Immigration department has 'more than enough' staff to meet processing goals: PBO

OTTAWA — The parliamentary budget officer says the federal government has more than enough staff to process applications for economic immigrants on time.

In a report released today, Yves Giroux analyzed the cost of processing applications for economic immigrants through the express entry system for five fiscal years.

The report says Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has 65 per cent more staff than needed to process the 2022-23 applications on time, and has more staff than needed for all years assessed.

The federal government's goal is to process 80 per cent of those applications within six months.

Last year, Canada was grappling with significant immigration backlogs that formed during the pandemic.

The PBO says the immigration department refused to share information about resources that would have been needed to meet processing goals in previous years, saying the information is protected by cabinet confidences.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2023.

The Canadian Press