IRCC’s Application Process Time Calculation – ASKMigration: Canadian Lifestyle Magazine


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Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada changed the calculation for the duration of processing applications recently. The change was initiated by a report by the Auditor General’s office, which flagged the need. It made recommendations regarding the calculation of processing time and communication with clients.

The report suggested that the information on processing time should take into account the volume and age applications in the inventory. All applications for PR should have access to this information online. IRCC updated its service standards in response to the backlog.

IRCC’s service standards are the period it takes to decide on an application. Each application is given a certain amount of time. For example, applications to sponsor a spouse can take up to 12 months before they are approved, while applying for permanent residency through the express entry program may only take six months. From IRCC’s recent updates, you can predict how long your application will take. The department will use forward-looking processing times to publish applicants’ expected application duration.

What Programs are Affected?

The updated processing times will benefit immigrants who apply for high-volume programs. These programs include

  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Provincial Nominees Program
  • Federal and Quebec Skilled Workers
  • Citizenship Grants Certificates
  • Spouse or common law partner living in Canada or abroad
  • Parents or grandparents

Understanding Forward-Looking Processing Times

You can estimate the time required to make a decision on a request by looking ahead. This method is calculated by comparing the total number applications to the number that the department has the capacity to process. It can be impacted by admission spaces in the immigration levels plan, seasonal changes, and the department’s processing capacity.

IRCC previously used historical data from previous applications to estimate processing time. The department looked at the time it took to process the majority of applications in the last six months for permanent residence programs. Temporary residence programs were completed in eight to sixteen weeks. After IRCC has implemented the new calculation methods for visitor visas and work and study permit applications, they will still use that method.

If you’ve applied to a program using the updated processing time method, you’re closer to receiving a decision. This is to prevent confusion and prevent reapplication. The department will process applications as they arrive. You won’t have to wait any longer to receive a final decision simply because you used the previous method.

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