Last updated on February 3rd, 2019
I have previously written in this blog about how Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC’) has adapted an exceptionally strict approach to returning applications for incompleteness. I have also written in Policy Options about how frustrating this approach can be, because one of its main purposes appears to be to allow politicians to boast about reduced processing times, while ignoring the fact that the experience of individuals who are actually applying is actually often longer than previously. I wrote:
The current rigid triage system distorts a fair comparison of processing times. Suppose an individual applies to sponsor a spouse to immigrate to Canada and forgets to include in one of the forms the city where a non-accompanying brother was born. Previously, processing might have been delayed by two to three months while IRCC contacted the family, informed them of the mistake and requested they provide the information. Now, IRCC would instead return the application one to two months after it is submitted, and the family would have to resubmit. If some supporting documents have expired, they may have to reobtain them, and the process can easily take several months. Under the previous system, this delay would have added two to three months to the processing time. Under the Liberals’ triage system, technically there is no delay because processing doesn’t start until the application is resubmitted. So while the government can boast of reduced processing times, applicants are frequently worse off, and the time that it takes IRCC to approve their immigration applications is lengthened.
I should note that while the above paragraph criticizes the Liberal Government of Canada approach to returning incomplete applications, the previous Conservative Government of Canada essentially adopted (and indeed created) the same approach.Read more ›
Since January 1, 2015, almost all prospective economic immigrants to Canada must apply through Express Entry. Express Entry is an application intake management system in which Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) controls immigration application intake by requiring applicants be issued an invitations to apply for permanent residency (“ITAs” before they can actually submit their applications. The purpose of Express Entry is to minimize processing times. Indeed, when Express Entry was launched IRCC guaranteed that it would be able to process permanent residence applications within six months.
On March 31, 2016, IRCC released its Express Entry Year-End Report 2015 (the “Express Entry Report”). The Express Entry Report shows that IRCC in 2015 met its six-month processing goal. However, the Express Entry Report also revealed that IRCC has been bouncing (or rejecting, as IRCC likes to describe it) many Express Entry applications due to incompleteness.
Prior to the introduction of Express Entry, while a bounced permanent residence application was frustrating for applicants, they could for the most part easily simply re-submit their applications. However, with Express Entry there is no guarantee that an individual whose permanent residence application is rejected for incompleteness will be issued another Invitation to Apply. As such, until IRCC adopts a more flexible approach to handling technical deficiencies in applications, it is imperative that applicants check and double-check that their permanent residence applications meet all IRCC requirements.
The Express Entry Report and Application Bouncing
The Express Entry Report shows that IRCC was able to process most Express Entry applications in under six months. Specifically, for Federal Skilled Worker Program applicants the processing standard was 4.7 months, for Canadian Experience Class applicants it was 3.5 months, for Federal Skilled Trades Class applicants it was 4.9 months, and for Provincial / Territorial Nominees it was 3.8 months.Read more ›
On January 1 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC“) is expected to overhaul its economic immigration programs with the launch of Express Entry. On December 1, 2014, the Government of Canada released detailed Ministerial Instructions regarding Express Entry. In this post I hope to provide an easy to read overview of the new program.
Express Entry will significantly alter every economic immigration program, including the Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP“), the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC“), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FSTP“), and the Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP“).
Rather than first in, first processed for permanent residence applications Express Entry will feature a “selection” of candidates who the Government of Canada believes is most likely to succeed in Canada.
Express Entry will consist of two steps for potential applicants:
- Completing an Online Express Entry Profile
- Receiving a Letter of Invitation
CIC is touting that Express Entry is not a new immigration per se, but rather a way for CIC to manage economic immigration applications online. However, a quick review of Express Entry suggests that who will be eligible to immigrate to Canada under Express Entry will fundamentally change.Read more ›