Canada is currently struggling to deal with a backlog of immigration applications.
The backlog of immigration applications is hurting Canada’s reputation as a top immigration destination for skilled migrants. In some cases people are choosing Australia as an alternative immigration destination.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said that the situation was a “huge problem”. He has spoken frequently about the need to streamline the application process and get the backlog under control.
A number of hearings on the matter are due to take place before the House of Commons immigration committee.
Critics say that while the government talks about alleviating the backlog, they are also continuing to accept large numbers of new Canadian immigration applications, so exacerbating the problem.
“While Canada continues to welcome historically high numbers of new immigrants, and maintains the most open and generous immigration system in the world, we have to carefully manage the large number of people who want to be Canadian,” a spokesperson for Kenney told the Globe and Mail.
The government asserts that since 2008, they have reduced the rate of increase in the backlog through measures which limit immigration in certain areas, such as the investor route.
Moreover, people who apply as skilled workers and have experience in a prioritized job sector are fast tracked and have their applications approved within months.
The people who suffer the longest waiting times include parents and grandparents of permanent residents and immigrants who applied before the changes introduced in 2008.