Processing Times for Canadian Immigration


Canada is arguably one of the most popular choices for immigration. It has a highly attractive immigration policy along with warm and loving people and an altogether an excellent quality of life which is what an immigrant seeks when applying for a second citizenship.

However the question always hangs there. How long would the immigration process take place? Read on to find out the answer

By definition, the processing time refers to the time taken for the authorities of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process your application, from the day they receive it to the day they come to a decision.

There are various factors which affect your application processing.

  1. Country of residence:

Some IRCC processing times are dependent on the country you are residing in. before December 2015, the processing times for different applications were displayed right in the visa office as applications for both permanent and temporary residence, visas, and permits, were processed by the nearest visa office.

Now, applications are transferred around a global system of visa offices in order to expedite the process and make the whole system as efficient as they can. Which means that your visa application won’t necessarily be processed at the nearest visa office but at one where the process can be best handled.

  1. Type of application:

The processing time differs for a variety of applications. Not only has the type of application has a direct influence on the processing time but also the number of candidates applying through the same category. Obviously the more the number of candidates, the longer it will take for the application to be processed.

  1. Completeness:

If any information is incomplete when filling out the application for immigration, the IRCC can either reject the application entirely or it may request more for the missing information which will take even more days than necessary.

Following are some of the popular streams for visa application and the time it takes for them to be processed. Please note that these times are posted as of January 4th, 2018

  • EXPRESS ENTRY: 80% of the applications through EXPRESS ENTRY are processed within 6 months


  • STUDY PERMIT: This is dependent on the resident’s country but the shortest processing time is of 4-6 weeks. In some cases, it may take even 20 weeks.


  • POST GRADUATION WORK PERMIT: if you are applying online, the average processing time is 50 days. If you are applying through a paper-based application, it may take up to 105 days.


  • PERMANENT RESIDENT CARD: A new Permanent Resident (PR) card takes up to 61 days. If you are renewing an old PR card, it may take up to 71 days.


  • SPONSORING A SPOUSE FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE: Previously the processing time used to vary but now they have standardized it to 12 months


  • VISITOR VISA: Online applications can be processed within 14 days while paper-based application can take up to 19 days.