In what may prove to be a very important development and revolutionize the visa and immigration application process for Canada, Ottawa is rather silently working on a plan to utilize computers, to review the immigration petitions, and make some of the decisions currently made by the concerned visa and immigration authorities.
Since 2014, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)–the apex visa and immigration governing body–has reportedly been working on “predictive analytics” structure, which would assess the applications in a manner that’s not much different from the job done by the officials these days.
The plan–component of the administration’s modernization of an arrangement troubled by recurring build-ups and interruptions –is to utilize the technology to spot the virtues of an immigration application, locate potential red flags for deception, and consider all these issues to advise if a candidate should be admitted or rejected.
As per some immigration officials, presently, the focus of the scheme is on building procedures that would differentiate between the high-risk & the low-risk petitions.
Sharing more information on the subject, an IRCC spokesperson reportedly stated that the predictive analytics models are developed by examining a large number of previous petitions and their results. The same allows the computer to ‘learn’ by spotting arrangements in the statistics, in a way similar to the manner the officials learn via the experience of processing the applications.
He added that the target is to make the client service better and improve operational efficiency, via cutting-down the processing times while reinforcing the integrity of the scheme.
Incidentally, the mission was sanctioned by the previous Conservative administration cabinet in the month of February 2013.
The spokesperson also indicated that there is no fixed timeline on when the automated decisions could be a feasible choice. As if to explain the issue further, she reportedly also said that to safeguard the accuracy of decisions, the models go through all-encompassing testing before being utilized. And once in service, quality assurance will be done repeatedly to confirm that model predictions are 100% precise.
Meanwhile, against the backdrop of the explosion of artificial intelligence in people’s everyday lives, some immigration specialists have reportedly stated that they are not amazed by the shift toward computerization.
A leading immigration lawyer and policy specialist said that it is the biggest revolution in immigration processing since the Internet. What usually necessitates weeks, if not several months, to process would only take a few days with the latest structure even as there would be a great savings in time and money.
He added that though many nations have utilized predictive analytics as an instrument, they have not employed it for the object of immigration processing. Back home the Canada Revenue Agency also utilizes the methods to spot red flags. The same employs artificial intelligence and it is nothing but decision-making by machines. The dividends of the use are enormous.
Reacting to the observations, the IRCC’s spokesperson reportedly stated that it will be wrong to categorize the immigration body’s plans as artificial intelligence as it is not possible for a predictive model to exercise judgment in the same way as a human and officials will, at all times, remain essential to the procedure.
In a related development and calling the administration’s move evolution rather than revolution, a retired director general of the IRCC reportedly said that applying the expertise to immigration processing is an important deal for the people primarily due to the border security concerns. For him though the bigger concern is the processes authorities employ for the object of organizing the computer system.
As if offering some sort of advice, he added that the more one can bring the administration to the 21st century, the better. Still, it will be better if the tools are used judiciously and efficiently. The task is not to implant biases into the system and generate additional roadblocks for the candidates even as an oversight body is necessary to continuously review the programmed decisions.