IRCC Processing Times - How Fast Can You Move to Canada

IRCC Processing Times - How Fast Can You Move to Canada

AUG 8, 2022



You have just made one of the biggest decisions of your life - to take the leap and move to Canada. After taking your time to fill out all the necessary documents and making sure your application package is complete, you have submitted everything. Now the waiting begins. But how long will it take for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process your visa application? In this article, we take a look at IRCC processing times.

Application processing times are usually set in accordance with the most recent government update. Following huge application volumes due to a backlog brought on by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC has improved their operations systems, staffing, application procedures and added an online processing times tool to make things as seamless as possible for applicants. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced this update at the end of the first quarter of 2022. This means that you can now get a more accurate estimation of the application processing timeframe.

Processing Times and Service Standards


IRCC’s processing times inform applicants on the time past applications took to process. This is updated on a weekly basis. Permanent resident and citizenship services are now implementing more effective processing times. Updated calculations will be posted weekly on the IRCC’s website, in line with data collected from six months before. These processing times are also being utilized for temporary residence services but are according to data from the last four months. The updated estimates are indicative of the amount of applications in the system. As a result, they now give you a better idea of the timeline you can expect.

Service standards reflect IRCC’s commitment to get through applications in a set period of time. These standards are not utilized in all programs. They are also not updated often. In the past, the IRCC website displayed only service standards meant to showcase its commitment to processing applications under normal circumstances.

The IRCC Processing Times Calculation Process

IRCC tracks processing times by examining the time it took to process previous applications.

When Does the Processing Time Start?

Your processing time will start on the day IRCC receives your complete application and payment of fees. This will depend on whether you have fulfilled all the requirements in the application form. Processing can be finalized once the immigration official approves or rejects your application.

What if I Apply By Mail?

If you send your application by mail, the processing time will start when your complete application reaches the IRCC mail room.

What If I Apply Online or in Person?

If you submit an application online or in person, the processing time will come into effect as soon as it is submitted.

With the visa processing wheels now fully in motion, you are likely to eventually receive your visa - if your application has been found to be in order. There are, however, several factors that influence processing times.

Factors that Influence Processing Times:

  • The program or visa you apply for
  • The accuracy and completeness of your application
  • The speed at which the IRCC anticipates the processing of applications already submitted
  • Whether your information can be verified easily or not
  • The time it takes you to respond to requests or issues flagged by IRCC This is demonstrated in the infographic below.

Note: Processing times do not include time taken for:

  • Biometrics
  • Mailing
  • IRCC receiving your passport to insert visa and return to you

Processing could take longer for:

  • Routine verifications
  • Security checks

Now that you have a better understanding of processing times, here is a breakdown of estimates for a number of different visas and immigration programs.


Processing Time for Visas and Immigration Programs

Temporary Residence Application

  • Work permit application made outside of Canada: Dependent on your country of origin
  • Work permit application made in Canada: 164 days online and 148 days by paper
  • International Experience Canada (IEC): Dependent on your country of origin
  • Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA): 5 minutes
  • Visitor visa application made outside Canada: Dependent on your country of origin
  • Visitor visa application made from within Canada: 17 days online and 20 days by paper
  • Visitor extension: 174 days online and 196 days by paper
  • Parents or grandparents Super Visa: Dependent on your country of origin
  • Study permit outside Canada: 12 weeks
  • Study permit inside Canada: 3 weeks
  • Study permit extension: 54 days online and 112 days by paper

Economic Class Immigration

  • Atlantic Immigration Program: 18 months
  • Caregivers Pilots: No times available
  • Express Entry Canadian Experience Class (CEC): 14 months
  • Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): 26 months
  • Express Entry Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP): 46 months
  • Express Entry Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): 17 months if online or 25 months if not done online
  • Self-employed persons (Federal): 41 months
  • Start-up Visa: 32 months

Family Sponsorship

  • Spouse or common-law partner living in Canada: 15 months
  • Spouse or common-law partner living outside Canada: 24 months
  • Parents or grandparents: 36 months
  • Dependent child: Dependent on your country of origin
  • Adopted child or relative: Dependent on your country of origin


  • Citizenship grant: 26 months
  • Citizenship certificate (Proof of citizenship): 17 months
  • Resumption of citizenship: 19 months
  • Renunciation of citizenship: 16 months
  • Search of citizenship record: 15 months
  • Adoption: 13 months for part one; part two will vary according to case

Permanent Resident (PR) cards

  • Renewing or replacing a PR card: 62 days
  • Waiting for first card: 81 days

Submit Your Application Today



Now that you have gone through the processing time estimations for a variety of visas and immigration programs, it’s time to get ready to fill out your application and make sure it is complete and accurate.

Remember, processing time estimations change regularly, so make sure that you check the IRCC website on a regular basis. While the website may suggest a timeframe for processing, you will also have to take into account that applications may be subject to individual circumstances.

Because immigration can be quite complex, having a professional to guide you through the process can make things feel less daunting. A Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) will carry through the entire application process, making sure that your paperwork is 100% on track.


Is There a Reason that Some Application Processing Times Change While Others Stay the Same?

Yes. Application volumes may affect processing times. There are programs that get a similar amount of applications every month. In this case the processing time is likely to stay as is. There are also programs for which applications vary. This often leads to changes in processing times.

What Does “In Process” Mean When it Comes to Applications?

It means that the application sent to IRCC has been opened, reviewed for completeness, and an official has started to enter into the computer system.

What is a Complete Application Package?

An Application package is considered complete as soon as you have answered all the questions on the document, submitted proof of payment of fees and all requested documents.

Remember that your application will be returned if anything is missing or the fees are unpaid. Unfortunately, this will mean that the processing will be delayed and your application may also be rejected.