Canada Immigration Processing Times – The Complete Guide

One of the most popular questions with Canadian immigration is: “How long will my visa take?” Often you plan your life in accordance with when you will receive a visa. Canada immigration processing times change with how fast the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can work. These processing times are based on the latest government update as of April 2022. While the government has invested millions of dollars in implementing new methods to process visas, as well as increase staff and efficiency, there continues to be a backlog of visas that need to be processed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada closed its borders and stopped processing visas in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. However, as restrictions loosen, the country has re-opened borders and began processing visas again. The good news is that if you’re patient and your paperwork is in order, you can get a Canadian visa.

Additionally, processing times depend on the following:

  • What the type of application submitted is
  • Whether the application is complete or not
  • How fast IRCC expects to process applications they’ve already received
  • How easily IRCC can verify your information
  • How long you take to respond to any requests or concerns that IRCC may bring up with you

Often you’ll be asked to provide biometric information in the form of a photograph of yourself and your fingerprints. This is sometimes taken into consideration and is included in the processing times It’s important to check with regard to your specific application.

Economic Immigration

Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP)

14 months

This pilot stopped accepting applications on March 5, 2022. Learn about the Atlantic Immigration Program, which replaced it.

The Atlantic Immigration Program allows talented foreign employees and international graduates from Canadian universities to work and live in one of Canada’s four Atlantic provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador. The project supports businesses in finding qualified candidates for positions that they have been unable to fill locally.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Online via Express Entry

eight months

The CEC is a permanent residence program for foreigners with skilled work experience. It was specifically created for temporary foreign employees and foreign graduates who have relevant work experience in Canada.


The caregiver pilot programs are a new initiative. The target processing period for initial applications to the new pilots is two months. After the caregiver produces documentation that they have satisfied the work experience criterion, the application will be processed within six months.

Provincial Nominees

Online via Express Entry

22 months

This is one of the most famous ways to apply for permanent residency in Canada. Provincial Nominees are foreigners that are selected by a particular province because they hold a position that’s in demand. A gap in the labour market is not being filled by Canadian permanent residents or citizens. In order to ensure the province’s economy keeps running, 11 out of the 13 regions in Canada have Provincial Nomination Programs. These programs allow you to permanently live in Canada in the province where you’re needed. First, you need to find work in Canada for foreigners. In order to qualify, you must show the intention of settling in a particular region by having a valid job offer from an employer that’s based in that region.

Self Employed

41 months

To be self-employed in Canada you must prove that you have at least two years of work experience that your service/goods will contribute to Canada’s economy. You’ll have to provide a sound medical certificate and a clear police record to immigrate to Canada. You’ll also have to pass the assessment based on your experience, education, age, language abilities and adaptability.

Skilled Workers (Federal) Via Express

Online via Express Entry

27 months

The Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)of the Express Entry immigration system is designed to help skilled workers in demand in Canada get permanent resident status faster. There are many opportunities for work in Canada for foreigners. It’s ideal for a foreign worker who is a manager, professional or highly skilled technical/tradesperson wanting to live and work permanently in Canada. Express Entry is an online application management system which enables the Government of Canada to assess the potential of foreign workers, students and those who want to live in Canada permanently.

Skilled Trades (Federal)

Online via Express Entry

37 months

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is another one of the programs that are managed by the Express Entry immigration system. It’s designed for workers with a certain type of Canadian trade experience to immigrate to Canada. The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) allows foreign skilled workers to immigrate to Canada in a fast-track method to apply for Canadian permanent residence. While you’ll have to have a job offer from a Canadian employer before you can apply for permanent residence, if you meet the eligibility requirements, the FSTP will allow you to get Canadian permanent residence.

Skilled Workers (Quebec)

31 months

The Canadian government gives Quebec the responsibility for selecting foreign applicants who want to live and work in Quebec. The Province of Quebec uses its own rules and procedures for these selections. Because of this agreement, you must make an application to both the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada. If you have experience working in Quebec or Canada or have the skills that the province needs, you can apply for permanent residence in Quebec.

