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Federal court orders IRCC not to use the pandemic as a justification for its delays

Last Updated: March 04, 2022

An applicant called Mr. Siavash Mahmoudian Bidgoly from Iran, who had moved to Canada from the United States with a work visa, seeks a writ of mandamus, which is what a Court grants to order a public institution to perform lawful responsibilities that it has failed or refused to do. The applicant stated that he had submitted his PR application over three and a half years ago in 2018 and was continually seeking explanations as to why there was such a long delay. He initiated many online inquiries and performed more follow-ups on the same. The delay, according to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), was caused by the pandemic COVID-19, which generated and worsened the prior backlog.


The petitioner was well within his rights to obtain a writ of mandamus. His application was first selected for the Express Entry Pool, and he was therefore qualified for a PR under subsection 21(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27 [IRPA] since he satisfied all of the statutory conditions.


This overall process usually takes up to 6 months. When the applicant questioned IRCC about it, they were unable to provide a reasonable justification and instead used the pandemic as an excuse.


The impact of a pandemic cannot be used as a justification in this circumstance. The applicant submitted his PR application in 2018, when COVID-19 did not exist, hence the excuse given for the delay is no longer relevant. Furthermore, while COVID-19 is now a part of everyone’s life and other institutions in Canada are up and running and have adapted to the change, IRCC now must take care of the backlog and slowly and gradually get back on track by becoming accustomed to the change.


As a result, the federal court approved the applicant’s judicial review application and issued a writ of mandamus ordering the Minister of IRCC to process the applicant’s PR application within 90 days.


A writ of mandamus is a legal remedy that requests the court to order IRCC or another administrative entity to render a judgement within a certain time frame. Many immigration petitions may be delayed for no apparent reason, causing concern and stress for those awaiting a decision that may determine their future.


A writ of mandamus begins with a persuasive demand letter compelling the IRCC to investigate an unprocessed application. Choose an experienced immigration attorney to handle your case in this regard.



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