Canada Adopts New Processing Times System For Some PR Applications
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will now provide some Canadian permanent residence applicants with processing times that are forward-looking, rather than estimations based on historical data.
The introduction of projected times will replace historical processing times for some applications received on or after July 31, 2018.
In a press release published on August 9, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the new projected processing times system will apply to the following types of permanent residence applications:
Sponsorship of Parents and Grandparents;
Provincial Nominee (Non-Express Entry);
Quebec Skilled Workers;
Start-Up Visa; and
Humanitarian and Compassionate cases.
Projected processing time will show prospective applicants to these programs how long their applications are expected to take (under normal conditions), specific to the day they apply. IRCC has committed to update processing times on a monthly basis.
Commenting about the new projected processing time method, Canada's Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, said, "this update is an important one to ensure our immigration processing times are as accurate as possible and to help clients better prepare to move to Canada if their application is approved."
The table below reflects processing times for future applicants who have not yet applied:
Sponsorship of Parents and Grandparents
20 to 24 months
Provincial Nominee (Non-Express Entry)
15 to 19 months
Quebec Skilled Workers
15 to 17 months
12 to 16 months
Humanitarian and compassionate cases
22 to 36 months
*The processing times above were checked on August 10, 2018.
Projected vs. Historical processing time
Prior to this change, IRCC forecasted all Canadian permanent residence application processing times based on historical data. This practice meant that processing times were determined by how long it took IRCC to process 80 per cent of applications in the past year.
The new projected processing time measurement will depend on the current number of applications waiting to be processed and how quickly IRCC expects to process 80 per cent of pending applications.
An applicant's processing time generally starts the day IRCC receives a complete application and ends when a decision is made.
If an application is submitted by mail, the processing time starts when the application arrives in the IRCC mailroom. If an application is made online or in-person at an approved service point, it starts when the application is submitted to the Immigration Officer.
Reducing processing times and eliminating backlogs
With the new processing time method, IRCC aims to better serve permanent residence clients, as well as attending to temporary resident applicants looking to visit, work, or study in Canada.
IRCC plans to continue finding new innovative ways to process applications, maintain good customer service and meet allocated admission targets based on the multi-year immigration levels plan.
In most cases, processing times depend on:
the type of application submitted;
if the application is complete;
how quickly IRCC expects to process applications already in the system;
how easily applicants' information can be verified;
how long applicants take to respond to any requests or concerns; and
"This move by the Government of Canada reflects the commitment to transparency and faster processing of immigration applications," said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal.
"With a clearer picture on processing times, future applicants who have families here and are ready to start their life in Canada can enjoy a promising beginning. "