How long will it take to become a permanent resident of Canada in 2024?

Vimal Sivakumar
Published: March 5, 2024

Foreign nationals seeking permanent residence (PR) in Canada often look for the fastest pathway to achieving their goal and starting a new life in this country.

On a basic level, Canada has four primary immigration classes: economic immigration, family-class sponsorship, humanitarian/compassionate immigration and immigration for refugees/protected persons.

However, within those four general classifications, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides foreign nationals with more than 100 ways to immigrate to Canada.

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No matter which Canadian PR program an individual pursues, all foreign nationals will consider how quickly they can land and settle in Canada through their chosen pathway.

IRCC publishes its service standards for processing applications so that potential applicants can have a better idea of the time it will take.

What are service standards?

Service standards, which vary depending on the type of application submitted by the candidate, denote the amount of time (typically in weeks or months) that IRCC has deemed reasonable to make a final decision on an application.

Note: IRCC says that service standards apply only to applications with complete information and supporting documents and that the department aims to process 80% of applications across all lines of business within service standards.

The following will outline IRCC’s published service standards for the department’s different permanent resident pathways.

Economic-class immigration

*In cases where an asterisk is included next to the service standard, IRCC notes that the listed service standard only refers to the federal government and does not include the province or territory’s processing time.

Express Entry: Federal Skilled Worker Program

IRCC service standard (electronic applications): 180 days

Express Entry: Canadian Experience Class

IRCC service standard (electronic applications): 180 days

Express Entry: Federal Skilled Trades Program

IRCC service standard (electronic applications): 180 days*

Provincial Nominee Programs

IRCC service standard (paper applications): 11 months*

IRCC service standard (electronic applications made via Express Entry): 180 days*

Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program

IRCC service standard (paper applications): 11 months*

Family-class sponsorship

As noted by the department, this service standard applies to Family Class Priority applications including those made by/for overseas spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners and dependent children of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

IRCC service standard (electronic applications): 12 months

Permanent Resident Cards

Permanent Resident cards are used by IRCC to verify a foreign national’s PR status. This card, which includes a picture of the cardholder, is used as both an identification document and a travel document for Canadian permanent residents entering Canada.

IRCC service standard (for a PR’s initial permanent resident card): 60 days from when IRCC confirms that a PR form has been completed at a port of entry or at an IRCC inland office.

IRCC’s performance against service standards in 2022/2023

According to IRCC statistics, the department was more successful in some places than others with respect to how many applications were processed within the outlined service standard in 2022-2023. IRCC clarifies that the performance outlined below covers the fiscal year between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023.

Express Entry - Federal Skilled Worker Program: 80% of applications were processed within the service standard.

Express Entry - Canadian Experience Class: 85% of applications were processed within the service standard.

Express Entry - Federal Skilled Trades Program: IRCC received no applications through this program in 2022/2023.

Provincial Nominee Programs: 23% of paper applications were processed within the service standard while 70% of electronic applications were processed within the service standard.

Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program: 48% of applications were processed within the service standard.

Family-class sponsorship: 66% of applications were processed within the service standard.

Initial Permanent Resident Cards: 73% of applications were processed within the service standard.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

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