As the number of applications for immigration to Canada is increasing every year, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada(IRCC) is adopting advanced technologies to make application processing more efficient. However, the IRCC has specified that the technology is only for supporting, assisting and informing its employees and decision makers. Certain tasks and activities like sorting the applications will be automated, so that employees and decision makers will have more time to spend on complex applications and issues and on making the decisions.
Advanced data analytics for sorting applications
The IRCC is using advanced data analytics for sorting and processing temporary resident visa applications from outside the country. A pilot program has been started for processing spousal and common-law partner applications using advanced data analytics. It also helps to streamline processing of routine applications, like those whose application to visit Canada has previously been approved in the past 10 years.
However, IRCC made it clear that these automated systems cannot refuse or recommend to refuse applications. Such decisions are taken only by IRCC officers. These IRCC officers are highly trained and they do security and criminal background checks on all applicants. They are responsible for the decisions.
The IRCC also made clear that before applying any technology they assess it for its benefits as well as impact on the clients. It is also carefully reviewed for bias and discriminatory impacts. The changes in the existing systems are implemented only with human oversight, testing and approval.
Protecting personal information of immigration applicants
The IRCC has ensured that privacy will remain a central priority as they expand the use of advanced data analytics. It has made clear that it will use only those information that are relevant to the application processing.
The number of applications for Canada immigration has increased manifold over the past few years, as Canada is emerging as a favourite destination for immigration. The increase in numbers as well as the obstructions caused by the impact of the pandemic has led to slowing down of application processing which has created a backlog. IRCC is addressing these issues by applying technology for making efficient and timely processing of applications possible.
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