On January 24, 2022, the IRCC announced expanding their use of advanced data analytics into aiding IRCC officers with processing and sorting temporary resident visas (TRVs).
The IRCC is stressing that officers will still make the final decisions in terms of application refusals; only an IRCC officer can deny an application.
The software can sort routine and non-routine applications. It will always send non-routine applications to officers, who will make final decisions; it will never refuse an application. The use of this technology is not new; it has been accelerating TRV application approvals since 2018 and has been measured to be 87% faster at sorting routine files than with officers alone.
The IRCC is working in compliance with Canada’s Treasury Board Directive on Automated Decision-Making by allowing an algorithmic impact assessment (AIA) to be conducted. It assesses potential discriminatory impacts, privacy, and security. The AIA has deemed the system’s overall impact level as moderate, and the IRCC is placing many checks to lessen these risks.