During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the francophone province of Quebec experienced a massive backlog of applications submitted by foreign nationals hoping to work in the province.
Foreign skilled workers living in the province who has already been pre-selected by Quebec have to wait an average of 31 months to acquire their permanent residency (PR). This is four months more when compared to the average 27 months of processing times in other Canadian provinces.
Since the pandemic hit in the summer of 2020 through March of last year, IRCC officials have been digitizing paper-based applications to make them available on a secure computer network.
The immigration officers were able to access part of the files this way, but it still remained a difficult task. However, applications were being processed far more slowly than usual.