The world saw an unprecedented change in travel guidelines in 2020. The Canadian government is still issuing visas to foreign workers and students. However, the time taken to process the visa has changed. The blog will be an answer to the questions of common people who are actually not aware of the Canada Visa processing time and expects to know how long does it take to get visa for Canada.
Before discussing the different steps of the visa application process, you should have a clear definition of what processing time means and encompasses. In the Canadian context, processing time covers the total time taken by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) authorities to decide whether your application is approved or not, starting from when they receive it.
While your application is being processed, you may have to furnish an expression of interest and respond to their invitation to apply. This includes preparing documents, mailing finalized visas and status cards, etc. The time taken for these steps is not included in the application processing time.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Canadian Visa?
There are different pathways you can take to get a visa and the question of how much time it takes to get a visa for Canada differs on the type of Visa category and the pathway you choose to immigrate. Depending on the category, the time taken to process your application will vary, anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. However, the visa application processing time has stretched significantly amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic wave worldwide.
- A Parental Sponsorship Visa will easily take about 20 to 24 months to process.
- The processing time taken for a Working Holiday visa depends on the region from where you are travelling. The processing time for a Visitor visa from inside Canada is 76 days. However, it is much higher for people coming from outside Canada, especially for severely Covid hit regions. For example, application processing for visitors from India is 98 days
- The application processing time for a Canada Super Visa, taken for parents of residents, depends on the region where you are situated. Example: The Canada Visa processing time for Indian nationals will take nearly 424 days.
- A Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) application’s processing will vary according to the province or territory one is applying for.
- The processing time for Work Permit or Study Permit applications will also vary according to the location where you are situated. Example: The processing for a Work Permit application for an Indian national will take about 10 weeks, while a Study Permit application will take about 10 weeks. The Canada study permit processing time depends on the country you apply from and the delay in the given processing time may be due to some strict protocols followed in terms of processing an application that is not really negligible. But it is also notable that the Canada study permit processing time is comparatively less than other Visa categories.
The IRCC has provided a detailed breakdown of the latest visa processing times, as of 20th April 2021. You can check the updated application processing time for each visa type here (https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/check-processing-times.html). The processing time is updated on a weekly basis. There is often a change in the Canada Visa processing time because of a few valid reasons such as the number of applications that would be lined up each month for all different categories of Visa’s plus the circumstances that have an impact to hold the applications for a while, one of which is like the hit of the pandemic.
The fastest way towards your immigration to Canada is through Express Entry. An Express Entry visa is processed for under six months, and if accepted, you can get your visa by the end of this period. In the early days before the development of such an online portal, the Canada visa processing time would probably take a period of more than a year or two.
Express Entry Visa
In more than 80% of cases, applications processed through the Express Entry system are completed within the stipulated period of six months. It includes the FSW program (Federal Skilled Worker), FST program (Federal Skilled Trades), and the CEC (Canadian Experience Class) stream of visa applicants. In some cases, it also covers PNP applicants (Provincial Nominee Program).
- Federal Skilled Worker Program – This category is for applicants who qualify for managerial roles or as professionals like doctors, engineers, and accountants.
- Federal Skilled Trades Program – This category is for applicants who have experience or the necessary qualifications to perform skilled trades like plumbing, welding, and carpentry.
- Canada Experience Class – This category is for applicants who meet the requirements for at least one of the above categories and a minimum of one year of work experience in Canada.
The processing time for an Express Entry visa is about six months, including the time needed to submit your biometrics. However, due to the ongoing pandemic outbreak, it is advisable to check the updated Canada visa processing time on the official IRCC website mentioned above.
Study Permit and Student Visa
Before you apply for a study permit Canada, you should apply to a university or institution where you wish to study. Once you are accepted to the university, you can use your acceptance letter to back up your application form. You must fill out other criteria, too, like proof of income and enough financial strength to support your lifestyle and your education while you live in Canada.
Canada study permit processing time is calculated from the day IRCC receives your entire set of completed applications until they approve it on all eligible grounds.
