2020 is not the best time to ask the question of how long it takes to get a Canadian visa. The truth is processing times are all over the place, with some Canadian visa programs on temporary hold while the world attempts to get control over the global Covid-19 pandemic. For now, a lot of programs have seen their processing times pushed out much longer than they would usually take. While you may get an accurate answer for some, others will be adjusted over the coming months, so it is important to stay on top of it.
Almost all the Canadian visa programs are accepting applications, the current delay in processing is simply due to the fact that borders remain closed to certain types of travel. That is why it is important to get your application in soon, to avoid being right at the back of the queue when your visa category opens up again. Better yet, getting your application in now, for visa programs that are processing, could see you getting a head start on people who are thinking: maybe I will apply to get a Canadian visa in 2021. Beat the rush!
How Long Will It Take To Process My Canadian Visa
Let’s begin by considering the programs that are open. Which Canadian visa you apply for will depend on your intention. Do you want to visit, study or immigrate to Canada? The good news is you can apply to do two of those, for now, visitor visas are still on hold.
Express Entry System
Throughout this challenging year, the Canadian Express Entry System has continued to accept and process applications. This immigration system is made up of three programs:
- Skilled Worker Program - for candidates with qualifications and experience in managerial or professional roles such as engineers, accountants, and doctors.
- Skilled Trades Program - for candidates with experience and/or qualifications as skilled trades workers such as plumbers, carpenters, and welders.
- Canada Experience Class - for candidates who are eligible for one of the categories above and have at least one year of experience working in Canada.
The average processing time for these programs is 6 months from the time you submit your application, and including the time required to give biometrics.
If you are eligible, you can apply for one of these programs by creating an Express Entry profile. You will enter your relevant information which will be used to calculate your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. You will then be entered into a pool of applicants for one of the programs listed above. Twice a month, applicants are drawn based on their CRS scores and invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada.
Student Visa and Study Permit
If you would like to study in Canada, you must apply to a designated learning institution of your choice. If you are accepted, you will then use your acceptance letter to apply for a student visa and a study permit. You will need to meet other requirements as well, such as proof that you can support yourself and pay for your studies.
The processing time for the Canadian student visa and study permit varies by country. Generally, with the exception of a handful of countries, it takes around 6 to 8 months, so applying early is very important. Here are some examples to help you start your preparation:
- United Arab Emirates - 23 weeks
- Mexico - 31 weeks
- Hong Kong - 16 weeks
- France - 18 weeks
- Nigeria - 31 weeks
There is a possibility to get your Canadian study visa in only 20 days through the Student Direct Stream (SDS) if you are applying from China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal, or Vietnam. There is a stricter list of requirements you will need to follow when submitting your application.
Canada’s borders currently remain closed to tourist travel from outside countries. The Prime Minister will announce when borders are open again, and at present, the scheduled waiting time for a Canadian tourist visa (also known as Canada's 'Visitor Visa') is 114 days.
As soon as our borders open again you will be able to get a tourist visa in around two to four weeks.
If you have a valid job offer and want to apply for a Canadian work visa through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), this is now permitted. If your offer of employment does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) you could be eligible for priority processing and could receive your work permit in as little as two weeks.
If you do require an LMIA you may also be eligible for two-week processing, if you are applying from outside Canada and have a job offer through the Global Talent Stream of the TFWP, any spouses or dependents accompanying you will be eligible for faster processing too.
You can check how long it takes to get a Canadian visa using this tool from the IRCC.
How We Can Help You Get a Canadian Visa
It is important that you meet the requirements to have your application processed as quickly as possible. You can’t miss your first day of class or the opportunity to work in Canada because of incomplete applications or applying to the wrong program entirely. How long it takes to get a Canadian visa depends largely on your knowledge of the visa options available, and the best way to approach your application. That is where our experts come in handy.
With a number of Canadian immigration and visa options to choose from, the process can become quite overwhelming and confusing. But it doesn't have to be. By using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) you will not only improve your chances of success in the visa application process, but you will get expert advice on which program is best for your specific needs. Our RCICs are highly qualified and are granted permission by the ICCRC to assist you with your eligibility evaluation, review all your documents and application forms, and submit them to the Canadian government for you. Why take the chance of having your application denied because your forms are incorrect or sent in too late.
We take care of the fineprint while you choose your dream destination in Canada for you and your loved ones. All you have to do is complete our application form to receive your eligibility assessment today. It's just that simple.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn for up to date information and interesting blog posts on Canadian Immigration.