Canada Changes Work and Study Visa Processing Time Calculations

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has upgraded its online tool to offer more accurate wait times for work visa and study permit applications, empowering immigrants to plan effectively. This enhancement provides forward-looking processing times, alleviating the stress of uncertainty for applicants.

Processing Time

After submitting an application for a work visa or study permit in Canada, applicants often wonder about the timeframe for completion. Processing times are vital indicators of how long IRCC typically takes to process an application.

The countdown begins from the day IRCC receives the application, whether via mail, online, or in person, and continues until a final decision is reached. To simplify this process and provide clarity, IRCC has enhanced its online processing times tool.

Previously, the tool relied on historical data (backward-looking processing times). Now, IRCC uses a forward-looking approach, enabling applicants to anticipate how long their application might take to process from the submission date. This empowers immigrants to make informed decisions regarding travel and living arrangements.

Applications Included

The forward-looking processing times currently cover various immigration programs, including:

  • Canadian Experience Class (Express Entry)
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (Express Entry and non-Express Entry)
  • Federal Skilled Workers (Express Entry)
  • Quebec Skilled Workers
  • Citizenship applications
  • Spousal and common-law partner sponsorships (both inside and outside Canada)
  • Parent’s and grandparent’s sponsorships

Other Applications

For programs not yet included in the forward-looking system, IRCC will continue to rely on backward-looking processing times based on historical data.

Current Processing Time

  • As of May 9, 2024, the processing time for temporary residence applications, including visits, studies, or work permits for study (from outside Canada), is 14 weeks (Last updated: April 30, 2024, Updated weekly).
  • Likewise, for a work permit (from outside Canada), the processing time is 21 weeks.

However, it’s important to mention that if you’re not applying to work in an essential occupation, the processing time may surpass the displayed duration.

Important Notes

  • Processing times represent the average and might vary depending on individual circumstances.
  • The timeframe doesn’t include biometrics collection or application delivery time.
  • If you’ve already applied, your processing time might be shorter than the current estimates as you’re closer to the queue’s front.
  • Avoid re-applying, as it delays your application.

Navigating through the immigration process may pose challenges, but grasping processing times is crucial for efficient planning. With IRCC’s upgraded online tool offering transparent timeframe estimates, prospective immigrants can confidently make informed decisions and commence their journey to Canada.

Published by
Rija Sohaib