Canada Could Abandon Eligibility Criteria In Several Cases To Tackle Visa Pile-up 

Canada is mulling certain significant steps to minimize its humongous immigration backlog, including eliminating eligibility criteria for close to half a million visitor visas, as per a news report. A draft document dating back to December shows that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is gearing up for “aggressive action” to cut down the heap of visitor visa applications by February. 

In this endeavour, IRCC is all set to slash the number of visitor visa applications. Firstly, it intends to go through about 195,000 applications in bulk. This may comprise several tourists from countries who would need visas to come to Canada. 

Secondly, Canada is even preparing to do away with some eligibility criteria for close to 450,000 applications. By eliminating admission norms, foreign nationals do not have to prove going forward that they would exit Canada when their visa expires. 

However, visitors would still have to go through an eligibility assessment. This is being done to assure that applicants are not a risk to national security. 

According to Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, over 260,000 visitor visas were processed in November in comparison to a monthly average of about 180,000 in 2019.  

“Despite the progress we’ve seen, there is still much more work to be done to meet pre-pandemic processing timelines,” Fraser said. 

In fact, the number of applicants in IRCC’s inventory went down from 2.2 million (approx) to a mere 2.1 million (approx) in December. At the beginning of December, there were over 700,000 temporary resident visa (TRV) applications in the system. 

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