Canada has started 2022, focusing on reducing processing times for Canadian visas and immigration procedures. The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will allocate $85 million from the department’s funding to support this goal. Remember that Canada visa processing time can vary depending on factors like the type of visa, the applicant’s country of origin, and other factors that will be explained in more detail in this article.
If you want to know how long it takes to process a travel or immigration visa to Canada, this article has all the necessary information.
What is Canada visa processing time and how is it calculated?
In the Canadian immigration system, the processing time for a travel or immigration visa to Canada is the duration required for the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) to reach a final decision on your application. This timeframe begins when you submit your application and concludes when you receive a notification regarding the decision.
Please note that the processing time for a Canada visa does not include the time you spend preparing your documents. It begins only after your application is fully completed.
The estimated processing times for visas to Canada are derived from historical data on the processing of 80% of applications in previous years. These estimates offer an average timeframe for the expected response to your request.
What factors influence the processing time for Canadian visas?
When determining the processing time for visa applications to travel to Canada, several factors influence the waiting period. Let’s familiarize ourselves with the most significant ones:
1. The applicant’s country of residence
Although Canadian immigration application centers have been updated globally, applications are not always processed at the nearest center.
They are directed to the most efficient center to ensure faster processing. For example, applying for a Canadian tourist visa from Egypt can take up to two months, while the waiting period from the United Arab Emirates is typically less than one month.
2. The Type of the application
The type of visa you need has an impact on how long it takes to process your travel visa to Canada.
Canada visa processing time can be quite different for various types of visas, like work, immigration, tourism, and study visas in Canada. Additionally, if there is a high number of applications for a particular immigration program during a certain period, it may take longer to process applications for that program due to the increased demand.
3. The completion status of the request
As previously mentioned, the processing of an application begins only when the applicant’s submission is complete. If any documents are missing, the Canadian Immigration Service may either reject the application or take more time to review it.
4. The cooperation level of the applicant
The Canadian immigration authorities may need to contact the applicant to verify information or seek clarification. If the applicant’s response is delayed in such cases, it can considerably extend the processing time for the travel or immigration application.
What is the Canada visa processing time in 2023?
In March 2022, the Canadian government made important updates to the processing times for travel and immigration applications to Canada. They introduced a tool on the official Canadian government website that predicts how long it will take to process travel and immigration visas.
This tool aims to give users more accurate estimates of the processing time for their applications.
The tool will be regularly updated every week by the Canadian government. You can access it on the canada.ca website to predict how long it will take to process your travel or immigration visa.
According to the forecasts generated by the tool, processing times for Canada visas can range from 16 days for visitor visas (tourist visas) to up to 31 months for certain visas, like the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) visa, which is part of the Express Entry system.
How to use the Canadian Visa Processing Time Prediction Tool?
Visit canada.ca, and choose the visa category you want to apply for. This will give you precise information about the expected waiting time. In the image below, we have selected the option for a temporary visa for studying, working, or visiting Canada.
After choosing an option in the first field, the second field will show relevant options.
In our example, as shown in the second image, you will see choices for visitor, study, or work visas, and whether the application is from inside or outside Canada. If you want to apply for a study visa from outside Canada, simply click on “Get Processing Time” to access more details.
The third image shows the estimated processing time for a study visa to Canada, which is around 12 weeks. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate and the actual processing time can vary based on factors like the applicant’s cooperation and meeting all requirements.
Please note that this information is updated every week, so the processing time for applications can change from one week to another. It depends on how many applications Canadian embassies and consulates receive during that time.
Now, let’s explore the average processing time for some of the most commonly requested Canadian visas.
1. Economic class immigration visa processing time
There are various Canadian immigration programs for eligible individuals in this category, and here are the processing times for the most popular programs:
- Express Entry Canadian Experience Class (CEC): 7 months.
- Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): 27 months.
- Express Entry Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP): 27 months.
- Express Entry Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): 22 months.
- Non-Express Entry aligned PNP: 27 months.
- Quebec skilled worker streams: 31 months.
- Quebec business class: 65 months.
- Federal Self-employed persons: 42 months.
- Atlantic Immigration Program: 14 months.
- Start-up Visa: 31 months.
- Caregivers Pilots: The processing time for requests is not specified.
2. Family class immigration visa processing time
- Spouse or common-law partner living in Canada: 16 months.
- Spouse or common-law partner living outside Canada: 19 months.
- Parents or grandparents: 32 months.
- Dependent child: varies according to the applicant’s country.
- Child or adoptive relative: varies according to the applicant’s country.
3. Refugees and humanitarian & compassionate (H&C) visa processing time
- Refugees through the Canadian government: The processing time for applications varies according to the applicant’s country.
- Refugees through private organizations: The processing time for applications varies according to the applicant’s country.
- Protected persons and refugees under agreements within Canadian territory: 22 months.
4. Temporary residence application processing time
- Visitor visa from outside Canada: varies by country.
- Visitor visa from within Canada: 16 days when applying online and 48 days when applying on paper.
- Super visa for parents or grandparents: varies by country.
- Study permit from outside Canada: 12 weeks.
- Study permit from within Canada: 9 weeks.
- Study permit extension: 75 days when applying online and 156 days when applying on paper.
- Work permit from outside Canada: varies by country.
- Work permit from within Canada (initial application or extension): 133 days when applying online and 239 days when applying on paper.
- International Experience Canada: varies by country.
- Electronic Travel Authorization: approximately 5 minutes.
5. Permanent resident (PR) & Citizenship processing time
- Processing time for the first permanent resident card: 103 days.
- Renewal or replacement of the permanent resident card: 108 days.
- Canadian citizenship application: 27 months.
- Granting a nationality certificate (proof of nationality): 17 months.
- Resumption of citizenship application: 23 months.
- Renunciation of nationality: 15 months.
- Searching the nationality record: 15 months.
That’s all the important information you need to know about the Canada visa processing time in 2023. It’s recommended to use the updated forecast tool provided by the Canadian government for accurate results and predictions.
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