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.
Ahmed Hussen, P.C, M.P.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship