Canadian visa: Canada improves its application processing time estimates

Canada has introduced a new method for calculating processing times for certain applications. A recent announcement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) indicates that the department will now publish expected processing times online using prospective processing times.This is to help applicants predict the time it will take to process their application.

Updated processing times will be available for several high-volume immigration programs, including:

  • Canadian Experience Class (Express Entry)
  • Provincial Nominee Program (Express Entry and Non-Express Entry)
  • Federal Skilled Workers (Express Entry)
  • Skilled workers from Quebec
  • citizenship scholarships
  • certificate of citizenship (proof of citizenship)
  • spouse or common-law partner living in Canada
  • spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner living outside of Canada
  • parents or grandparents

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Changing the way processing times are calculated was flagged as necessary in a report from the Office of the Auditor General last October, CIC News said. The report makes several recommendations on how IRCC calculates application processing time and communicates it to clients.


Specifically, the report states that “online information on processing times should be provided for all PR requests, taking into account the volume and age of requests already in inventory.”

This update to how processing times are calculated is one of IRCC’s first steps in addressing many of the report’s recommendations. Updated service standards can be expected by the end of this year, CIC News reported.

Service standards represent the length of time IRCC deems appropriate to make a final decision on an application. These standards differ depending on the type of application. For example, spousal sponsorship applications should be processed within 12 months, while applications for permanent residence through an Express Entry program should ideally be processed within six months.

Zera Carpenter

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