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Immigration Canada provides processing timelines during COVID

Canada’s immigration department recently updated its processing timelines to reflect its operational capacity during the pandemic.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says on its website that people who are trying to access immigration services may experience processing delays, due to COVID-19. The department is prioritizing applications from people who are exempt from travel restrictions.

Here is a breakdown of the updated processing times.

Permanent residence

IRCC says it is working at full capacity to process permanent residency applications. However, COVID-19 caused a backlog in applications, so you may experience some delays.

At the time of writing, IRCC said it was finalizing most of the Canadian Experience Class applications they received between May 24 and May 30, 2020, meaning decision-makers are working on applications that they received about 10 months ago.

PR Cards

If you are applying for your permanent residency (PR) card, check the online status tool to see the status of your application. This applies to anyone applying for their PR card for the first time, or for a renewal or replacement. IRCC says to make sure you gather your documents and have your identification numbers so that you can log in.

If you cannot check the online tool, try IRCC’s webpage. New PR cards are currently being processed in about 125 days, and renewals are taking about 80 days.


Document Applicants. IRCC Status. Grant of Citizenship. Received AOR Letter. Finalizing most applications received between March 31 and April 6, 2019. Grant of Citizenship Waiting to receive AOR Sending letters for applications received the week of January 21,2021. Proof of Citizenship Check Client Application Status Tool. Processing time is 5 months.


Program. Application type IRCC Status Spousal, common-law, dep.child Inland Finalizing most applications received between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5, 2019. Spousal, common-law, dep.child Outland Finalizing most applications received between May 26 and June 1, 2019. Parents and Grandparents. Check online account. Adoptive child or other relative Check online account.


IRCC is currently finalizing most study permit applications received between December 13 and December 19, 2020. This includes applications for study permits, study permit extensions, and work permits for students. Complex applications may take longer to process.

Under the current travel restrictions, study permit holders can only come to Canada if they are going to a Designated Learning Institution with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan, or if they had their study permit approved before March 18, 2020.


If you are applying for an Electronic Travel Authorization you can check your status online.

If you applied for a Visitor Visa online, you can sign in to your account to check your application status. Click “check status and messages” under the “View my submitted applications or profiles” section. If you applied for the visa on paper, you can link your application to an online account where you can see the status of your application. You can also receive messages about your application from IRCC.

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