Canadian Immigrants Are Facing Longer Wait Times

By Remitbee - Mar 25, 2022

Canada has a reputation for being a hospitable country to newcomers. One-fifth of its population is foreign-born. Canada's economy has always benefited from a relatively young workforce brought in by immigration.

In 2021, the Canadian government established plans to welcome 411,000 new permanent residents to Canada in 2022. However, given the 1.84 million people on the immigration department's waiting list, these plans appear to have met a hitch

The backlog represents the number of people awaiting processing by the IRCC. Students, visitors, refugees, families, temporary foreign employees, and citizenship applications are part of the backlog.

The Canadian Immigration Processing Time

The time it takes the IRCC to complete your visa from when it is received determines Canadian visa processing time. You can use the IRCC Processing Times tool to determine how long your visa should take to be processed.

The following are the various visa processing times that can be expected.

Express Entry Applications: Most Express Entry applications are processed in six months. This period is only possible if the applicant has submitted all required documents and uploaded them to their Express Entry Profile.

Canada Work Permit: It might take anywhere from 1-27 weeks, depending on how well you completed your application and from which office you made your application.

Permanent Resident Card: If you provided your email address in Canada, the wait time for new permanent residents could be as long as 13 calendar days. It can take up to 27 days to renew or replace your resident card.

Study Permit: The length of time it takes to get a study permit will mostly depend on where the applicant lives. However, the time frame is usually between 1-16 weeks.

Canadian Citizenship: It should take around a year for your citizenship application to be fully processed when it is submitted.

Canadian Visitor Visa: The processing period for a Canadian visitor visa is mainly determined by the country from which you apply. It could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Expect the application procedure to take 12 days if you're applying from Canada.

Post Graduate Work Permit(PGWP): When you apply for the PGWP after your studies, expect to wait for around 2-6 months. The good news is that if you applied while still in school, you are still permitted to work.

Measures To Improve Immigration Processing

Canada's immigration minister, Sean Fraser, has responded by claiming that the $85 million budget commitment will be sufficient to reduce immigration processing delays.

Fraser stated that they expect to have made permanent decisions on 147,000 permanent residency applicants by the end of the first quarter of 2022. This figure is more than double what the immigration department accomplished in the same period in 2021.

The new residency application tracker will allow spouses and dependents to track their online applications. In addition, the online tool will tell applicants how long it will take the immigration department to process their applications.

Holding Off Invitations for CEC and FWSP Applicants

To help speed up the immigration process, the minister decided to pause the invitations for Express Entry Draws for FSWP applicants and Canadian Express Class(CEC) applicants.

The draws are expected to resume in 2022, giving the immigration department enough time to clear the backlogs. However, this decision has led to some CEC candidates being forced to quit their jobs and even leave Canada. During the pandemic, IRCC issued a lot of Express entry invitations.

27,000 invitations were issued in the last draw. No Invitation To Apply(ITA) has been issued since then. Without the ITA, the CEC and FWSP candidates cannot apply for permanent residency. If the candidates already had work permits, they lose the right to work once their work permit expires.

Updated data, however, suggests that only 10,400 CEC are left to be processed; this backlog is expected to be cleared by the immigration department by spring. The rate for processing FWSP applications is also increasing, the estimated time to clear the backlog being the second half of the year.

Modernize Its Operations

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada IRCC sought to update its operations in the wake of the epidemic. IRCC hired about 500 additional employees, work was reallocated across the department's locations worldwide, and applications were digitalized.

IRCC also brought some paper-based applications online, increasing efforts to fully implement its online application portal. These efforts have made it possible for spousal sponsorship to return to 12 months' average processing time.

The IRCC has created a portal that allows permanent residence applicants to complete their applications online. Applicants can now process and receive their permanent residency cards without engaging with anyone in person.

Advanced-Data Analytics

To speed up Temporary Resident Visa applications, IRCC uses advanced data analytics. The system allows the applications to be assessed 87% faster.

IRCC built an online application tracker, added online testing, and permitted virtual online ceremonies for citizenship applicants. These procedures vastly enhanced the citizenship application process.

Canada is considering permitting self-administration of oaths through self-attestation to speed up the waiting time for applicants nearing the end of their application procedure. The candidates will be able to celebrate their citizenship at a later date.

Recently Canada has introduced Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET), For Ukrainian nationals willing to flee from the way. These initiatives speed up the application process for Ukrainian citizens seeking permanent or temporary immigration to Canada.


The Canadian immigration minister appears to be on a Herculean mission to reduce the time it takes for immigrants to be processed. In the minister’s mandate letter, even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Fraser to decrease the processing time.

We can only hope that the processing time and backlog are handled on time before affecting the immigrants already in the country.

RemitBee will make things simple for you if you need help exchanging currencies or sending money anywhere in the world while pursuing your visa.

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