How long is CIC Processing Time?


When applying for Canadian immigration, citizenship or refugee status, it can take some time for an application to be reviewed and completed. Processing times by CIC are not quick and do not occur overnight. Canada’s immigration department attempts to give applicants a time frame in which they know how long their application will take to process. Even then, times can simply be an estimate and depend on a few factors.


Processing time starts on the day an application is received by Canada’s immigration authorities. The three departments an individual can apply to is the immigration department, Citizenship Canada (IRCC), or refugee department. Processing time ends on the day a final decision (positive or negative) is made on an application.


Recently, the IRCC modified the way in which it estimated processing time from some residency applications. There are a few factors that affect the processing time of an application.


Factors affecting CIC Processing Times in 2023:


  • The application submitted
  • Whether the application is complete or incomplete
  • Time in which the IRCC expects to process applications already received
  • The ease in which an applicant’s information can be verified
  • The timeframe in which applicants take to respond to any questions, requests or issues;
  • Factors that may arise during the application process


Changes in CIC processing time 2023


Processing time estimations have changed for the following categories:


  • The sponsoring of a parent and/or grandparent
  • Economic and financial immigration
  • Provincial Nominees excluding Express Entry
  • Skilled Workers seeking immigration to Quebec
  • Start-up business visas
  • Humanitarian and compassionate cases


Express Entry Processing Time


The estimated time for the processing of the Express Entry is six months or less. The IRCC aims to complete these applications in a shorter span of time than other visas.


The Express Entry Visa is a process that includes economic immigration from the following programs:



An individual can only apply for Canadian permanent residence using Express Entry after receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from IRCC.


CIC processing time for visitors’ visas


Individuals seeking visitors’ visas for Canada will experience a processing time dependent on the type of application submitted. Visitors have the choice of applying for a visitor’s visa using an electronic online application or via mail using a paper application. The processing time for applicants outside of Canada can vary. The variance on time occurs due to the country an applicant is from.


CIC Processing times for student visas


Student visa application processing time varies depending on the applicant’s country of origin. The processing time for a student or study visa can take as few as two weeks. However, processing time can take up to 20 weeks. Processing can also depend on the number of student/study applications the IRCC receives. In addition, the amount of applications received by specific processing centers can affect the processing time.


CIC Processing times for Canadian work permit


Temporary work permit processing time depends on where an individual submits their application. The processing time for a temporary work permit is country-specific.


Processing time for a post-graduation work permit from CIC


International students are able to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) allowing them to live and work in Canada. International students must have graduated from a university that meets the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) criteria. Successful candidates possessing a PGWP are allowed to live and work in Canada for a maximum of three years. The processing time various for the PWGP and is based on whether an application is made online or via paper.


Family sponsorship CIC processing time


Family sponsorship application processing time depends on the family member’s country of origin and the family member sponsoring them. Family member sponsors can include a spouse, partner, common-law husband/wife, child, parents, or grandparents. Canada citizens or permanent residents must be a minimum of 18-years-old to be able to sponsor certain family members.

What is the processing time for Canadian Citizenship?


Individuals waiting on the results of a Canadian citizenship application can expect an average processing time of 12 months. Applicants must meet specific criteria to achieve Canadian citizenship. Individuals between 18-years-old and 54-years-old must pass the Canadian citizenship test and show proficiency in either English or French to gain full Canadian citizenship.


Do Canada visa processing times change?


The processing times can change for various visa applications. The processing time can change due to the number of applications received by a processing center. Time can also change depending on the number of applications received for a specific program. Processing times can be extended or shortened based on these factors.


How often do CIC processing times change?


Historical data plays a direct part in the processing times of Canadian visas. The IRCC uses historical data to determine the average processing times that applicants can expect. These processing times are updated regularly.


Why does Canada visa processing take so long?


Processing time is affected by a number of criteria. In certain cases, temporary workers are given preferential treatment when there is a labor shortfall. Certain immigrant classes are also given priority in some cases.


Do biometrics increase the processing time for Canadian Visas?


The processing time doesn’t include the time it takes to submit biometric data. Submitting biometric data is separate from the processing time of the application. The sooner the biometric data of an applicant is submitted, the quicker an individual’s application can be reviewed.


What is the processing time for a Canadian passport?


Processing time for a Canadian passport depends on a few factors. These factors include the way in which a person applies and the urgency of the application.


Individuals can expect processing times of:


  • 10 business days for an application submitted in person at a passport office
  • 20 business days for an application submitted in person at a Service Canada service point
  • 20 business days for application submitted by mail


Applications using urgent or express service can be process in one business day. However, they can take up to nine business days to complete. It may take up to 20 days to process a passport application submitted outside Canada or the United States.

Editor in Chief - at | Website | + posts

Editor in Chief -

Dr. Montague John (PhD), is one of the World’s leading Canadian Immigration experts. Affectionately known as “Monty” he established more than 25 years ago and it has grown to be one of the most reliable sources of Canada Immigration information.

In 2022 Dr. Montague John (PhD) published his book, “How to Immigrate to Canada” as, which featured as Bestseller in its Category for several weeks. Montague co-ordinates all the qualified contributors at and serves as Editor-in-Chief.