Minister Answered Questions and Provided Updates on Several IRCC Advancements
Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino, appeared before the Standing Committee last month as a part of a study on COVID-19’s effect on the country’s immigration system.
Mendicino, along with Deputy Minister Catrina Tapley and other Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) officials attended the November 25 meeting and answered questions from members of parliament.
Specific topics that were discussed include:
- Operations during coronavirus
- Family sponsorship
- Expired COPRs
- Post Graduation Work Permit
- Pathways for temporary residents to permanent residence
- About the study
During the recent session, Mendicino listed the measures that Canada has implemented this year to help immigrants during the pandemic. He also discussed a new virtual landing process that has helped reduce how long it takes to land new permanent residents.
Furthermore, Mendicino pointed out that 80 per cent of decisions were made on immigration applications the week of November 14. Some programs saw even higher processing rates. This includes the Provincial Nominee Program which saw a 232% year-over-year increase. Additionally, the Protected Persons Class experienced a 557% year-over-year increase.
Medicino also discussed the recently announced electronic citizenship examination, which launches on January 1, 2021. He described this advancement as a “big step forward.”
Mendicino assured that 49,000 active spousal applications would be processed by the end of 2020 and stated that IRCC has assigned a special task force to process them. He added that IRCC would continue to improve application processing times over the next two years.
More About This Study
The aim of the Standing Committee’s study is to examine issues related to immigration during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as:
- Long processing times
- Application backlogs
- Barriers preventing family reunification, such as a clause barring spouses from visiting partners in Canada while awaiting a decision on their permanent resident application
The Standing Committee will also examine the government’s decision to reintroduce a lottery system for the Parents and Grandparents Program, along with processing delays for visitor visas and authorization to travel letters.
A total of eight sessions are expected to take place as the immigration committee hears testimonials regarding how the pandemic has affected immigration.
After the study is complete, the committee will report its findings to the House, and the federal government will have 120 days to table a response.