Parliamentary Committee Submits Recommendations to Improve IRCC Client Services

The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration has released 24 recommendations on how to improve Client Services at Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The report focuses on the idea that“ immigration is a life-changing journey for individuals who should not be frustrated by processes and bureaucracy. The recommendations aim to acknowledge, and address the frustrations felt by stakeholders such as potential visitors, immigrants, employers, sponsors, and those permanent residents seeking citizenship.

The department handled more than two million resident applications, last year alone, and customer service interactions were more than that number.  number. IRCC handles files related to temporary entry to Canada, permanent residence, refugees, citizenship, and citizens’ passport requests.

The recommendations include access to case-related information in a timely manner, and improved online interaction with ministry officials for applicants, employers, and representatives. Based on feedback, applicants were frustrated by the way IRCC updates forms sometimes without a transition period, or notice.

The proposals looked at everything from training call centre agents on how to communicate with applicants who have little English or French, to  the Implement an online portal for clients and authorized representatives to track application progress.

It concludes: “It is our hope that the recommendations in this report will assist IRCC in its continued efforts to modernize its approach to client service and at the same time reduce the need for intervention from Members of Parliament.”

Attorney David Cohen applauds the recommended changes: “While the department does good work much of the time, it is acknowledged by stakeholders that there is a way to go before we can say that it is fully optimized to ensure a smoother, less stressful process for all,” he said.

The Committee consisted of 10 members; six Liberal MP’s, three Conservatives, and one New Democratic Party (NDP) MP. They met between December, 2016 and March, 2017, and have asked for an answer from the Trudeau government on their conclusions.

To read the full list of 24 recommendations click here