A new way forward for some immigration application processing times

Ahmed Hussen

ON July 31, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) began using an improved method to estimate processing times for some new permanent residence applications. The processing times are projected, and tell applicants how long IRCC expects most applications to take under normal circumstances if submitted today.

With this change in effect, IRCC says it is able to better estimate how long some new permanent residence applications will take based on several factors, including the number of current applications waiting to be processed and the volume of admissions allowed each year under the multi-year immigration levels plan.

IRCC claims that over the past few years it has made significant progress in reducing processing times and inventories across many permanent resident categories, all the while meeting the ever-increasing demand for visitor visas, and work and study permits. This client service improvement was made possible by the multi-year increase in immigration levels which allowed for advance planning, along with implementing intake controls in some categories and using innovative new processes in IRCC offices in Canada and abroad.

Previously, all permanent residence application processing times were only historical and showed how long it took to process 80% of applications in the past year. While these historical times are accurate for most applications that are currently being processed, the IRCC anticipates that the new method for projecting processing times will provide more accurate estimates for clients.

“Improving the service experience of IRCC clients has been a significant point of focus for my department in recent years. 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,” said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on Thursday.


Quick facts:
· The new projected processing times will apply to applications received on or after July 31, 2018, in these business lines:

– Sponsoring a family member

* Parents and Grandparents

– Economic Class

* Provincial Nominees (Non-Express Entry)

* Skilled Workers (Quebec)

* Start-Up Visa

– Humanitarian and compassionate cases

· It should be noted that for clients who have already applied, withdrawing an application and re-applying will not result in faster processing times:

– Any application processing already complete would become null and void and clients would have to submit a new application.

– For some types of applications, such as Express Entry and Parents and Grandparents, a client who withdraws their application runs the risk of not receiving a subsequent invitation to apply or invitation to sponsor.