Start-up Visa

31 months

Canada is known for being a great place to live as well as do business. Canada’s Start-up Visa Program is specifically designed to attract immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that can compete on a global scale. The program is open to experienced business people who:

  1. have ties to Canada,
  2. intend to live outside of Quebec and
  3. will settle in Canada (not Quebec)

To apply, you need a $200,000 investment fund, a solid business plan and at least one immigrant investor or business partner who supports your venture.

Canada Immigration Processing Times For Family Sponsorship

Spouse or common-law partner living inside Canada

16 months

Spouse or common-law partner living outside Canada

20 months

You can apply for permanent residency in Canada if your spouse or common-law partner lives in Canada and is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. You’ll have to provide proof of your relationship, like a marriage certificate or documentation that shows you’ve been co-habituating for some time.

This processing time includes:

  • the time you need to give your biometrics
  • the assessment of the sponsor and the person being sponsored
  • the time we need to make sure you meet eligibility requirements

Dependent Children

The processing time will depend on where your child is. The USA is used as an example. You can sponsor your children if they are below the age of 22 and unmarried. To sponsor your child above the age of 22 you must provide proof as to why you have to be financially supportive of them.

Dependent child living in USA

21 months

Parents or grandparents

32 months

You can sponsor your parents and grandparents. For each person, you sponsor you must provide proof via bank statements that you can financially support each member that you’re bringing over. Alternatively, you can apply for a Super Visa. With a Super Visa you can bring over your parents or grandparents sooner on a temporary basis. The length of the super visa processing time depends on what country your parents or grandparents are in.

Permanent resident cards

New PR card

94 days

With your PR card and permanent resident travel document, you can live and work in Canada. It will allow you to exit and re-enter the country without having to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Citizenship Grant

27 months

The process of getting citizenship is a long one, but it’s worth it! As a Canadian citizen, you can vote, get better work opportunities, hold political office and get higher-paying positions.

Temporary Residence Visas

Study permit outside Canada

13 weeks

Study permit from inside Canada

five weeks

This processing time does not include the time you need to give your biometrics.

Study permit extension


64 days


179 days

Study in Canada! If you’ve always wanted to get a degree from a Canadian university, the time is now. A study permit will allow you to become an international student at one of the top universities and colleges in the world. A degree from one of these renowned institutions will secure you a bright future. You can work and study at the same time in Canada, as well. To apply, you’ll need to provide an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) as well as prove you can pay your tuition and that you can support yourself.

Work permit from outside Canada

Work permit from inside Canada (initial application and extension)


133 days


205 days

This processing time is dependent on the country you’re applying for. For example, if you apply from the USA it’ll be eight weeks. However, If you’re applying for a work permit from Mexico, you’ll get yoru canadian work visa in two weeks. Finding work in Canada for foreigners might take some time so take this period into consideration as well. This processing time does not include the time it takes to send an application between a visa application centre to the IRCC office and the time you need to give your biometrics.

Work permits allow you to be employed in Canada and earn a salary. They can be open work permits which allow you to work anywhere in Canada and for any employer. You can also get an employer-specific work permit which limits your occupation and employer-specific to what your visa allows.

This processing time does not include the time you need to give your biometrics.

International Experience Canada

This includes Working Holiday, Young Professionals and International Co-op Internship.

Last season

21 weeks

Current season

three weeks

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

five minutes

However, some applications for visitor visas will take longer, so apply early.

Apply For A Canadian Visa in 2022

With so many options to choose from, it’s difficult to decide what visa would be the best for you. Especially because Canada Immigration Processing times can vary from very short to very long, having someone professional on your side will help you immensely.

Get in contact with us today to chat with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). They’ll guide you through the entire process of applying. They’ll make sure you have all the right documentation so you won’t waste any time. They’ll also liaise with the IRCC so if they require additional information from you, you’ll know immediately.

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