In light of the global pandemic, Canada is currently not open to visitors. The Canadian government will announce the reopening of visitor visa Canada as it starts up again. On regular days, there is a waiting period of 114 days. If you are applying from anywhere outside Canada (India), the Canada visa processing time for a visitor Visa is 141 days, and to know accurately how long does Canada visa take for a Visitor Visa application to be processed, one can check the IRCC website.
You can now apply for a work visa and immigrate to Canada with a valid job letter through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Some employers require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which could increase the processing time. But if you don’t need an LMIA, you could take advantage of priority processing and receive your visa even within two weeks!
PR Card Processing Time
The PR processing time is approximately 120 days from when the application is received by Immigration and IRCC. This includes the time it takes for IRCC to receive and process your application, as well as the time it takes to produce and mail the physical PR Card to you.
PR Card Renewal Processing Time
The processing time for a PR Card renewal can vary depending on various factors, such as the volume of applications being processed at the time of submission, the completeness of the application, and whether any additional information or documentation is required. Generally, the average processing time for a PR Card renewal is 77 days.
LMIA Processing Time
Factors like the type of LMIA, the volume of LMIA applications, the location of the job, and the industry affect the LMIA processing time. In some cases, the processing time may be shorter than 10 days, while in others, it may take longer than 36 days.
Canadian Citizenship Processing Time
The processing time for a Canadian citizenship application is 24 months. This is an average estimate and individual cases may experience shorter or longer processing times. It is important to keep in mind that Canadian immigration authorities aim to process applications as efficiently as possible.
Canada Spousal Sponsorship Processing Time
The processing time for a Canada Spousal Sponsorship application is 13-17 months for applications submitted from within Canada. However, this is an average estimate, and processing times can vary significantly if your spouse is living outside of Canada.
Super Visa Processing Time
The processing time for a Canadian Super Visa application is generally around 4-6 months. It can vary depending on factors such as the volume of applications received, visa office, and the country you are applying from. However, some applications may take longer due to certain circumstances or additional requirements.
Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)
The expected duration of a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada is around 2-6 months, depending if you are applying online or offline. While you are waiting you are allowed to work if you have applied for the PGWP before the student visa has expired.
How Long does it Take to Get a Canadian passport?
Several people planning to move to Canada often ask, “How much time does it take to get a visa for Canada?”.
Well, the processing time for a Canadian passport can vary depending on how the application has been applied as well as the urgency of the application. It can also depend on several factors such as the application method, the volume of applications being processed by the government, and whether the application is complete and error-free.
According to the Government of Canada’s official website, the standard processing time for a Canadian passport is
- 20 business days for an application submitted either by mail or in person at the Service Canada service point.
- 10 business days for applications that have been submitted in person at the office.
- In case the applicant has some urgency then the application may be processed by the end of the next working day or it might take up to 9 working days.
It’s important to apply for your passport well in advance of any planned travel to avoid any last-minute delays or issues.
Factors that May Prolong the Processing Time for Canadian Visas
As per the CIC, several factors can increase the Canada visa stamping processing time. These include
- Incomplete applications: Applications that are missing required information or documents can delay processing.
- Medical issues: Some visa categories require applicants to undergo medical examinations, which can add extra time to the processing of the application.
- The volume of applications: High volumes of visa applications can result in longer processing times, especially during peak seasons.
- Verification of information: The CIC may need to verify the information provided in the application, which can also cause delays.
- Type of visa application: Certain visas may have a longer processing time than others, such as work permits or study permits.
- Country of residence: The processing time may vary depending on the applicant’s country of residence.
How To Apply For A Canadian Visa?
The different visa type you are applying under determines how long the application process will take. However, the steps to follow are essentially the same.
Check if You are Eligible for a Canadian Visa
There are different tests that the Canadian government has created to evaluate applicants’ eligibility. You need to fill out a questionnaire online after choosing a category, after which your responses will determine whether you can apply for a Canadian visa or not.
