The Covid -19 pandemic has affected the immigration goals of Canada drastically! Ever since the pandemic set in, there have been widespread travel restrictions & local public health measures put in place. This has put constraints on settlement partners to provide complete applications or travel. Protection of health and safety of employees and Canadians have taken top priority and these measures have also affected the ability of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process paper applications. This has also extended the processing times for some applications. IRCC has risen to the occasion and come a long way since the onset of the pandemic—providing additional resources where they are needed most and streamlining the processes.
Since 2018, IRCC has been using advanced data analytics to help categorise and process more than 1 million TRV applications. These were from different countries with a high volume of applications and routine files could be assessed 87% faster using the system. This has increased the efficiency and resulting in some applicants getting decisions more quickly. Apart from that, a major portion of clerical and repetitive tasks linked with sorting applications could be handled with technology. The IRCC officers could focus their attention on assessing applications and making final immigration decisions speedily with this.
IRCC is today generating productivity in its temporary resident visa (TRV) application process by expanding the use of advanced data analytics. The technology will now help IRCC officers to sort and process all TRV applications submitted from outside Canada and make the final decision on all applications.
IRCC is always committed to finding new ways to improve our client service and processes and the use of advanced data analytics is making it possible! With data analytics managing IRCC’s increasing volume of TRV applications becomes easy. The technology is also expected to also accelerate IRCC’s work by identifying routine applications for streamlined processing like those from certain clients who have been previously approved to visit Canada in the past 10 years.
Data Analytics can also be effectively utilised for sorting and triaging non-routine applications to officers based on their level of complexity. When the advanced data analytics system finds a routine application, it can determine the eligibility of the applicant, but will never refuse an application. It will always send the file to an officer to determine if the applicant is admissible to Canada and make the final decision.
IRCC is trying to responsibly develop and implement data-driven technologies adhering with all privacy requirements. In compliance with Canada’s Treasury Board Directive on Automated Decision-Making, IRCC has completed an algorithmic impact assessment (AIA) to appraise the analytical models used for TRV applications. The AIA has graded the impact level of the system as moderate, and several measures have been taken to diminish possible risk. These steps include an extensive review process for potential prejudiced impacts, privacy and security elements built into the design of the system, and the ability of officers to overrule an eligibility determination.