05 November 2012

Canada visa backlog elimination three years ahead of schedule

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is expected to announce the elimination of an extensive Canada visa application backlog is three years ahead of schedule.

Canada visa

Jason Kenney says the elimination of an extensive Canada visa backlog is three years ahead of schedule.

Earlier this year the Canadian government announced that approximately 300,000 Canada visa applications would be cancelled and CA$130 million (£80 million) returned in refunds.

The move proved highly controversial as many applicants who had followed due process and then waited years would simply be removed from the system.

However, the government maintained the move was part of its efforts to legislate an overbearing backlog to allow the government to introduce Mr Kenney's desire for a more responsive immigration system.

Previous estimates before the elimination predicted that it would take until 2017 for the backlog to be dealt with but now Mr Kenney is expected to announce that this target has been reduced by three years.

The system had become totally dysfunctional. It was broken, and it was getting worse," said Mr Kenney. "Strong action was necessary."

The immigration minister said there was 640,000 applications stuck in the system just a few short years ago, this has been reduced to just 100,000. Mr Kenney said the reforms are "finally unshackling Canada from the outrageous backlogs and wait times of the past" and allow migrants to enter Canada faster and for the purpose intended.

"Employers are best positioned to decide who can best fill the open jobs rather than a passive and bureaucratic system.

"It’s not about privatizing the immigration system, it’s about a more active role of recruitment for people so they have jobs when they show up. I’d rather have an engineer working as an engineer than as a cab driver. That’s really where we’re trying to go with this.”


The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people make their application to the Canadian Embassy.

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