While planning your immigration to Canada, it is important to know how long it will take to acquire all the necessary immigration documents from the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The duration of time for each application to the IRCC is known as the IRCC processing time. This is also known as the CIC processing time or Canada processing time.
Knowing the CIC processing time for your immigration document is very important. It will help you to estimate how long it will take before you can finally immigrate to Canada. Hence, you can begin to apply in time so as to meet up with whatever activity you have in Canada.
Mind you, the CIC processing time is usually calculated in the number of working days. That is, weekends are not recognized in the number of days it will take for your travel document to be ready.
Table of Contents
- 1 Factors that Affect IRCC Processing Time
- 2 CIC Processing Time for Most Canada Visa Applications
- 3 Paper-Based Processing Time vs. Online: Which is Faster?
- 4 CIC Processing Time Due to COVID-19
Factors that Affect IRCC Processing Time
CIC processing time business days vary from one application type to another. Moreover, the processing times given for each application type stated here are only estimates. The duration taken may vary depending on factors like the COVID-19, submitting incomplete documents, and so on.
Factors that can prolong Canada Visa processing time:
- The nature of the type of visa or other immigration documents you are applying for
- The country you reside in when you apply
- The accuracy of the information you submit, as well as how complete the information is
- How many people are applying for a similar kind of visa at the same time. The larger the competition, the longer the application time may take.
- How fast you respond to questions from the IRCC concerning your application.
For example, if you receive a mail from the IRCC that one of your documents is missing or you provided information that is not correct or comprehensive enough, you should take action immediately by making necessary amends.
The government of Canada has developed an IRCC processing time tool which you can use to figure out the Canada processing time for your immigration procedure. The processing time for each application is updated on the tool every week. However, to make things easier, we have compiled the CIC processing time for the most common immigration application types to Canada. This includes application procedures like the Express Entry, Study Permit, TRV and much more.
Of course, the CIC processing time for each application is often the highest number of business days it can take for you to receive the final results of your application. You may obtain your travel document way earlier before that time. But if you do not receive any response by the end of the number of working days in the stated Canada processing time, it could be that the IRCC has rejected your application or you will need to wait for another pool (where applicable).
CIC Processing Time for Most Canada Visa Applications
1#. Express Entry Processing Time
Duration: 6 months
The CIC processing time for Express Entry is a maximum of 6 months or 180 working days. Before the end of this time, the IRCC will have processed most of the applications. However, you can still make amendments to your Express Entry profile within the six-month duration.
Before the processing time for your application will start counting, you must have completed the application by correctly updating everything needed in your profile. Therefore, constantly making amendments to your Express Entry profile may delay the assessment of your application.
Your Express Entry profile can remain in the pool for up to one year before the CIC discards it. This happens if you don’t upload your information correctly or you are yet to submit certain documents.
If a previous application of yours expires, you can submit another one, but you should only begin another Express entry application after the previous one has expired. That is one year from the day you submitted the first application.
There are three streams under Express Entry which are:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
You may also use the Express Entry Program to apply for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). For any of these Express Entry streams, the CIC processing time remains 180 working days.
#2. Atlantic Immigration Pilot
Duration: 6 months
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) specifically allows you to immigrate to the 4 Atlantic provinces of Canada. These are:
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Prince Edward Island
- Nova Scotia
- New Brunswick
The CIC processing time for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot is 6 months
#3. PR Card Processing Time
Duration: 141 working days
PR processing time takes about 141 working days when applying for a new PR card. If you are applying to renew your permanent resident status, the IRCC takes about 137 days to complete the process.
Before, it could take as short as two to three weeks to process your PR Card. However, an increase in the number of applications received, as well as the COVID-19 precautionary measures have contributed to the longer PR card processing time.
Note that the CIC processing time for PR cards is different from the processing time for permanent residency programs such as Express Entry and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP).
#4. AINP Processing Time
Duration: 19 to 22 months
The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is Alberta’s economic immigration procedure for bringing permanent residents into the province.
