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March 31, 2022

IRCC updates processing times tool to provide more accurate information

CIC News > Latest News > > > IRCC updates processing times tool to provide more accurate information IRCC has unveiled major changes today as it seeks to be more transparent with its clients.

On March 31, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced major updates to the government’s online processing times tool. 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) clients can now see more accurate estimates of how long it will take to process their application. 

Most permanent resident and citizenship services will now use dynamic processing times. New calculations will be posted weekly based on data from the previous six months. Dynamic processing times for temporary residence services are already in place, based on data from the past eight or 16 weeks. 

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The new processing time estimates will reflect the volumes of applications being processed, as well as the latest operational realities. They will allow future newcomers to make plans based on a more accurate timeline. This upgrade to the government website is part of IRCC’s effort to modernize the immigration system. 

Before, the government website was only showing the service standard, which is IRCC’s commitment to process applications under normal circumstances. This past January, Fraser had announced that these changes would be forthcoming in the months ahead.  

The difference between processing times and service standards 

IRCC’s processing times tell clients how long it took to process most complete applications in the past and are updated weekly. Service standards, on the other hand, are IRCC’s commitments to process applications in a certain amount of time under normal circumstances. They are not updated regularly, and not all programs have service standards.  

IRCC reports annually on how actual processing times compared to service standards. 

How processing times are calculated 

IRCC measures processing times based on how long it took to process 80% of the applications in the past. Processing times start the day IRCC receive a complete application and ends when an immigration officer makes a decision on it. 

For those who apply by mail, the processing time starts when their complete application arrives in an IRCC mail room. For those who apply online or in person, the processing time starts when they submit their application.  

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What are IRCC’s processing times right now?

As of March 31, processing times are the following:

Economic class immigration

Express Entry Canadian Experience Class (CEC): 7 months
Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): 27 months
Express Entry Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP): 27 months
Express Entry Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): 22 months
Non-Express Entry aligned PNP: 27 months
Quebec skilled worker streams: 31 months
Quebec business class: 65 months
Federal Self-employed persons: 42 months
Atlantic Immigration Program: 14 months
Start-up Visa: 31 months
Caregivers Pilots: No processing times available

Family class immigration

Spouse or common-law partner living in Canada: 16 months
Spouse or common-law partner living outside Canada: 19 months
Parents or grandparents: 32 months
Dependent child: Varies by country
Adopted child or relative: Varies by country

Refugees and humanitarian & compassionate (H&C) applicants

Government-assisted refugees: Varies by country
Privately-sponsored refugees: Varies by country
Protected persons and convention refugees in Canada: 22 months
H&C cases: 16 months

Temporary residence application

Visitor visa outside Canada: Varies by country
Visitor visa inside Canada: 16 days online and 48 days by paper
Visitor extension: 162 days online and 201 days by paper
Parents or grandparents Super Visa: Varies by country
Study permit outside Canada: 13 weeks
Study permit inside Canada: 9 weeks
Study permit extension: 75 days online and 156 days by paper
Work permit outside Canada: Varies by country
Work permit inside Canada (initial application or extension): 133 days online and 239 days by paper
International Experience Canada: Varies by country
Electronic Travel Authorization: 5 minutes


Citizenship grant: 27 months
Citizenship certificate (Proof of citizenship): 17 months
Resumption of citizenship: 23 months
Renunciation of citizenship: 15 months
Search of citizenship record: 15 months
Adoption: 11 months for part 1; part 2 varies on complexity

Permanent resident (PR) cards

Renewing or replacing a PR card: 108 days
Waiting for first card: 103 days

Replacing or amending documents, verifying status

Verification of status: 26 weeks
Replacement of valid temporary resident documents: 22 weeks
Amendments of immigration documents: 47 weeks
Amendments of valid temporary resident documents: 27 weeks

IRCC’s latest inventory

IRCC has struggled to manage its inventory and stick to its service standards due to challenges caused by the pandemic. The latest data shows the department’s inventory stands at 1.84 million people awaiting processing. The data suggests IRCC is making progress in some areas, such as with Express Entry CEC and FSWP applicants, but continues to struggle in other areas, such as processing citizenship applications.

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