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Posted on March 12 2020

Made your Canada PR application? Check the processing time

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023
Canada PR processing time

If you have made an application for a Canada PR visa, you would obviously be eager to know, how soon you will get your visa to make your move to Canada. The good news is Canada has a streamlined immigration process and the processing time is usually predictable.

Also, the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have made changes which have shortened the visa processing time.

The application processing time is the period between the receipt of your visa application by IRCC and the final decision to grant your PR visa.

 Variation in processing time:

The processing time varies for the different immigration programs that the country offers. So, how soon you will get your PR visa depends on the immigration program you have selected to apply for your PR visa.

The most popular immigration program is the Express Entry system which also has the fastest processing time. The average processing time for the PR visa in 2020 right from the filing of the application to getting the invitation to apply (ITA) from Canadian authorities is 6 months.

In the other popular immigration program – the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), the process is almost like the Express Entry program. The only difference being the verification process takes a little longer, this can extend the processing time to about 12 months.

For the Quebec skilled Workers Program (QSWP), a provincial immigration program run by the Quebec province, the processing time is between 12-16 months.

The processing time varies for each immigration program because it depends on the number of applications each program receives in a month. Tor some programs, the number of applications is consistent every month, then there is no variation in the processing time. For some programs, the number of applications can vary in the year, some programs have specific application times during the year. In such cases, the processing time can vary.

How does the Canadian immigration authority calculate the processing time?

As we mentioned earlier, the processing time is the period between the day the authorities receive your complete application and the day a decision is made on the application. The immigration authorities estimate the processing time based on the current number of applications that are waiting to be processed and their estimate of how much time it will take to process 80% of these applications.

The other option is they make a historical projection based on how much time it took to process 80% of applications in the past.

Factors that determine processing time:

There are certain factors that determine the processing time of your PR visa. They are:

  • Submission of the complete application form with all the details and supporting documents
  • Provide biometrics if required and within 30 days of receiving a request for the same.
  • Payment of the requisite fees using the correct method of payment

Factors that can delay the processing time:

Delay in the submission of required documents:

Processing of your visa will happen on time provided you submit all the required documents. They should support the information provided in your application. If you take a longer time to collect and submit these documents, then you will only extend the processing time.

You must ensure you submit the complete documentation. The processing will take longer if you get requests for additional documents from the authorities to complete your application.

You must also check for any discrepancies between the information provided in the application and the supporting documents. Suppose there are discrepancies it will lead to delays in the processing of your visa.

Not providing correct credentials and verification documents:

To avoid unnecessary delays in processing, you must ensure you provide every document that validates your personal details, educational details, and work experience. These documents must be original and validated by the issuing institution or the organization. If you have taken the English proficiency tests such as IELTS, ensure you include the scores.

Longer time to submit medical certificates and police verification documents:

The processing time can take longer if you take more time to submit your medical and police records with your application. Remember you will have to get these certificates for family members who will be coming with you to Canada.

Other reasons:

There could be other reasons for the delay in the processing of your visa application, they can include:

  • You need to undergo an interview by the immigration authorities
  • Slow response from your end for any requests for information by the authorities
  • You communicate through e-mail instead of using an online account
  • A high number of applications which extend the processing time

Avoid delays:

You can ensure that you avoid delays in the processing time by taking care of the following:

  • Fill out the application form after reading the application guide for your immigration category
  • Ensure that your application includes all the required documents
  • Double-check your application before you send it

The processing time for your PR visa application is based on several factors -your choice of the immigration program, submission of the required documents, and valid medical, police and other certifications. You would also have to account for the time taken by the immigration department to process your application. Also, any delay from your side in adhering to the visa application process will obviously mean longer processing time for your PR visa.


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