Immigration department has ‘more than enough staff’ to timely process express entry requests: PBO

By Cristin Schmitz

Law360 Canada (March 8, 2023, 12:41 PM EST) -- Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux estimates Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has 65 per cent more staff than it needs to meet the federal department’s goal for the 2022-2023 fiscal year of processing within six months 80 per cent of applications under the federal “express entry” system.

Giroux’s latest report issued March 7, Costing the Express Entry Immigration Process, analyzes and estimates the costs of the express entry system’s three immigration streams (including processing, pre-arrival services and settlement services, but excluding costs for Quebec’s separate system) comprising federal skilled workers; the Canadian experience class, and the federal skilled trades.

The PBO projects that the gross cost of the federal express entry system will be $792 million over the next five years, which gross cost will be offset by $743 million in fees to be collected from applicants. The total net cost is therefore projected to be about $48 million.

“Based on our analysis, current staffing levels at IRCC are expected to be more than sufficient to meet the processing time goal for the next five years,” Giroux said in a statement March 7. “In fact, we estimate that IRCC has 65 per cent more staff than needed to meet their goal this fiscal year.”

Giroux estimated the net cost per admitted permanent resident in 2022-23 is $91. He said costs in future years will vary due to inflation and other factors.

As an agent of Parliament, the PBO provides independent non-partisan economic and financial analysis to Parliament.

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