Based on the most recent data from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), there is a backlog of 802,600 applications out of 2,274,600 as of July 31.
In comparison to the latest update on May 31, the numbers indicate that the backlog is reducing. In May, the department considered 820,000 out of 2,248,000 applications as a backlog. It is noteworthy because, in the summer months, there is typically an increase in applications, particularly for work permits, study permits, and visitor visas.
The IRCC application in inventory describes an application that the department has submitted but has not yet finalized. They consider an application a backlog if it is not processed and finalized within service standards.
Service standards are the average time that IRCC will take to process an application. It can differ depending on the type of application. For example, a study permit takes 60 days to process, while an Express Entry application for permanent residency takes six months to process.
IRCC strives to process 80% of all applications within service standards and maintain the backlog at 20% or less.
In 2022, IRCC concluded more than 5.2 million applications across all lines of business.
 IRCC Application Backlog Falling amidst rising Application numbers

Permanent residence

Based on the current data from the IRCC, there are 631,500 permanent resident (PR) applications in the inventory. These constitute 290,500, or 46%, of the backlog.
The number of applications indicates that the number of PR applications in inventory has decreased compared to May, which showed 640,000 applications. The department had not processed 48% within service standards at that time.
IRCC has broken down its backlog projections for PR applications into three categories. The first one is for Federal High Skilled Workers, such as applicants in the Express Entry program. IRCC predicted a backlog of 20% for July 2023, but the backlog was at 16%. Yet, this is slightly higher than the 15% backlog of PR applications witnessed in May 2023.
As of May 31, the backlog of Express Entry applications for candidates in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) remains unchanged. Currently, 30% of these applications are in backlog, 8% higher than the projected amount and 10% over the targeted 20%.
The backlog of applications for spouses, partners, and children has decreased to 18% from the projected 24% and May’s 20%.


Citizenship application data indicates that out of 296,900 applications in inventory, 67,900, or 23%, are in backlog. The backlog decreased by 4% from May when the department considered 27% of applications as a backlog.
The data for July almost matches the IRCC prediction of a 24% backlog for citizenship applications. They expect the backlog to increase by up to 26% throughout August and September.

Temporary residence

There are 902,000 applications in inventory for temporary residence permits and visas, which is way lower than the 1.3 million applications in May.
Like permanent residence, applications for temporary residence permits are also divided into three categories: work, visitors, and study visas. According to data from IRCC, as of the end of July, the 14-day service standard was not processing 47% of temporary residence visas (TRVs). This represents a small increase from the May data, which indicated that the service standards did not process 45% of visitor visas.
The percentage of backlogs for study permits has not changed since May and July. It is 17% lower than the expected 20%. The percentage of backlogs for work permits in July was 25%, lower than in May (27%) but higher than the expected backlog of 22%.

Measures to reduce the backlogs

IRCC states that it has taken several measures this year to decrease the backlog of temporary residence applications, such as



IRCC reports that 15% of visitor visa applications and 71% of work permit applications in inventory are from CUAET, Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel.
IRCC received 1,191,619 applications through CUAET before closing on July 15. The program allowed applicants to apply for both a TRV and a work permit simultaneously.

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