PR applications pre-Covid came with a 6 month timeline that held true for 85% of cases. However, the pandemic has resulted in a majority of the IRCC staff working remotely and this has wreaked havoc on case processing timelines, especially for Outland applicants.
It is crucial to understand here that while every applicant considers his case to inherently be simple, there is a rigorous process to be adhered to for each PR application. This involves comprehensive background, security and criminality checks for obvious reasons. These get delayed firstly because not all of this examination on a candidate can be done over unsecured connections while working from home, and secondly because 33% of staff being allowed on rotation at workplaces roughly translates to a consequent 3X delay in processing timelines.
Further, hundreds of applicants are perplexed since their GCMS notes show cases ‘Approved’ months ago but no communication or PPR mails have been rolled out by IRCC. This, too, is not without cause. Each application is considered ‘Closed’ once PPR (Passport Request Mail) translates to a COPR upon stamping of the Passport. However, due to the current travel restrictions, since people with valid COPRs received post 18th March 2020 have not been allowed to travel due to the 18th March Rule, these documents are quickly expiring. Documents expire upon the validity of Medical Examinations ending (which are typically valid for one year from the date of exam). Now, for each such applicant, applications will need to be re-opened, re-medicals requested and the strenuous process completed again. This renders the effort post release of PPR mails futile.
This is precisely the reason that PPR mails are not being released. Further, no All-program draw for FSW candidates has been released in 2021 due to the ongoing travel restrictions, but we can expect resumption of those draws once a majority of the Canadian population is vaccinated. To get a clarity for this projection, follow the official Vaccine stats. 49% of the Canadian population has been vaccinated as on 18th May 2021. 75% of the population is set to have received atleast 1 dose by 15th July, and aggressive vaccination campaigns in each province point towards the probable relevance of these timelines.
So, hold on to your jobs for now, and be hopeful, because good news is probably just a couple of months away. This un-ending wait will then bear fruit!