Canada Immigration Update

Today, the IRCC introduced major changes as it seeks to be more transparent with its applicants.

On March 31, 2022, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced major updates about the Canadian government’s online processing time tool.

Clients of the Department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship of Canada (IRCC) can now see more accurate estimates of how long it will take to process their application.

Most permanent and citizenship services will now use dynamic processing time. New calculations for processing time will be posted weekly based on data from the previous six months. The dynamic processing time of temporary accommodation services is already in place based on data for the last eight or 16 weeks.

The new processing time estimates will reflect the processing volumes of applications as well as the latest operational realities. They will allow future beginners to build plans based on a more accurate schedule. This update of the government website is part of the IRCC’s efforts to modernize the immigration system.

The government website first listed the service standard only as it is only the obligation of IRCC to process applications under normal circumstances. In January last year, Fraser announced that these changes would take place in the coming months.

What is the difference between Service Standards & Processing Times

The IRCC processing time shows customers how long it took to process the most complete applications in the past and is updated weekly. On the other hand, service standards are the IRCC's obligation to process applications within a certain period of time under normal circumstances. They are not updated on regular basis, and not all programs have service standards.

The IRCC annually reports on how much actual processing time is compared to service standards.


How Processing Times Are Calculated 

The IRCC measures processing time based on how long it took to process 80% of applications in the past. Processing time begins on the day the IRCC receives a complete application and ends when the immigration officer makes a decision on it.

For those who submit an application by mail, the processing time starts from the moment of receipt of the complete application in the IRCC mail room. For those who apply online or in person, the processing time starts from the time of application.

What are IRCC’s processing times right now?

As of March 31, 2022, processing times of various programs are as follows:

Economic class immigration

  1. Canadian Experience Class (CEC): 7 months
  2. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): 27 months
  3. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP): 27 months
  4. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): 22 months
  5. Non-Express Entry aligned PNP: 27 months
  6. Quebec skilled worker streams: 31 months
  7. Quebec business class: 65 months
  8. Federal Self-employed persons: 42 months
  9. Atlantic Immigration Program: 14 months
  10. Start-up Visa: 31 months
  11. Caregivers Pilots: No processing times available

Family class immigration

  1. Spouse/common-law partner (living in Canada): 16 months
  2. Spouse/common-law partner living outside Canada: 19 months
  3. Parents/grandparents: 32 months
  4. Dependent child: Varies by country
  5. Adopted child/relative: Varies by country

Refugees and humanitarian & compassionate (H&C) applicants

  1. Government-assisted refugees: Varies by country
  2. Privately-sponsored refugees: Varies by country
  3. Protected persons & convention refugees in Canada: 22 months
  4. H&C cases: 16 months

Temporary residence application

  1. Visitor visa outside Canada: Varies by country
  2. Visitor visa (inside Canada): 16 days online & 48 days by paper
  3. Visitor extension: 162 days online & 201 days by paper
  4. Parents/grandparents Super Visa: Varies as per the country
  5. Study permit outside Canada: 13 weeks
  6. Study permit inside Canada: 9 weeks
  7. Study permit extension: 75 days online & 156 days by paper
  8. Work permit outside Canada: Varies by country
  9. Work permit inside Canada (initial application/extension): 133 days online & 239 days by paper
  10. International Experience Canada: Varies by country
  11. Electronic Travel Authorization: 5 minutes


  1. Citizenship grant: 27 months
  2. Citizenship certificate (Proof of citizenship): 17 months
  3. Resumption of citizenship: 23 months
  4. Renunciation of citizenship: 15 months
  5. Search of citizenship record: 15 months
  6. Adoption: 11 months for part 1; part 2 varies on the complexity of the application

Permanent resident (PR) cards

  1. Renewing/replacing a PR card: 108 days
  2. Waiting for first card: 103 days

Replacing or amending documents, Verifying the status

  1. Verification of status: 26 weeks
  2. Change of valid temporary resident documents: 22 weeks
  3. Amendments of immigration documents: 47 weeks
  4. Amendments of valid temporary resident documents: Time period of 27 weeks

IRCC’s latest inventory

Because of the problems caused by the pandemic, the IRCC is struggling to manage its inventory and adhere to service standards. Recent data show that the department’s inventory is 1.84 million people awaiting processing. Evidence shows that the IRCC is making progress in some areas, such as the Express Entry CEC and FSWP applicants, but continues to struggle in other areas, such as processing applications for citizenship.

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