Canada needs immigration to drive our economy, help address labour shortages, and keep our communities thriving. The Government of Canada understands that to keep attracting talent as a destination of choice, we must remain committed to improving our client service and providing the best experience possible for people who see their future in Canada.
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced the launch of a new digital case status tracker that will allow some family class permanent residence applicants, sponsors and their representatives to more easily check their application status online. This builds on the Government of Canada’s recent announcement on modernizing Canada’s immigration system to support economic recovery and improve client experience.
For the initial launch, the tracker will be available for permanent residence applicants in the spouse, partner and dependent child categories. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is working on providing similar solutions to additional applicant groups as we continue to improve and introduce new tools to support our clients.
As we implement measures to improve the client experience, we’re also focused on reducing processing times for applicants. Efforts to date have allowed average processing times for spousal sponsorship applicants to return to the service standard of 12 months for new applications.
The decision to choose Canada is not taken lightly, and the process can be both exciting and stressful. This tool will enable clients to keep track of their application and any needed actions required to keep it moving as quickly as possible. It also increases transparency by giving them access to all of the same information they would get if they contacted an IRCC client service agent.
IRCC interacts with millions of clients in Canada and around the world every year, and we receive a high volume of application update requests by phone and by email at our Client Support Centre. We want to make sure clients can get timely answers to their application inquiries online. The development of digital case status trackers is part of IRCC’s ongoing efforts to provide meaningful and transparent information to clients, and to modernize our services to better respond to their needs.
“I’m proud that Canada was able to welcome a record number of new permanent residents this past year. However, with the impacts of the pandemic, we know that there is more we can do to keep clients up to date on their applications. This new tracker is an example of how we are taking steps to give clients the dedicated and transparent service they expect and deserve, while continuing to make Canada the destination of choice for people who want to study, work and build a new life with their families.”
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
- Clients, sponsors and their representatives with ongoing family class applications in the spouse, partner and dependent child categories should visit the Permanent Residence Family Class Application Tracker on the IRCC website and enter the information requested that is associated with their file at IRCC. The tracker is only available to those who have an email address on file, as the code to create the account will be sent to that address.
- The Permanent Residence Family Class Application Tracker is similar to the Citizenship Application Tracker, which was launched in May 2021 to help clients stay up to date on the status and any required next steps for their citizenship applications.
- The Government of Canada made over half a million decisions and welcomed over 405,000 new permanent residents in 2021—the greatest number of newcomers in a year in Canadian history.
- Since the start of the pandemic, IRCC has worked to improve processing for permanent residence applications, including to reunite families. Measures include digitizing files, processing applications remotely, conducting virtual interviews, using advanced analytics, launching a permanent residence portal for clients and representatives, and assigning an increased number of officers to make decisions on spousal applications.
- The Permanent Residence Portal was deployed in November 2020 to allow permanent residence applicants who are in Canada to finalize their permanent residence process and get their permanent resident card without any in-person interaction. Through this online portal, clients can self-declare that they are physically in Canada, provide their Canadian mailing address, and upload a photo from their computer or mobile device so IRCC can finalize their landing and send them their permanent resident card. From June to December 2021, IRCC conferred 225,000 permanent residents status through this portal.
- To offer more online options to our clients, IRCC also soft-launched an online application option in the Permanent Residence Portal, enabling applicants and representatives for 15 permanent residence lines of business, including some pilot programs, to apply online.
- While applicants still have the option to apply on paper, the online option gives some permanent residence applicants more flexibility and avoids any further COVID-19-related mailing delays. The portal also allows clients to receive immediate confirmation that they have successfully submitted their application.
- The department expects to expand the online application option in the portal to more clients in these permanent residence programs in summer 2022.
- In the Economic and Fiscal Update 2021, the Government of Canada proposed $85 million in new funding to reduce application inventories. The investment will support additional staff, allowing us to welcome people who can help address labour shortages and to return to processing service standards in various programs by the end of this year, including for study permits, work permits and permanent resident card renewals.