Canada’s Immigration System Continues to Innovate and Deliver Better Service

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Ms. Ruby Sahota, Member of Parliament for Brampton North, has been working closely with the
Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to improve
immigration policy, reduce processing times and decrease the immigration backlog. MP Sahota
is proud to highlight some of the substantial improvements that IRCC has made over the past
IRCC has been able to reduce backlogs significantly and make family reunification a priority,
thanks to a historic multi-year immigration levels plan. For example, we reduced the spousal
sponsorship inventory from a high of 75,000 to 15,000 as of December 31, 2017, and are
processing new spousal sponsorship applications within 12 months. To help spouses further, we
extended the Open Work Permit Pilot for inland spousal sponsorship applicants and simplified
the guides and checklists.
We also made changes to the Citizenship Act that gives more flexibility to citizenship applicants
to meet the requirements for Canadian citizenship and encourage more immigrants to take the
path to citizenship.
In addition, the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP) inventory was reduced from a high of 62,000
in May 2014, to less than 12,000 by April 2018. We are on track to meet our 2017 commitment
to process at least 80% of the remaining LCP backlog by the end of 2018, and are processing
new LCP permanent residence applications within 12 months.
In June we celebrated the successful first year of the Global Skills Strategy, which has supported
Canada’s economy and benefited 10,000 highly skilled workers and more than 100 employers.

Other substantial improvements include:
 We changed our medical inadmissibility policy to ensure that our immigration policies
better reflect the importance that the Government places on the inclusion of persons with
 To continue supporting clients applying from overseas, we plan to add additional visa
applications centres internationally in 2018 and 2019.
 We changed the definition of the age of dependents from “under 19” to “under 22”, to
enable more families stay together in Canada.
 We invested in an innovative pilot project to employ up to 1,300 newcomers in
sustainable, long-term jobs in the hotel industry.
 We continue to meet the 6-month processing time for Express Entry applications in the
Federal Skilled Worker Program and Canadian Experience Class.
In the next 12 months, IRCC is planning improvements to offer clients more self-service options
online. New initiatives will be implemented, such as expansion of online applications and adding
new functionalities to clients’ online accounts. We will continue to improve how we
communicate anticipated processing times, so they make more sense to clients.
As we consider these improvements, we continue to actively listen to our clients and are
approaching these changes with their comments and concerns in mind.
“IRCC has made great progress in the past few years with these larger initiatives that will
positively impact many of our clients. But what we’ve learned in speaking to our clients is that
sometimes even tiny interventions in the journey can have a big impact. We are committed to
improving our programs and are rethinking the way we provide services. We know that we can
do things better and we are committed to doing that”.
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship