Refugee Processing Backlog

December 16, 2021

Leader, on Tuesday, my colleague Senator Ataullahjan raised with you the backlog of almost 1.8 million applications at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. As of October, this backlog contained over 775,000 applications for temporary residence including work permits. Businesses in New Brunswick and across Canada are asking the Trudeau government for help in filling their labour needs by improving and streamlining this process.

Leader, Tuesday’s fiscal update promised $85 million next year to process more applications but gave absolutely no details on how many applications are expected to be processed through this funding.

How long will it take to clear the current backlog in work permits, and how will the government simplify the approval process for temporary foreign workers?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Thank you for your question and for referring to the government’s additional investment in this area and commitment.

As I think I’ve mentioned in response to earlier questions, the government is working hard in support of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s operations. Canada is on track to meet its target of 401,000 new permanent residents this year. As I mentioned before, it has already welcomed 325,000 new permanent residents.

With regard to your other question, the government will continue to seek ways to improve and streamline the processes that are in place for work permits and the like.

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