How long can you really expect to wait for your application to be processed? That’s the 75,000-Canadian-dollar-question for most applicants. Unfortunately, Canadian immigration authorities may not be able to give you as accurate an estimate of wait times as you might need. So, how do we solve this problem?
Fortunately, somebody figured out that crowd-sourcing all that data from many individual applications is the best way to gather and share data on applicants’ wait times from around the world. At myimmitracker.com you have a gold mine of data on applications not only to Canada, but to Australia and the USA as well. Let’s do a deep dive and see what the data says.
First, we consider crowd-sourced data on the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream from myimmitracker.com:
|Average WaitinG Time for Passport Request for CEC by Nationality (in days)||Average Waiting Time for Passport Request for CEC by Visa Office (in days)|
|Guyana 385||New York 254|
|Syria 362||Paris 197|
|Cote d’Ivoire 354||Port of Spain 176|
|Iran 307||Port of Spain 176|
|Palestine 241||London 139|
|Nepal 238||Manila 131|
|Colombia 227||Singapore 126|
|Mexico 224||Rome 118|
|Malaysia 181||Beijing 111|
|Egypt 160||New Delhi 105|
|Sri Lanka 143||Bangalore 95|
|Philippines 133||Ottawa 94|
|Hong Kong 125||Hong Kong 93|
|U.K. 121||Sydney 91|
|Pakistan 115||Islamabad 90|
|Korea 113||Vancouver 72|
|South Africa 49|
|El Salvador 29|
Remember, this is crowd-sourced material that depends on accuracy of the applicants who upload details of their wait times to the website so the information is selective in two ways. Still, it’s probably one of the better ways to get a feel for what you can expect with your application.
Note that sometimes lower wait times may mean extenuating circumstances in countries like Algeria or El Salvador, which also do not have anywhere near the volume of applications compared to countries like China, India, or the Philippines, for example. The larger the number of applications that are uploaded, the more accurate the data on wait times for applications for nationals from that country.
It’s also interesting that applications submitted through large Visa Application Centres in the U.S. and Europe like New York or Paris tend to be much slower than those submitted from Asia from VACs like Beijing, New Delhi, or Hong Kong. The VAC at Manila sits between the slower centres like NYC and Paris and the more efficient ones like New Delhi and Beijing.
Now let’s compare this grassroots data with official wait times as given by IRCC’s website:
Because CEC applications are for Permanent Residence – applicants who have worked and/or studied in Canada on a temporary permit then apply for Permanent Residence – the IRCC no longer breaks down the data by country or by VAC. Instead they only say that a CEC application for PR status will be processed within 6 months or 180 days or less “in the great majority of cases.” That might give you an overall feel for your wait times, but as the data above shows, wait times can vary greatly depending on your nationality. That’s not a data point that Canadian immigration authorities seem to want to dwell on, but it is useful information for anyone from around the world applying for PR status in Canada.
To conclude, let’s group nationalities into 3 categories of wait times for CEC PR status applications: Over 6 months; From 3 to 6 months; and less than 3 months:
|Waiting Time for Passport request by Length for CEC Applications||Country of Citizenship|
|More than 6 months||Guyana, Syria, Cote d’Ivoire, Iran, Palestine, Nepal, Colombia, Mexico|
|From 3 to 6 months||Malaysia, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Hong Kong, UK, Pakistan, Korea, Australia, France, Vietnam, India, China, Nigeria, Germany, Romania, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Portugal|
|Less than 3 months||Croatia, Brazil, USA, Taiwan, Kenya, Poland, Serbia, Argentina, Greece, South Africa, Slovenia, Iraq, El Salvador, Algeria|
While some of these results might be surprising it’s important to remember that some of the countries with surprisingly short wait times have far less applicants to Canada, whether under the CEC stream or any other stream. This means that the data comes from a much smaller sample size and is less reliable. Still, it may be good advice, for example, for an Indian national living and working in London who is applying to come back to Canada under CEC to submit his or her application through New Delhi rather than London. This is exactly the sort of data that will help you make a wise choice when applying to Canada.