CIMM – Temporary Resident Visa Processing Strategy – March 3, 2022
[Redacted] appears where sensitive information has been removed in accordance with the principles of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.
- Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has committed to the timely processing of visitor visa applications to facilitate travel, with the intention of contributing to Canada’s economic recovery, while also supporting foreign nationals who wish to travel to Canada for a variety of reasons (i.e. business purposes or to visit family and friends).
- The Department has committed to processing visitor visa applications received after September 7, 2021 within 30 business days, while gradually processing the inventory of applications that accumulated during the COVID-19 border closures.
- Through the Economic and Fiscal Update 2021, the Government proposed $85M in new funding to reduce inventories, including the inventory of temporary resident visa (TRV) applications, as well as processing times for visitor visas.
Processing of visitor visa applications
- Foreign nationals who require a visitor visa to travel to Canada must meet all the eligibility and admissibility requirements for temporary residence in Canada, before a TRV is issued. Officers assess each application on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the applicant meets the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations.
- Following the onset of the travel restrictions in March 2020 until September, 6, 2021, IRCC only prioritized the processing of visitor visa applications for those who were exempt from the Government of Canada’s travel restrictions, which included exemptions for family members of Canadians and those travelling to Canada for compassionate reasons.
- During this time, in light of the restrictions on entry for discretionary purposes, coupled with limited processing capacity as a result of COVID-19, an inventory of visitor visa applications accumulated.
- As of September 7, 2021 – in an effort to align visitor visa processing with the changes made to the Orders in Council (OIC) that permitted discretionary travel for fully vaccinated foreign nationals – IRCC committed to processing new visitor visa applications in a timely manner, while continuing to gradually work to reduce the inventory of those who applied while not exempt from border restrictions.
- Given the age of the inventory, applications submitted before September 7, 2021 have proven to be more complex to process (i.e. purpose of travel or supporting documents may be outdated), which augments processing times.
Production and processing times
- Between September 7, 2021 and January 4, 2022, IRCC processed a total of 298,226 visitor visa applications, which represent a combination of newly received applications and those in the inventory.
- While intake remains high, IRCC is working to process all new applications within 30 business days and has met this target for over 91.6% of applications received since September 7, 2021.
Resources and processing efficiencies
- Funding to support TRV processing was announced through Fall Economic Statement (FES), and specific commitments have been made to eliminate the inventory of TRV applications by winter 2023, and return to a processing target of 30 business days.
- Initiatives to help fulfill FES commitments include the ramp up of staffing at the Centralized and International networks, improving processing efficiencies by exploring the use of advanced analytics (AA) and it’s triaging capacity, [Redacted].
Supporting Facts And Figures
TRV processing comparison
- 702,058 TRV applications were received from January 01, 2021 to December 31, 2021; this represents a 20% increase when compared to the same period in 2020, and a 67% decrease when compared to the same period in 2019.
- 452,801 TRV applications were processed from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021; this represents an 11% decrease when compared to the same period in 2020, and a 79% decrease when compared to the same period in 2019. This is due to resources being focused on work and study permit, primarily.
- 319,973 TRV applications were approved from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021; this represents a 4% decrease when compared to the same period in 2020, and a 77% decrease when compared to the same period in 2019. Approval and refusal rates reflect the number of applications processed, and since far less applications were processed in 2021 (79% less when compared to 2019), the approval rate decreased in parallel.
- Due to the effects of COVID-19, the implementation of the travel restrictions and limited processing capacity, TRV production has been lower than in previous years. That said, TRV processing has begun a gradual ramp up since September 7, 2021.
- IRCC is processing new visitor visa applications, submitted on or after September 7, 2021 in a timely manner, while working to reduce the inventory.
- Applicants who applied for a visitor visa before September 7, 2021, whose situation has changed, and who still wish to travel to Canada at this time for one of the specific reasons listed on our website, are encouraged to reapply via the IRCC Portal with up-to-date information. In the case of a new application, the existing application will deemed to be withdrawn, and a refund will be issued if processing on the initial application had not already begun.
- Those with an application in the inventory who do not meet one of the purposes of travel listed on our website or who do not wish to travel to Canada at this time, do not need to take any action. Their application will remain in queue for processing.
- In light of the new travel restrictions under the Orders in Council, announced on January 15, 2022, which further limit the cohorts of unvaccinated foreign nationals that are eligible to travel to Canada, the exemptions for immediate and extended families have been revised and only certain unvaccinated minors are exempted from the entry prohibitions at this time. IRCC no longer pre-adjudicates travel and issues written authorization for unvaccinated minors who are still exempted from entry prohibitions as family members.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: