Changes to Immigration Processing Time Estimates

Anyone who applies for permanent residency or submits an immigration application in Canada knows processing times can be a concern. Depending on many factors, including the amount of backlog, the complexity of the form and the number of forms received, it can take some time to hear back about the status of an application. In the past, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) has used historical data to help applicants determine their waiting times.

In the past, IRCC would determine process times by calculating how long 80% of similar applications took within the past year. Starting July 31, 2018, however, IRCC will be using a forward-looking approach, using annual admission targets and current levels of backlogs to determine wait times. According to Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, this change is expected to give applicants more accurate information about immigration processing times.

The IRCC has reported this move is part of an attempt to reduce backlogs and processing times for many immigration applications. With increased immigration levels and new intake controls as well as new processes, authorities have been able to process some applications more efficiently and have been able to plan ahead, improving speed.

The new processing time estimates are already visible. For example, the new estimates have application processing times for parent and grandparent sponsorships at 20-24 months. Under the old estimates, a higher number of months was suggested.

Will My Application Be Affected?

While applications received on or after July 31, 2018 will be processed similarly to how they were before, with the new time estimates you may have a more accurate estimate on how long your application will take to be finalized. New processing time estimates will be used to estimate times on applications for Quebec skilled workers, humanitarian/compassionate cases, family sponsorship applications, parent and grandparent applications, non-express entry provincial nominees, economic class immigration applications, and start-up visa applications.

If you have already applied, do not withdraw your application and apply again. Doing so can delay your application and will not speed up processing times. If you have already applied, the estimates will not affect your application or your wait times. They may, however, make your processing time estimates more accurate.

Do You Want to Immigrate to Canada?

If you would like to take advantage of the improvements in the immigration system and are interested in making a new life in Canada, Immigration Direct has resources to help you apply for Express Entry and resources to help you with other applications. Be sure to check out our free blog, too, where Immigration Direct keeps you up to date with the latest news and useful tips.