Backlog of Applications and Processing Delays
TVO’s The Agenda, The Globe and Mail and CBC
In this blog, I will summarize the recent media appearance of Mr. Lev Abramovich, one of the founding lawyers of Abramovich & Tchern.
On November 10, 2022, Lev appeared on TVO’s iconic show, The Agenda with Steve Paikin, discussing immigration backlogs and processing delays.
Lev also spoke to The Global and Mail newspaper with respect to two articles. In the first interview, he addressed the psychological impact backlogs have on applicants. In the second, he discussed mandamus as a remedy for those whose immigration applications are stuck in IRCC’s never-ending backlog.
On December 14, 2022, Lev spoke to CBC Radio’s Ontario Today discussing the causes of immigration backlogs and the effects on those whose lives have been upended by the delays and lack of transparency.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has seen a surge in the number of backlogged applications since the beginning of COVID-19. At one point, the number stood at 2.6 million.
Canada’s immigration backlog of applications and processing delays
In our view, the backlogs and processing delays largely stem from an archaic and poorly managed system. More specifically, the following non-exhaustive list addresses some of the issues that have contributed to the horrendous processing delays:
- Archaic consular post based operational structure;
- The absence of an agile and centralized application management structure;
- An outdated immigration application processing system not directly linked to portals;
- Lack of accountability within IRCC; and
- Politically driven policies and decisions with respect to immigration.
The Ukraine and Afghanistan emergencies have further exacerbated the situation.
The backlogs, as well as operational issues, have resulted in significant processing delays across various classes of applications, such as student and work permits, and both Express Entry and non-Express Entry based permanent residence applications.
To help clients whose applications are backlogged, our firm has been utilizing the writ of mandamus, which is when we request the Federal Court to order IRCC to issue a decision. This is because applicants don’t know how long IRCC will take to process their application, and a mandamus is often the only way to get the “sleeping giant” to make a decision.
To date, we have filed close to 400 applications since the beginning of this year. Most of our mandamus files see IRCC issue a decision within 60 days of Federal Court proceedings being commenced.
While we are delighted to help clients get decisions, in recent interviews Lev has called for structural reforms, such as processing all applications in Canada and having remote work arrangements, which will ensure that applications are processed timely and efficiently.
In plain terms, we are hoping that the recent crisis and the ensuing suffering will lead to real changes at IRCC resulting in an efficient, transparent and humane system.
If you, or someone you know, have an application that is stuck with IRCC, contact us today and we’ll help you get a decision on your immigration application.