Exploring the Causes of Inconsistent Canadian Immigration Visa Processing Times

#immigration #visadelay

The waiting game for Canadian visa applications may be extremely nerve-wracking. Several variables lead to delays and discrepancies in processing durations, frequently leaving applicants perplexed as to why the procedure appears unreliable.

IRCC's Service Standards and Processing Times

Applications for visas are accepted from all over the world by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), however, processing times can differ. 

The targets for processing timeframes are called service standards, and they are determined by the IRCC. For instance, applications for temporary residence visas should be completed within 60 and 120 days, and applications for Express Entry submitted after July 2022 aim for a six-month service standard. 

These expectations, nevertheless, don't always line up with reality. Backlogs are applications that don't meet the service criteria; the IRCC strives to process at least 80% of applications in the allotted time.

Why Differences Exist Between Processing Offices

Each of the IRCC's visa offices faces different difficulties depending on where it is located in the world. Applications may be moved across offices in order to guarantee prompt processing. Applications that are unclear or incomplete and need applicants to provide further information may also cause delays. 

Processing timeframes may lengthen if an applicant's information is difficult to verify a variable that differs by location. The IRCC employs roughly 55% of people in its national headquarters in Ottawa, whereas only 2% of its workers are based abroad. This discrepancy is largely due to resource allocation.

People holding Canada's national flag - Inconsistent Canadian Immigration Visa Processing Times

There have been recent announcements of the opening of a new processing centre in the Philippines and the announcement of another centre in Islamabad, Pakistan, as part of continuous efforts to increase processing capacity. 

The kind of application also affects how long things take to process. Applications for study permits from outside of Canada typically take seven weeks to process, whereas applications from within the country typically take three weeks. Applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Programme through Express Entry from outside of Canada, however, may take up to 26 months to process.

The Impact of Recent Strikes on Processing Times

There were major repercussions from the Public Service Alliance of Canada's recent strike that lasted from April 19 to May 3. Participation by more than 155,000 federal government workers had an impact on how new and existing applications were processed. According to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, the walkout caused delays for almost 100,000 applications. 

However, he thinks that because of the steps taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in an application backlog, the agency can swiftly revert to pre-pandemic service norms.

In order to clear this backlog, IRCC increased staffing by over 1,000 and extended its digital processes. Similar to tourist visas, temporary resident visas are an exception, with the government striving to reestablish a 30-day service standard this summer. However, most streams have reverted to pre-pandemic service levels.

The kind of application also affects how long things take to process. Applications for study permits from outside of Canada typically take seven weeks to process, whereas applications from within the country typically take three weeks. Applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Programme through Express Entry from outside of Canada, however, may take up to 26 months to process.


Why do regional offices' processing times for Canadian visas vary?

Everywhere the IRCC has visa offices is home to different issues that are exclusive to that office. The processing speed may be impacted by these difficulties. To increase productivity, the department may move applications between offices.

What impact does resource allocation have on Canada's visa processing times?

Only a small portion of the IRCC's staff is located abroad; most of them work out of the organization's national headquarters in Ottawa. Variations in processing times for visas may result from this distribution of resources, which may lead to differences in processing capacity.


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