On September 23, 2022, IRCC launched its new online application system for permanent resident application programs for family sponsorships, provincial nominee program (non-Express Entry and Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, with other permanent resident programs set to also transition to the online application system by October 21, 2022. This decision came as a result of IRCC’s efforts to modernize Canada’s immigration system, reduce long delays and wait periods and help in moving along the backlog of 1.3 million applications that have exceeded the conventional processing periods due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How Will The IRCC Technical Issues Affect Me?
However, the new online system came with many technical issues that can jeopardize applicants’ chances of processing of their permanent residence applications. For instance, a problem has been identified by officials with the online authorized paid representative portals which prevents some representatives from receiving confirmation e-mails just after submitting the application. Other users have identified problems such as the inability to upload a document over the required size, the inability to review the information uploaded and the inability of clients to electronically sign forms.
Another key problem in the online system is the character limit placed on some key forms which prevents clients from providing completely accurate information. This can be extremely dangerous for applications since omitted information can be grounds for delay or even refusal of applications while also giving officers the opportunity to pursue misrepresentation claims against clients. Further, the online system does not provide means to submit additional documents after an application is submitted, which leaves representatives and clients wondering how they would respond to requests for additional documents in future, noting that web forms are currently notorious for causing delays.
Where Can I Find Support?
Online support systems have not been entirely helpful either. IRCC had put in place a FAQ web page to deal with issues that may come up during the online application process. If no answer is provided, individuals can submit their inquiries via a web form. Users have claimed that submitting online web forms was met by generic responses that did nothing to remedy the problem. In cases where replies were provided, officers cited “complex problems with online equipment” as reasons for different technical issues. Many representatives are urging that around-the-clock technological support should be put in place in order to support clients and representatives should a technical issue arise.
Representatives and clients alike are encouraged to screenshot pages along the process for their own records in order to protect their interests should disputes come up in future. While this may not be a sustainable solution, it can, at least for the time being, provide individuals with a safety net until these problems are resolved.
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