Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says his department wants to bring 1,250 new staff on board by the end of autumn to deal with a large backlog of applications.
As of the end of July, more than half of the 2.4 million pending immigration applications took longer to process than service standards set by the government.
In January, Fraser pledged to end the immigration backlog caused by the Covid-19 pandemic by the end of the year, but not before Canada launched a major response to the refugee crisis stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Fraser says delays in the government’s response to the recent humanitarian crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine and technology updates to the government’s aging system have resulted in long waits for people wanting to come to Canada.
In June, the prime minister announced that ministers would create a task force to tackle growing delays in immigration applications and other government services, and dedicate $85 million to address the backlog late last year.
Fraser says the new recruitment has so far allowed the government to wait for new applicants for the Express Entry permanent residency program.