Canada’s immigration backlog decreases slightly to 2.6 million

Shelby Thevenot
Published: September 22, 2022

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is reporting a decrease in its August 31 inventory.

A spokesperson from IRCC sent CIC News inventory data suggesting the backlog has been reduced by 95,204 persons in a matter of six weeks.

The inventory across all lines of business has progressed as follows since last July:

IRCC recently came out with a new webpage tracking the inventory. According to that webpage there were 2.4 million in IRCC's inventory on July 31. Of those, 1.1 million were within service standards and 1.3 million were in the backlog.

CIC News has reached out to IRCC to inquire about the apparent discrepancy in data from the media department compared to data reported on the government website. This article will be updated if an explanation is obtained.

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Immigration categoryPersons as of August 31, 2022
Permanent residence513,923
Temporary residence1,698,284
Grand total2,583,827

The citizenship inventory stands at 371,620 applicants as of September 1, compared to 444,792 on July 15.

The permanent residence inventory stands at 513,923 people as of August 31, compared to 514,116 as of July 17.

Also on August 31, the temporary residence inventory stood at 1,698,284 people, compared to 1,720,123 persons as of July 17.

Therefore, there have been reductions across all three major groups.

Express Entry and PNP inventories

A total of 40,180 Express Entry applicants are waiting in the queue, a reduction from the previous month when there were 51,616 persons in the inventory.

IRCC has continued to hold rounds of invitations for Express Entry candidates from all programs. Between September 21, 2021 and July 6, 2022, IRCC only invited Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates to apply for immigration. Under the PNP, certain programs (enhanced PNPs) are managed by the Express Entry system, while others (base PNPs) are managed by the provinces' own systems.

Express Entry-managed PNPs have seen a reduction in inventory, but base PNPs have increased from 35,599 in July to 41,832 in August.

Family class inventory continues upward trend

Inventory for all family class immigration programs are up to 125,746, compared to July when it was 118,251.

The Spouses and Partners program has the second largest inventory compared to all immigration programs at 61,073. Privately sponsored refugees have the largest inventory at 68,123 persons.

The Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) has 53,029 persons waiting for decisions, up from 47,025 in July.

IRCC efforts to reduce backlog

On August 29, Fraser highlighted how Canada is working to address the backlog and improve the immigration system by hiring up to 1,250 new employees by the end of the fall, modernizing IRCC operations, introducing application status trackers, and publishing monthly data on the IRCC website

Inventory in tables

The following tables show more details of IRCC’s inventory.

Permanent residence inventory

Permanent residency classPersons as of August 31
Economic class206,688
Family class125,746
Humanitarian and compassionate29,224
Permit holders class16
Protected persons class152,249

Economic class inventory

Immigration categoryPersons as of August 31
Agri-Food Pilot Program866
Atlantic Immigration Pilot Programs1,528
Atlantic Immigration Program210
Canadian Experience Class (EE)5,214
Canadian Experience Class (No EE)118
Caring For Children Program29,179
Federal Investor4
Federal Self Employed4,022
Federal Skilled Workers (C-50)120
Federal Skilled Workers (EE)11,669
Federal Skilled Workers (Pre C-50)23
High Medical Needs Program4
Live-in Caregiver Program832
Provincial/Territorial Nominees (EE)22,998
Provincial/Territorial Nominees (No EE)41,832
Quebec Entrepreneur259
Quebec Investor10,727
Quebec Self Employed82
Quebec Skilled Workers23,559
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot1,103
Skilled Trades (EE)299
Skilled Trades (No EE)5
Start-up Business1,314
TR to PR50,721

Express Entry inventory

Immigration programPersons as of August 31
Federal Skilled Workers (EE)11,669
Canadian Experience Class (EE)5,214
Skilled Trades (EE)299
Provincial/Territorial Nominees (EE)22,998

Family class inventory

Immigration programPersons as of August 31
Children & Other Family Class8,880
FCH-Family relations - H&C2,764
Parents and Grandparents53,029
Spouses & Partners61,073

Humanitarian and compassionate class inventory

Immigration programPersons as of August 31
HC & PH class-ADM Dependant Person Overseas8,880
Humanitarian & Compassionate Straight2,764
Humanitarian & Compassionate with Risk or Discrimination53,029
Public Policy With RAP61,073
Public Policy Without RAP4,385

Permit holders class inventory

Immigration programPersons as of August 31
Permit holders class16

Protected persons inventory

Immigration programPersons as of August 31
Blended Visa Office-Referred148
Dependants Abroad of Protected Persons26,919
Federal Government-assisted Refugees32,365
Privately Sponsored Refugees68,128
Protected Persons Landed In Canada23,572
Quebec Government-assisted Refugees1,117

Temporary residence inventory

Application typePersons as of August 31
Study Permits152,147
Study Permits Extensions23,896
Temporary Resident Visas896,772
Visitor Record96,598
Work Permits359,247
Work Permits Extensions169,624

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