As of February this year, 59,456 open, pending or re-opened applications were assigned to 779 former employees or dormant computer placeholder codes used to hold applicants in queue.
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IRCC employees are only identifiable publicly via codes, which consist of a mix of letters and numbers.
Some of these officers last logged in and processed files up to 16 years ago, according to the Canadian Broadcast Corporation.
According to the CBC report, active cases were assigned to inactive officers across Canadian airports, border ports, and processing centres; as well as officers in consulates in India, the US, the Philippines, Brazil, and others.
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Ottawa had the most number of inactive codes, followed by Edmonton, Vancouver, then Sydney, Nova Scotia.
The immigration department told CBC that once an officer is set as inactive, “it means they are no longer using the system and their access is no longer available.”
This comes at a time when the North American country has been grappling with unprecedented immigration backlogs involving millions of applications.
The backlog reduced to just over 2.2 million from last month’s 2.4 million, according to IRCC data.
IRCC says that between January and October 2022, they produced 4.3 million final decisions for permanent residents, temporary residents and citizenship compared to 2.3 million final decisions in the same period last year.
The Canadian citizenship body says it wants to have a less than 50 per cent backlog across all lines of business by the end of March 2023.
To achieve this, IRCC began transition towards 100 per cent digital applications for most permanent resident programs on September 23.
It also hopes to make all citizenship applications digital by the end of this year, including those for minors under 18.