The government website for Canadian visas might seem tricky. Visit the website and click the ‘Immigration’ tab. You will see a series of tabs denoting your purpose and the visa category. Once you choose the visa type, you are aiming for. You will see more information and a ‘Find out if you are eligible’ tab. This link will take you to the targeted questionnaire with several questions regarding your reason to visit, along with personal details and your travel history.
After this, you will see one of three answers
- You are eligible for the category you selected
- You qualify for a different category on the website
- You do not qualify for a Canadian visa
Put Your Documents Together
Once you’ve created your account on the website and logged into your account, you can start applying. You will find a list of documents on the website that you’ll have to compile before the visa application process begins.
Look For The Fees and Pay It
After you submit the documents required for your application, you will reach the payment stage. The visa fee varies depending on the category or visa type that you are applying under. Pay the fee using one of the multiple payment methods available. But one thing you should know is that the application won’t show on your website immediately. This is normal, and you don’t need to worry. Your application will show up on your page in about five working days.
If you are applying in person, you will have to take your documents to Canada’s Embassy in your country and submit them there.
How Often are Processing Times Updated?
Most of the IRCC processing times are updated weekly and reflect how long it took to process applications in the past. However, some of the programs have estimated processing times for new applications and are updated monthly.
The programs with estimated processing times for new applications that are updated monthly include:
- Sponsoring a parent or grandparent
- Economic immigration
- Provincial nominees (excluding Express Entry)
- Skilled workers (Quebec)
- Start-up visa
- Humanitarian and compassionate cases.
On the other hand, some programs show a commitment and are updated only when new commitments are set. These programs include:
- Electronic travel authorization (eTA)
- International Experience Canada (IEC)
- Atlantic Immigration Pilot
- Express Entry (federal skilled trades, federal skilled workers, provincial nominees, Canadian experience class)
- Sponsoring a spouse or a common-law or conjugal partner.
When was the Last Time IRCC Changed Processing Time Estimations?
Throughout 2020–2022, there have been numerous modifications to the processing times for some visas as a result of Covid–19. Due to the same, IRCC has decided to generate processing time estimates based on the number of applications currently being processed, rather than relying on historical processing of time data.
The changes to the processing time estimation system have affected the following immigration categories:
- Sponsorship of a grandparent or parent
- Provinces nominating economic immigrants (excluding Express Entry)
- Quebec Skilled Workers Start-up Visa
- Caring and humanitarian situations
Find Out Canada Visa Processing Time From an Professional
While choosing a company or visa consultant to help with your application, make sure the consultant is registered with the Canadian government and aligned with the ICCRC (Immigration Consultant of Canada Regulatory Council).
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I know whether my Canada visa application has been approved?
After having a watch on the Canada Visa processing time, you can visit the official Canada.ca website and check your application status by selecting your application type.
How long does it take to get a response after biometrics?
The final approval of the application after the completion of biometrics usually depends on the type of Visa, for e.g., it takes about 3-4 months for a student visa or Canada study permit and for a dependent Visa it will be near about 9-12 months.
How many days it will take for Canada visa stamping?
For a clear good application, the time period for Visa stamping is around 10-15 days, but it practically differs with individual cases.
What is next step after biometrics for Canada visa?
After completion of biometrics, the visa applicant can expect PPR (passport request), the final stage of Express Entry Program after which you may receive the COPR (Confirmation of Permanent Residence), through which an applicant has to apply for PRTD, Permanent Resident Travel Document and complete the Immigration process.
What happens if I overstayed my Canada Visa?
Though overstaying may not be counted as a criminal offence, your future applications may be at risk of approval as Canadian Immigration may red mark your profile, and it might also be inadmissible at the time when you try to avail your Canadian Citizenship.
Do all Family Sponsorship applications have the same processing times?
No, the family member being sponsored (spouse or common-law partner, dependent child, parents or grandparents, adopted child, or others) and his or her country of residence determines the processing period for Family Sponsorship applications.
Why do certain application processing times fluctuate while others do not?
Processing times depend on how many applications are submitted for each program. Canada visa processing time after biometrics is constant if the number of applicants for a certain program stays the same. However, in certain cases, the number of applications changes throughout the course of the year. In these cases, processing times change to reflect those changes.