Canadian Immigration News

What Are the Processing Times of Canadian Visas in 2021?

3.75 minute read
"One of the most common questions among immigrants moving to Canada is how long will it take for their Canadian visas to be processed. Now, every Canadian visa has a different application and processing time."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Sep 9, 2021
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One of the most common questions among immigrants moving to Canada is how long will it take for their Canadian visas to be processed. Now, every Canadian visa has a different application and processing time. 

The processing time is the amount of time taken by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process your application from the day they receive it. This is known as the IRCC Processing Times.  

What Factors Affect the IRCC Processing Times?

The following factors will affect the IRCC Processing Times:

  • The type of visa application
  • The home country of the applicant
  • Completion and accuracy of the application
  • How easy is it to verify the information provided in the application
  • How long IRCC takes to process the application already in the system
  • The amount of time taken by the applicant to respond to additional requests or concerns

What Are the IRCC Processing Times for Different Canadian Visas?

Express Entry: 

Applications in the Express Entry system are processed within 6 months. The Express Entry system manages applications for 3 federal economic immigration programs:

Given that your application for your intended program is complete and accurate, it will be processed within 6 months. 

Permanent Resident Card (“PR Card”): 

The IRCC takes somewhere between 13-27 days to process requests for a PR Card. If you are applying for a new card, then it will take up to 13 days. If you are renewing or replacing your existing card, then it may take up to 27 days.

Work Permit Application: 

Given that your work permit application is completed, the IRCC may take anywhere from 1-27 weeks to issue a Canadian Work Permit.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA): 

A LMIA assesses the availability of Canadian workers for a position being offered to a foreign worker. It is usually filed by the Canadian employer hiring the foreign worker. It is mandatory for programs like the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The IRCC will take anywhere between 8-29 business days to process your LMIA application.

Study Permit: 

The IRCC typically takes anywhere from 1 to 16 weeks to process a Study Permit application.

Canadian Citizenship: 

The IRCC usually takes up to 1 year to submit a completed citizenship application.

Canadian Visitor Visa: 

The processing time for a Canadian Visitor Visa largely depends on the country the applicant is applying from. The processing time can vary from a few days to a few weeks. However, if you are applying from within Canada, the IRCC will process your application within 12 days.

Spousal Sponsorship: 

The average processing time for a Spousal Sponsorship application is between 12-36 months. It can vary based on specific circumstances and regions.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the IRCC Processing Times

The IRCC usually updates its processing times weekly. The processing times also include the amount of time taken to process the application in the past. The following immigration programs have their processing times updated monthly:

The processing times for following Canadian Visas are updated when THE IRCC sets new commitments for them:

  • Electronic Travel Authorization (eTa)
  • International Experience Class (IEC)
  • Express Entry System
  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
  • Permanent Residence for Caregivers
  • Spousal Sponsorship Program

While the IRCC made several changes to the processing times throughout 2020-21 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the last official change was made in July 2018. The IRCC decided to calculate processing time estimates based on the current number of applications in the system rather than the past processing time data. Based on this system, the processing time estimation system for the following programs was updated:

  • Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program
  • Economic Immigration Program
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), excluding the enhanced PNP streams
  • Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)
  • Start-Up Visa Program 
  • Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds

The processing time for a Canadian visa is generally determined based on where the application was filed as well as the urgency of the application. Based on where the application was filed, the processing times will be as follows:

  • Filed in Person at a Passport office: 10 business days
  • Filed in Person at a Service Canada Service Point: 20 business days 
  • Filed by Mail: 20 business days
  • Filed at a Passport Office under urgent or expedited service request: 9 business days
  • Postal Application from the US: 20 business days
  • Application submitted from anywhere outside Canada and the US: 20 business days

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