Processing Period for Canada in 2023

For many foreign nationals seeking to move to Canada, they often wonder how long the immigration process will take. Each visa type comes with its unique processing time and application process.

Canadian Visas processing time refers to the duration it takes the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to handle your application from the time they receive your application. Also known as CIC or IRCC processing time, there was a major initiative at the beginning of 2022 to shorten Canadian immigration processing timelines. Sean Fraser, Canada's Immigration Minister, implemented new measures aimed at expediting processing times for several of the top immigration programs in Canada.

To get an idea of your Canada visa processing time, use the IRCC Processing Times tool.

The IRCC is making progress to clear the visa application backlog and expects to improve Canada's immigration processing times in 2023.

Factors that can prolong Canadian Visa processing time, as stated by CIC, include the type of visa application, the applicant's country of residence, the accuracy and completeness of the application, how quickly the applicant's information can be verified, how fast IRCC can process applications already in the system, and how long it takes an applicant to respond to additional requests or concerns.

The Express Entry Program processing time is typically within six months from the date of application reception, including Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class and some Provincial Nominee Programs. The applicant must upload all required documents to the individual Express Entry profile before the six-month processing period commences.

Learn more about the Express Entry program.

Applying for a new PR Card usually takes around 45 days, and the PR Card renewal processing time can take several weeks or even months, but it typically takes 77 days. If planning to travel outside Canada, it is advisable to renew the PR Card before expiry.

Learn more about renewing your Permanent Residence card.

Processing Times for Work Permits in Canada

5-36 Weeks

The time it takes to process a work permit in Canada is highly variable. The processing duration relies on numerous factors, including the completeness of your application and the visa office where you applied. Based on our research, it can take anywhere from 5 to 36 weeks to obtain a Canadian work permit, depending on your individual circumstances.

For work permits processed within Canada, the typical processing time is roughly 4 weeks. However, for permits processed outside of Canada, the processing time is longer, generally taking between 5 and 6 months.

For more information about Canadian work permits, visit the Canadian Work Permit page.

Duration for LMIA Processing

10-36 Business Days

Due to a surge in applications in 2023, Canada is currently dealing with a large volume of LMIA applications. This situation has led to longer processing times and possible delays, particularly in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Depending on the specific type of LMIA application you submit, the processing time can span from 10 to 36 business days.

For more information about LMIA processing durations, visit the Labor Market Impact Assessment page.

Processing Times for Study Permits in Canada

4 Weeks – 5 Months

Similar to work permits, the processing times for Canadian study permits depend heavily on the applicant's country of origin. Generally, a Canadian study permit is processed within the following durations:

  • 4 weeks for permit applications processed within Canada
  • 9 weeks for permit applications processed outside of Canada
  • 5 months for study permit applications

For more information about Canadian study permits, visit the Canada Study Permit page.

Processing Times for Canadian Citizenship

24 Months

The average processing time for a Canadian Citizenship grant is roughly 24 months. This timeframe begins on the day you submit a complete application and ends when the process is fully completed.

For more information about Canadian citizenship processing times, visit the Canadian Citizenship page.

Processing Times for Canadian Visitor Visas

23 Days – 8 Months

Like work permits and study permits, visitor visa processing times can vary significantly depending on the applicant's country of origin. The processing duration is generally determined based on the following factors:

  • 23 days for visa applications processed within Canada
  • 4-8 months for visa applications processed outside of Canada
  • 6 months for visa extension applications

For more information about Canadian visitor visas, visit the Canadian Visitor Visa page.

Duration for Spousal Sponsorship

13-17 Months

On average, the processing time for spousal sponsorship applications that involve a spouse residing in Canada is 13 months. However, depending on the specific circumstances, such as whether the spouse is outside of Canada, it may take longer.

For more information about Canadian spousal sponsorship, visit the Canadian Spousal Sponsorship page.

Duration for Super Visa Applications

4-6 Months

Super visa applications are generally processed within six months or less, with most applications processed in four months. However, processing times may vary depending on the visa office and the country where you apply.

For more information about super visa processing, visit the Super Visa page.

Explore more about the Canadian Super Visa, which allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to visit Canada for up to two years at a time without needing to renew their visa.

Are you a recent graduate looking to work in Canada? The Canadian post-graduate work permit can take up to 5 to 6 months to process when applying online or 2 months when applying via paper. However, you can continue to work while you wait if you applied before your student permit expired. Discover more about Post-Graduate Work Permits.

Curious about Canada visa processing times? Most processing times are updated weekly and show how long it took to process previous applications. However, processing times for sponsoring a parent or grandparent, economic immigration, provincial nominees (excluding express entry), skilled workers (Quebec), start-up visa, and humanitarian and compassionate cases are updated monthly. Processing times for electronic travel authorization, international experience Canada, Atlantic immigration pilot, express entry, federal skilled trades, federal skilled workers, provincial nominees, Canadian experience class, caregivers, and sponsoring a spouse or partner reflect a commitment and are updated when new commitments are determined. Please note that IRCC changed its processing time estimation system in 2018, making the processing times based on the number of applications being processed instead of historical processing time data.

Passport processing times for applications submitted in Canada range from 10 to 20 business days, depending on where and how the application is submitted, as well as the urgency of the request. For those residing in the United States, passport applications can be submitted by mail or in person at the nearest passport office or Service Canada location in Canada, with processing times of 20 business days. And, for applications submitted outside Canada and the United States, processing times may take up to 20 business days and must be submitted at the nearest Canadian government office.

Finally, processing times for Family Sponsorship applications vary depending on the family member being sponsored and the country of residency. Consult with your immigration lawyer or consultant to learn more.

What Causes Fluctuations in Application Processing Times?

The length of time it takes to process applications varies depending on the number of applications received for each program. If the amount of submissions for a particular program remains consistent, the length of time it will take to process those applications will remain the same.

However, some programs experience fluctuating application rates throughout the year. In these scenarios, the processing time will mirror the ebbs and flows in application volume.

Get an Accurate Estimate of Your Canada Visa Processing Time with the Help of an Immigration Professional

If you're in need of a Canadian visa, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced immigration professionals today. Using our comprehensive knowledge and expertise, we'll be able to provide you with an exact estimate of how long it will take for your Canadian visa to be processed.

If you'd prefer to do your own research, make use of the IRCC Processing Times tool, which will provide an estimated timeline for your Canada visa processing time.

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