Statement by Minister Miller on the Office of the Auditor General’s report on processing applications for permanent residence


Ottawa, October 19, 2023—The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, issued the following statement:

“On behalf of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), I welcome the Office of the Auditor General’s report on processing applications for permanent residence. The audit was conducted in 2022 and examined how IRCC processes applications as well as methods for addressing backlogs, which highlight critical aspects of our nation’s immigration policies and procedures.

“Immigration is critical to Canada’s long-term success, and we recognize the importance of ensuring that our systems operate efficiently. In recent years, IRCC has prioritized improving processing times and client service to build a stronger immigration system. Our goal is to process 80% of all applications within service standards, and we are making consistent progress towards that objective. In August 2022, IRCC also began publishing monthly data to inform the public about ongoing efforts to reduce application backlogs.

“This year, Canada has already welcomed 339,000 permanent residents as of August 31, up from 310,000 during the same period in 2022. Since the audit was conducted, IRCC has continued reducing its backlogs by digitizing applications, hiring and training new staff, and harnessing automation technologies to increase processing capacity and efficiency.

“Many lines of business are now back or close to being back to service standards. As of September 2023, the department has processed over 80% of federal high-skilled applications within service standards that were received since July 2022. As well, more than 80% of spouses, partners and children (except for Quebec) applications received since April 2022 have been processed within service standards. We are also committed to monitoring and evaluating our use of technology to help process applications.

“IRCC is on track to open up the online Permanent Residence Portal to private refugee sponsor groups and some of our government-assisted refugee referral partners later this fall. The portal will be a secure and convenient way for these groups to submit their applications and referrals. These actions directly respond to some of the areas of concern in the report.

“I am optimistic, considering the progress made by IRCC despite all the challenges it faced over the past few years. I want to recognize the dedication of IRCC’s employees, whose efforts are a crucial component of application processing. The Office of the Auditor General’s report is a good reminder that we have the responsibility to deliver on our promises and continue to ensure Canada is a welcoming and inclusive destination for people seeking to build a new life.”

For further information (media only), please contact:

Bahoz Dara Aziz
Press Secretary
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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