IRCC has more than 1.8 million applications in the queue, according to data from December.
CIC News obtained the data via an information request to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The backlog includes future citizens, permanent residents, international students, temporary workers, and visitors.
Adding up these categories brings the total to a backlog of 1,813,144 applications in December. In October, IRCC reported a backlog of 1,791,936. The difference means the backlog has grown by more than 21,000 immigration applications in a span of 49 days, a growth of 1%.
For most of these categories, except citizens, the new data reflect IRCC’s inventory as of December 15, 2021:
Permanent residence backlog grand total
As of October 31, 2021, there are around 468,000 citizenship applications in the inventory, which is the same figure IRCC provided to CIC News for October 27 data. The immigration department did not provide more recent citizenship figures.
Express Entry and Family Class backlogs reduced, refugee backlogs increase
As of December, the Express Entry backlog was at more than 119,000, compared to October when it was nearly 138,000.
The difference was largely seen in Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applications, which was down to nearly 25,000 applications in December compared to more than 48,000 in October. The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) backlog also went down, 805 in the December queue compared to 931 in October.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) backlog increased to about 55,000 in December, whereas it was at nearly 51,000 in October. There was also an increase in the enhanced Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) backlog, 39,000 in December compared to 38,000 in October.
Overall family class applications were down to about 105,000 this past December, compared to more than 111,000 in October. This includes programs like spousal sponsorship, which was down slightly but remains around the 55,000 application mark, and the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP), which was down to about 38,000 compared to more than 43,000.
In December, the backlog of protected persons (refugees and in-Canada asylum claimants) was almost 158,000. In October, it was about 153,000 applications.
The following tables provide detail on the backlogs by immigration program:
Economic Class backlog
Family Class backlog