Evaluation Shows Ministerial Instructions are Relevant and Necessary

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Ottawa, March 19, 2012 — According to a new evaluation, there is a continued need for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to manage the intake and processing of immigration applications in a timely and efficient manner, and ministerial instructions (MI) are a flexible and responsive tool to do so.

“The evaluation confirms that it was right and necessary to take measures to manage the sheer volume of applications we receive,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

In 2008, the Government of Canada introduced changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act through Bill C-50 (the Budget Implementation Act) to tackle the backlog of federal skilled worker (FSW) applications. At the time, more than 640,000 people were waiting to be processed in the FSW category. In order to increase labour market responsiveness and overall efficiency, the Minister was authorized under Bill C-50 to issue special instructions to immigration officers to limit the number of applications processed, accelerate some applications or groups of applications, and return some applications without processing them to a final decision.

According to the evaluation, MIs have helped to reduce the overall FSW backlog. Without MI-1, the FSW backlog would have been at least 850,000 people by 2012. Today, the total number of people awaiting a decision in the FSW program is under 470,000. Furthermore, processing times for newest FSW applicants have dropped considerably – from five years in 2008 to 6–12 months.

“Our government’s priority is jobs and economic growth. We are committed to the creation of a fast, nimble and flexible immigration system that can help our economy grow,” said Minister Kenney.

For more information, please see the full evaluation.

Photo of Minister Kenney will be available later today.

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For further information (media only), please contact:

Ana Curic
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

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