Response from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Here is a letter from the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) regarding the processing times for Iranian Permanent Resident (PR) applications:

Dear Iranian Canadian Congress:

I am writing with regard to the processing times for Iranian permanent resident applications. You recently brought this issue to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC's) attention, and further to the statement I issued on October 17, 2018,1 appreciate the opportunity to reach out to you with an update on this issue.

I would first like to assure you that IRCC takes the concerns you raised very seriously. The Government of Canada is committed to—and takes pride in—ensuring the safety and security of Canadians through immigration procedures that are applied in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.

As part of routine application processing, all applicants, including citizens of Iran, must undergo security screening as a means of keeping Canada and Canadians safe from threats. Security screening was one of the factors that resulted in a notably higher processing time than average for Iranian nationals last fiscal year.

In order to identify areas of improvement and find efficiencies in the security screening process, IRCC continues to work in close collaboration with public safety partners, including the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). To address the long security screening timelines that have affected applications from all nationalities, CBSA and IRCC have enhanced their processes to improve performance. These efforts have shown a marked improvement on the overall processing times for Iranian permanent resident applications. Notably, in 2015 the average wait time for Iranian permanent resident applications was 32.6 months longer than for citizens of all other countries. By July, the difference was down to 10.5 months.

While processing times for security screening have improved, I would note that there are other factors that can affect an application's processing time, including the complexity of a case, delays associated with requests for additional information from the applicant (such as medical examinations), how easily information can be verified, and whether an application is complete. However, as each application is handled on a case-by-case basis, there is no one simple explanation for how long applications can take.

Once again, I appreciate you bringing this matter to my attention, and I acknowledge that it can be frustrating for anyone hoping to immigrate if their application is taking longer than expected.

Moving forward, IRCC will continue to make every effort to manage the applications it receives in the most efficient and effective way, while ensuring that our immigration program remains universal and non-discriminatory; applicants from around the world will continue to be assessed against criteria that do not discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, religion, gender, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. This principle of non-discrimination is consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and it reflects Canada's tradition of fairness and natural justice and our nation's multicultural character.

Yours sincerely,

Ahmed Hussen, P.C, M.P.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship


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  • Manoo Missaghi
    commented 2018-12-07 12:30:22 -0500
    Reference to Mr. Ahmed Hussein, P.C, M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship statement in the Parliament of Canada December 2018, regarding the substantial delays of 32.5 months in the processing of Iranian PR application compared to all others!
    This is outrageous that government of Canada considers all and every Iranian such a security threat that spends 32.5 months more on investigating each and every one of them including women, children, elderly and more!
    Mr. Hussein does not provide any reason and rationale to substantiate such a policy of considering all Iranians such a grave threat and danger to Canada’s security!
    This is so incredible once you compare Iran and Iranians to such countries as Saudi Arabia who has delivered to the world Terrorist such as the 15 out of 19 on September 11, 2001 attackers in USA, has delivered to the world Alquadeh, Daesh (ISSI) , Wahhabi terrorist for over 40 years just to name a few!
    Mr. Hussein and Federal Government of Canada should apologize for such a stand which seems a harsher stand than any other country in the world even the USA with its anti Iran stand!
    In the 40 years nomenclature of International Terrorism in the world not a single Iranian has been in existence and none has ever appeared neither in Canada nor in any other country in the world. How could Canada forget this civility and take such an unfounded stand.
    The Government of Canada should be ashamed of this un-substantiated, un-respectful policy and stand towards the Iranians and should apologize the Iranian Nation for such a racist attitude and change its policy immediately.
    I as a citizen of Canada with Iranian heritage find this abhorrent and totally unacceptable from a Liberal Government of Mr. Justin Trudeau.
    Manoo Missaghi,
    Founder and past Board member
    Iranian Canadian Congress

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