Also known as Alberta PNP, it could take up to 22 months altogether to obtain a provincial nomination from the province of Alberta. If your application goes on smoothly from the start, it may not have to take that long.
#5. Super Visa Processing Time
Duration: 8 weeks to 230 days (or 30 weeks)
The super visa is designed for the parents and/or grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to be able to immigrate to Canada and visit their families. CIC processing time for the super visa may vary from country to country.
#6. Work Permit
Duration: 13 weeks
There are different kinds of work permits in Canada and this makes the CIC processing time vary. Also, processing time may change based on the country you are applying from.
If you are applying for a work permit from outside of Canada, it may take up to 13 weeks or 91 days to process. When applying from within Canada or subscribing for a renewal of a work permit, it takes about 87 working days.
#7. Study Permit Processing Time
Duration: 13 to 14 weeks
Obtaining a study permit from outside of Canada should take no more than 13 weeks. Extending your study permit on the other hand takes only about 36 working days
#8. TRV Processing Time
Duration: 127-162 working days
A TRV like a visitor visa will take the IRCC about 162 working days to complete if you are applying from outside of Canada. Persons already in Canada may obtain it within 138 days. Extending your visitor record in Canada takes about 127 days.
Paper-Based Processing Time vs. Online: Which is Faster?
Usually, applying for a Canada visa or other types of travel documents can be done by applying online or on paper. The IRCC recommends most of the applications to be done online as online applications take a shorter time to compile and process.
The CIC processing time for a paper application starts once the IRCC receives the complete application form at the mailroom while processing an online application starts once you submit the application.
Mind you, mailing a paper application could take days, especially if you are applying from outside of Canada. Amending paper-based applications is also more tasking. Therefore, applying online for a Canadian visa will take a shorter processing time than applying on paper.
CIC Processing Time Due to COVID-19
Due to the influence of COVID-19, the immigration refugee and citizenship Canada has not been able to process applications smoothly as before. Neither can they offer specific predictions on the exact number of working days it will take to process a visa application.
Also, immigration from certain countries may be denied for some time in an attempt to curb the spread of the pandemic. Nevertheless, the IRCC does its best to ensure that potential applicants get the best services and that their applications are attended to in the nearest possible time.
If you are experiencing trouble obtaining some important credentials needed for your application due to movement restrictions from where you reside, the IRCC may be willing to extend your application deadline if you can send cogent proof of your current circumstances.
Should you have more questions as regards the impacts of COVID-19 on the IRCC processing time, you can visit the webpage designated to how the Coronavirus disease affects immigration on the IRCC website.
What is the Canada Visa Processing Time?
For as many Canada visa types available, there are different CIC processing times. Therefore a fixed duration does not work for all of the immigration applications with the IRCC. It may take the IRCC anything from two weeks to 6 months to completely process your application.
What is The CIC Processing Time after Submitting your Biometrics?
The IRCC processing time after your biometrics is often still the same number of days stipulated by the IRCC for each visa type application. If you are able to submit your biometrics in time, it could speed up the application process. If you don’t, you may forfeit obtaining the visa altogether.
When applying for PR, the time it takes to provide your biometrics is included in the overall processing time for that application time. When applying for a study, work, or visitor visa, on the other hand, the processing time only starts counting after you have submitted your biometrics.
What is the Processing Time for Express Entry?
How long does it take to process Express Entry? According to the IRCC, it takes approximately 6 months, to process Express Entry profiles. If you have not completed your profile, your application may remain in the Express Entry pool for up to a year before IRCC discards it.
Does CIC Processing Time Include Weekends?
No. The CIC processing time includes only business days, that is, Mondays to Fridays. A week in the IRCC processing time is therefore equivalent to five working days.
What is the CIC Processing Time During COVID?
Due to the effects of COVID-19, the CIC processing time for visa applications is now harder to determine. More so, it may take longer than before for the IRCC to complete the assessment process for your application and grant you your visa.