MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 26, 2013) - As a result of actions taken by the government since 2008, the backlog of permanent resident applications has been reduced by about forty percent, paving the way for a faster and more effective immigration system in 2013 and beyond, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
"Backlogs and delays prevent Canada from attracting the best and brightest from around the world and ensuring that our immigration system is contributing to economic growth and long-term prosperity," said Minister Kenney. "For too long, we accepted far more applications than we could process each year. That led to backlogs increasing every year and processing times of eight to ten years in some cases, which discouraged talented, dynamic people from coming to Canada."
In 2012, the government made significant headway in reducing the backlog of applications, building on efforts that began with the launch of the Action Plan for Faster Immigration in 2008. Projections indicate that the backlog would have surpassed 2.2 million persons across all immigration programs by 2015 if no action had been taken. As a result of actions taken by the government, the backlog of applications will only be one-fifth of what it would have been in 2015 if no actions had been taken.
This has been accomplished, in part, by continuing to process a high number of applications from parents and grandparents in the Family Class while a temporary pause on new applications remains in effect until the end of the year. In addition, a pause was put in place on new Immigrant Investor applications and the oldest Federal Skilled Worker applications were eliminated while we continued to process record high levels of existing applications.
The government will continue to transform Canada's immigration system to make it fast, flexible and more responsive to the labour market. The massive reduction in the backlog allows us to move toward a just-in-time system that recruits people with the right skills to meet Canada's labour market needs, fast tracks their applications and gets them working in Canada in a period of months, instead of years. It also means that families will no longer have to wait close to a decade to be reunited with their loved ones.
"We still have work to do, but by taking clear and decisive action to deal with backlogs, we will attain our goal of having a fast and flexible immigration system," said Minister Kenney. "Newcomers will arrive with skills and talents that are in short supply in Canada and contribute to our economy. The immigration system must work for Canada, which is why we will continue to reduce backlogs and speed up the system, so that people spend less time waiting and more time participating fully in the Canadian economy."
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Photos of Minister Kenney available at: www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/photos/high-res/index.asp.
Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.