Canadian Immigration backlogs are on an explosive upward trend. The figures- 2.4 million applications worldwide- including 700,000 Indians, represent a tripling of backlogs since the start of the pandemic.
The issue has become a hindrance, affecting anyone from former F1 driver, Karun Chandhok to high profile executives of Indian PSUs and International students whose Visa applications have been chucked in among the millions of unanswered backlogs.
In his recent comments, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the issue.
“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,”
The creation of a Task Force of Cabinet Ministers to tackle the backlog, along with a plan to inject cash- to the tune of 85 million Canadian dollars ($65.16 million) towards the reduction of backlogs and hiring of Staff are positive developments in this regard.
The Backlog issue has been creeping up on the Canadian government for some time now. Its vulnerabilities were exposed by the Global pandemic and exacerbated by a number of crises in the International space. The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) that was drafted in the wake of the Russian invasion to facilitate the rescue of Ukrainians, led to a further inflation of the backlog numbers. The CUAET numbers currently stand at 362,664 applications.
Some of the spikes in Backlog can also be attributed to a normal growth of backlogs over the summer months- from temporary resident Visas to International student applications leading up to the start of Canada’s academic calendar. While these account for a substantial part of the congestion, it’s unlikely to lead to any magical drop in backlog numbers come the end of summer.