How Long Does It Take To Get a Canadian Visa?

How long does it take to get a Canadian visa?

How long will my immigration application take to be processed?

These are some of the most common questions often asked by potential Canadian immigrants.

In today’s guide, we’ll share with you all the necessary information you need about Canadian immigration processing times.

Therefore, we urge you to read this post to the end if you truly want to get first-hand information about your Canadian visa application processing time.

So let’s get started:

How Long Does it Take to Get a Canadian Visa?

If you applied to any type of Visa or Permit to Canada, then you should always consider the average processing times when trying to calculate how long it will take for you to hear back on your application.

But what does the processing time mean?

In Canadian immigration, the processing time means the time duration it takes authorities with Immigration, Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and Refugees to process your application, from the day it was received to the day they reach a decision.

It’s worth mentioning; however, the time it may take to submit an expression of interest and get an Invitation to Apply, to arrange documents, for the mailing of finalized visas, or to submit an application permits, status cards, and so on – are not part of the processing time.

What Affects Canadian Visa Processing Time?

How Long Does It Take To Get a Canadian Visa

Some factors may affect the processing time of your Canadian visa application; some of these factors are:

Country of residence

Some IRCC processing times differ depending on your country of residence. Before December 2015, the processing times for various services would be shown according to the visa office.

This was due to the fact that applications for both temporary and permanent residence, permits, and visas, were processed by the nearest visa office.

Today, however, applications are now moved around the global network of visa offices for faster and more efficient processing. In other words, your application may not be processed at your nearest visa office, but rather at the office best designed to efficiently process your application.

Read Also: How to Apply for Canada Study Permit


If an application is incomplete, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may either request more information, which can lead to significant delays in processing, or they may refuse the applicant altogether.

Application type

Processing times for different types of permits and visas also vary. Both the application type and the number of applicants currently being processed in that category can also affect the processing time of your visa.

Essentially, if a program gets more applications than anticipated, then it’ll likely take longer to process.

Now that you know some of the factors that’ll affect your visa processing time, let’s go ahead and attend to the question, “how long does it take to get a Canadian visa”?

Average Processing Times for Canadian Visa

Here, we’ll examine some of the most popular streams and approximate Canada visa processing times. But don’t forget that processing times are only estimates and cannot be guaranteed.

The following information is purely based on IRCC’s average processing times, as listed on 4th January 2018.

Additionally, it’s also worth noting that processing times sometimes depend on whether an application was submitted in a hard copy using a paper-based procedure, or electronically via the online procedure.

That said, the processing times listed below specify if they differ between paper vs. online-based applications.

Study Permit

Study permits differ tremendously in processing time, depending on the country of residence of the applicant.

The shortest processing time for a study permit is approximately 1 to 2-weeks; however, individuals applying from certain countries can expect processing times somewhere around 16-weeks.

Furthermore, study visa processing times equally differ depending on the volume of applications received; hence, you may experience delays if you’re applying close to the starting of Canada’s academic year.

Express Entry

This includes the Federal Skilled Trades (FST), Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC) streams, and some Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP).

Basically, application submitted via Express Entry is usually processed within 6-months from the day it is received. This happens in 80% of cases.

Please remember that the time it takes to submit an Express Entry profile, get an “Invitation to Apply (ITA),” and arrange the final application for submission is not part of these processing times.

Visitor Visa

The processing time durations for a visitor visa are totally dependent on how and where you are making the application from.

For example, if you apply from within Canada, paper-based applications are often processed within 27-days and online applications within 12-days.

However, if you apply from outside Canada, then the processing time will vary depending on your country of residence.

Post-Graduation Work Permit

This visa type falls under the “work permit” extension category. Visa processing times for post-graduation work permits depends on the method you use to apply.

For instance, your application should be processed within 99-days if you submit online. However, you submit via the paper-based application; then, you can expect a longer processing time of about 117-days.

Permanent Resident Card

A new permanent resident (PR) card takes approximately 13 days to process. Although renewing or replacing an old PR card can take up to 24 days to be processed.

Sponsoring a Spouse for Permanent Resident

When sponsoring a spouse for permanent residence, the applications can up to 12 months to be processed.

The processing times for this type of visa used to vary depending on whether the spouse was residing outside or inside Canada. However, they’re now primarily regulated to within 12 months for every spousal sponsorship application.


There you have it all. We hope that we’ve been able to fully answer your question of “how long it takes to get a Canadian visa.” If your type of visa falls within any of the categories outlined here, you already know what to expect in terms of your visa processing time.

Again, remember that all the visa processing time durations mentioned above not guaranteed and are also subject to change without prior notice at the discretion of IRCC.