Better access and support to people here at home

From: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Making improvements that provide support when people need it

May 8, 2019 – Ottawa, ON – Improvements to offer better access and support to clients here at home when they need it are being made thanks to Budget 2019.

Budget 2019 provides an additional $42.9 million investment that will allow Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to:

  • fund more than 170 call centre agents over 2 years to respond to people’s questions
  • expand our hours of operation at IRCC’s Client Support Centre starting in 2020, and
  • extend office hours at 10 of the busiest IRCC offices across Canada starting in July 2019

Over the past few years, we have expanded access to our clients by:

  • helping people via email through an online web form, and
  • responding to questions via social media

In addition, we have:

  • begun to roll out a new call-back feature that gives clients the option to have an agent call them back instead of waiting on hold
  • improved the self-serve features through our interactive voice response telephone messaging, and
  • launched Quaid, a chatbot on IRCC’s social media channels that responds to general questions about immigration and citizenship

All of these improvements are making it easier for people to get general and case-status information without having to speak to an agent.

We are also looking into new ways to display case-status information and communicate processing times and other helpful information through our online account system. In addition, we are working on improvements to our website by incorporating feedback directly from our clients to make it easier and more accessible.

We will continue to identify ways to improve our service in the short term, and continue to work on our vision that will transform how we best serve our clients here at home and around the world.

“Making it easier and improving access to provide the best service to people with information they need in a timely, clear and concise way is our priority. Attracting global talent, making it easier for people to do business around the world and increasing tourism are important to the Canadian economy. Reuniting families and providing a safe haven to the world’s most vulnerable people are important to our humanity. We will continue to transform our services with the latest innovations so we can better serve people here at home and around the world”.

– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • IRCC’s Client Support Center (CSC) provides live support to immigration, citizenship and visa applicants in Canada.

  • In fiscal year 2018 to 2019, 3.52 million clients received a response to their inquiries from the CSC.

  • CSC agents responded to more than 1.69 million client inquiries by phone and email, an increase of 12.3% from the previous year and an additional 1.83 million inquiries were managed by self-serve options in the CSC’s automated interactive voice response system.

  • IRCC answered more than 100,000 general inquiries from clients on social media between April 2018 and March 2019 – 551% more than 2017.

  • In March 2019, IRCC’s email response time was less than 5 business days, compared to 31 days in June 2017. Additional funding from Budget 2019 will help reduce this email response time even further.

  • We are also working towards providing enhanced self-service options online.

/Public Release. View in full here.