Backlogs at the IRCC and immigration are seriously affecting Canadian companies, schools, and government-funded organizations that utilize immigration.
A survey on workforce mobility challenges was conducted in June 2022 by the Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC), a nonprofit organization. The survey received responses from 33 organizations that frequently use the International Mobility Program. This poll is an update of one that was conducted in January 2021.
The overall backlog of applications at IRCC increased by 12% between June and July, jumping from 2.4 million to 2.7 million. The number of applications on the waitlist for temporary foreign workers increased by 21% over that time, from 408,733 to 493,746. Processing times are increasing because of the backlog and are now far above IRCC service norms.
97% of the employers who took part in the poll use work permit systems to hire workers from other countries, while 53% use economic immigration. Over 2,000 employees are employed by the majority of participating organizations (90%) and over 10,000 by 31% of them. 100% of respondents who were questioned about the value of global talent to business agreed that “the achievements of global talent are crucial to our organization.”
However, 97% of responders’ businesses will suffer in the coming year as a result of the IRCC’s processing delays. Due to the delay, around 94% of organizations had to cancel or postpone operations. Government revenues as a consequence of delays affect 55% of the organizations. A number of Canadian universities played an active role in the survey, and 29 percent of them reported delaying or canceling research projects in addition to education programs. According to the CERC research, it will be crucial for Canadian companies to quickly access overseas talent if they want to restore their country’s economy after a pandemic. Immigration will be a crucial tactic in weathering a potential recession, experts also concur.
According to the research, mobility and travel are rising along with vaccination rates, and Canada’s capacity to control the rising numbers of applicants for travel visas will be crucial for the country’s economy. Serious COVID-19 outbreaks are also declining. In accordance with the instruction letter, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser must shorten the time it takes to process applications, including eliminating any delays brought on by COVID-19. Additionally, to collaborate with the Minister of Employment, Initial Phase of development, and Accessibility Inclusion to create a Certified Employment system for Canadian businesses recruiting temporary workers from abroad. Additionally, make work permit extensions simpler, maintain the Global Talent Stream’s different processing schedules, and create a workplace helpline.
By the end of the year, processing times should be back to normal, as stated in a media release. In addition to updating the immigration process, IRCC has added around 500 extra workers to its 11,000 employees in an effort to reduce latency for Candidates. Additionally, a fund of $827 million has been set aside to digitize the existing immigration system. An extra $85 million will be used to expedite the administration of specific commercial transactions, such as extensions of PR cards, study permits, and work permits. On June 21, Fraser stated in a media release that as a result of these initiatives, IRCC has accepted 200,000 more permanent residents and issued approximately 250% more working visas than in 2021.
Even with the system’s modifications according to CERC, additional work still needs to be done, and the system’s implementation by a Reputable Employer framework and minimization delays have been exceptionally hard to go forward. The study recommends urgently implementing initiatives including different parts of the network, system modernization through improved utilization technologies, and examination of faster processing avenues like a Trusted Employer Program.
According to CERC, there have been continuing conversations about creating a Trusted Employer Program for many years. Furthermore addition, 73% of poll participants claimed businesses would be prepared to shell out an extra 10% to 25% in costs for submission of the application form that was expedited. The charges would pay for extra expenses incurred by the government to speed up the transaction.
Additionally, suggestions for enhancing turnaround times were requested by survey respondents. From this inquiry, five main topics became apparent. Especially, the Canadian government should offer employers reliable and consistent processing times. Employers also seek a mechanism that offers exemptions from Labor Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) and prioritizes applicants for jobs in high demand. In order to update the current processing mechanisms, respondents also demanded that IRCC hire and train more personnel. Finally, they urged the government to develop a Trusted Employer Program that satisfies the requirements of firms that hire workers from outside.