out in the federal mandate letter for the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), two of the commitments in the coming years are admitting large numbers of new immigrants and concurrently reducing processing times of applications.
The HMC team considers it challenging to achieve both goals in 2022. In 2021, Canada welcomed more than 401,000 new permanent residents, the most within a single year in Canadian history. It met the target set out in the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan despite the tremendous constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet this came with costs: the processing times of some types of immigration applications soared. For example, Canadian citizenship grant applications in 2021 might take up to 27 months, as contrasted to a benchmark of 12 months.
Given what happened in 2021, the HMC team reckons that accomplishing the two mandates altogether in 2022 could be a conundrum and subject to developments of the pandemic. Should the pandemic not end, persistent public restrictions would keep undermining the operation of IRCC from resuming a 100 percent capacity; under a reduced one, IRCC would possibly have to prioritize one mandate over another; then the trade-off that occurred in 2021 might resurface in 2022.
The conundrum stems largely from constrained resources impacted by the pandemic; the crux to tackle the issue could be maintaining an entire capacity for IRCC regardless. The gain of the operational capacity could be through enhanced productivity and efficiency. Such measures may include continuing to apply technology and streamline the process.
Reaching both goals is deemed essential to applicants and Canada; however, it is always easier said than done. Good luck, IRCC.