One of the most common questions in the Canadian immigration application process is, “How long will it take for my Permanent Resident Visa to be issued?” The answers provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) are widely variable and based on historic information.
It is difficult for CIC to provide future processing times due to the annual variations in the number of applications in every immigration category and at each of the many overseas Canadian Immigration Visa Offices.
What CIC does provide as more concrete indicators of application processing activity, is the annual targets for each Canadian Visa Office. Included in these targets are Economic and Non-Economic sub-targets. The Economic category comprises skilled workers, investor immigrants, entrepreneurs, and provincially-selected applicants. The Non-Economic category is made up of spouses and dependants, parents and grandparents, refugees and humanitarian cases. The annual assignment of targets for each Canadian Immigration Visa Office is among the most important annual decisions that CIC undertakes.
In 2007, CIC aims to welcome somewhere between 225,000 and 265,000 new Canadian Permanent Residents. Of those, 66% will be economic immigrants, and will 33% be non-economic immigrants.
Highlights from the CIC 2007 targets by region
Damascus will continue to be the leader in the number of Canadian Immigration Visas issued in the region with 10,190, up three per cent from last year. The most prominent increase in the region is at the Rabat visa office, where the number of visas issued in 2007 will be up by 46 per cent since last year to 4,315. Rabat will have the highest economic to non-economic ratio in the region at 3.71. Nairobi will be concentrating on non-economic immigrants, issuing visas to 2,300 refugees, the largest number of any Canadian visa office.
Though the strongest growers since 2006 will be Taipei and Kuala Lumpur (at 33% and 17% respectively), New Delhi remains the front-runner at 22,380 visas to be issued. Next in line are Hong Kong and Manila, Manila being the visa office in the region where most applicants will take advantage of provincially-sponsored and live-in caregiver programs. Seoul and Taipei will have very strong economic to non-economic ratios at 10.51 and 8.73 respectively.
The region with the highest economic to non-economic ratio (at 4.12); London, Berlin, Paris, and Bucharest will be the strongest concentrations of economic immigrants with 7 or 8 economic visas issued for every non-economic. Vienna will have the largest growth in the region at 27 per cent, mainly due to non-economic immigrants. Paris, second in the number of visas to be issued after London, will issue 9,000 visas under the economic sub-category of provincially-sponsored immigrants, mainly due to immigration to Quebec.
Far and away the leader in this region, Buffalo, U.S.A. will issue 36,075 Canadian Permanent Resident Visas this year, 8,000 of which will be under the economic sub-category of provincially-sponsored programs. The Buffalo visa office’s economic to non-economic ratio will be 9.09. The targets for Sao Paulo, Kingston, and Port of Spain will have the largest increases at 44%, 38%, and 26% respectively, Sao Paulo being the only one in which the majority will be for economic immigrants. Bogota will issue 1,550 refugee visas to Canada.
Though the CIC targets do not provide estimated waiting times for visa applications to be processed, the regional and global trends are useful indicators of what Canadian Visa Offices around the world are working with.