Canada’s PM Trudeau sets up task force to tackle immigration backlog

MUMBAI: Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced setting up of a task force consisting of a cross-section of ministers to improve government services, including tackling delays in immigration application and passport processing.
“The task force will drive action to improve the processing of passports and immigration applications by identifying priority areas for action and outlining short- and long-term solutions, with a focus on reducing wait times, clearing out backlogs and improving the overall quality of services provided to Canadians. As labour shortages continue to lead to air travel delays around the world, the task force will also monitor the situation at Canadian airports,” states a press statement issued by the prime minister’s office.
Canada’s immigration backlog stands at little over 2 million applications – even processing of temporary worker visas and student visas has been impacted in the aftermath of the pandemic.
According to a press statement, Prime Minister Trudeau said: “We know service delays, particularly in recent months, are unacceptable. We will continue to do everything we can to improve the delivery of these services in an efficient and timely manner, and this new task force will help guide the work of the government to better meet the changing needs of Canadians and continue to provide them with the high-quality services they need and deserve.”
Canada’s three-year (2022-24) Immigration Levels Plan aims to continue welcoming immigrants at a rate of about 1% of Canada’s population. This includes a target of 4.31 lakh permanent residents in 2022, 4.47 lakh in 2023 and 4.51 lakh in 2024.
Canadian authorities have already stepped up the task of processing backlogs for permanent residence that had arisen in the backdrop of the pandemic. According to a statement issued by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) — the immigration agency of the Canadian government — it surpassed its goal to make 1.47 lakh permanent residence final decisions in the first quarter of 2022, doubling the number as compared to the same time period in 2021. Through these efforts, Canada has welcomed over 1.08 lakh new permanent residents so far this year (January to March).
From July, Express Entry draws cutting across all streams are expected to commence again. The Canadian government is also proposing to make changes to the Express Entry draws that will enable IRCC to better respond to a range of evolving economic needs and government priorities. Eligibility requirements for various categories could be work experience, educational background or language skills.

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