Canadian Immigration Processing Times: How Long Does it Take?


When considering immigrating to Canada, a typical concern is wondering how long the application process would take. We compiled data on how long it takes to immigrate to Canada and how long immigration procedures take.

Anyone applying for a visa or authorization to enter Canada should include the usual processing periods into their timeline for receiving a response.

The processing time in canada immigration program refers to the length of time from the day an application is received by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) until a decision is made.

Please note that the time it takes to submit an expression of interest and obtain an Invitation to Apply, prepare documents, submit an application, or have a completed visa, permit, status card, etc. sent does not factor towards the processing time.

Exactly what factors into my turnaround time?

The time it takes to get your application processed and to actually enter Canada may be affected by a number of variables, including Processing periods at the IRCC might differ from one country to another, based on the nationality of the applicant. Prior to December 2015, the visa office’s estimated processing times for various services were made public. This was because the closest visa office handled applications for both permanent and temporary residency, visas, and permits. This means that your application may not be handled in the visa office nearest to you, but rather at the office best suited to process your application quickly throughout the worldwide network of visa offices.

Visa and permit processing periods can vary based on the kind of application submitted. The time it takes to complete an application might vary depending on the kind of application and the volume of applicants in that category. When more people apply for a programme than can be accommodated at once, the review period might become longer.

Incomplete applications may result in IRCC rejecting the applicant or requesting further information, both of which may significantly delay processing.

Average Times Taken to Complete Immigration Programs

The processing times for some of the most common streams are shown below. Remember that processing timeframes are simply estimates and not guarantees. Based on IRCC’s typical processing times as of December 7th, 2021, the following timeframes have been calculated.

Please be aware that the time it takes to complete your application may vary depending on whether you submitted it online or on paper. The next paragraphs detail the processing timeframes for both online and paper applications if any.

Express entry 

Some Provincial Nominee Programs are also included in this category, along with the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades (FST), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) visa categories (PNP).

Prior to the pandemic, Express Entry applications were completed in the vast majority of instances (80%) within 6 months of receipt. The time it takes to create an Express Entry profile, get an Invitation to Apply (ITA), and finish the application itself is not included in the processing timeframes shown.

Permission to Perform Academic Research

The time it takes to get a study permit might vary widely based on the applicant’s country of residency. Applicants from various countries might anticipate processing delays up to 13 weeks; the lowest processing time is roughly 8 weeks. The number of applications submitted affects how long it takes to get a study visa, so submitting yours around the start of Canada’s school year may result in a delay.

The Graduate Work Authorization

Extension of a current work visa. Depending on your chosen application method, the processing period for a post-graduation work permit might range from a few weeks to several months. Applications submitted by mail or the Internet should be handled within 106 days.

Documentation of Permanent Residency

The time needed to issue a new permanent residence card is 56 days. However, it may take up to 136 days to process a replacement or renewal of an expired permanent resident card. Sponsoring a spouse for permanent residency typically takes about 12 months.

Once dependent on whether the sponsoring spouse was located inside or outside of Canada (inland sponsorship vs. outland sponsorship), spousal sponsorship applications are now processed in a timeframe that is uniformly less than 12 months regardless of the sponsoring spouse’s location.

Tourist Visa

The time it takes to get a tourist visa depends on where and how you apply. All Canadian applications, whether submitted electronically or on paper, are handled in no more than 92 days. Applications submitted from countries other than Canada may be subject to different requirements.

The time it takes to immigrate to Canada is very context-dependent. Note that IRCC has the right to alter the aforementioned schedule at any moment.

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