IRCC Processing Service Standards

Here Are IRCC Service Standards For Processing Various Applications


IRCC is still struggling with backlog and now they have started providing monthly data on applications within “service standards” as well as applications in “backlog”. We all know what backlog is, but it is important to understand what are IRCC service standards for all the immigration categories.

Canada immigration has different standards of processing application category-wise. This is similar to any business’ service standards. Simple e.g., A pizza business has service standard of delivering pizza within 30 minutes of ordering. Although, they may not be able to achieve it for 100% of the customers, but it is their service standard which they strive to meet for most of the customers.

Similarly, IRCC has different service standards for processing different application types. If an application is not within that service standard, then it is called backlog. Any application still within the service standard is not considered as backlog since it is being processed within service standards.

In context to applications processing, IRCC target to process 80% of applications within service standards. However, IRCC was not able to do it because of pandemic. So, as a result number of backlog grew significantly. Below enlisted are IRCC service standards for major application types and IRCC performance in 2020-2021.

Category-Wise IRCC Service Standards

Applications for Citizenship, Family Sponsorship, & PR cards

Application TypeIRCC Service Standard (Target is to process 80% of the applications in this time)IRCC Performance In 2020-2021
(Percentage of applications processed within service standards)
Citizenship grant applications – Adults and minorsProcess within 12 months 10%
Right of citizenshipInvite applicants to citizenship ceremony within 4 months of approving their application 27%
Family Class Priority (Overseas – spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners and dependent children)Process within 12 months37%
Initial permanent resident cardIssue an initial permanent resident card within 60 days (from the time the confirmation of permanent residence form is completed at a port of entry or at an IRCC-inland office)57%
IRCC Service Standards


Economic Immigration

Application TypeIRCC Service Standard (Target is to process 80% of the applications in this time)IRCC Performance In 2020-2021
(Percentage of applications processed within service standards)
Express Entry Canadian Experience Class (CEC)Process within 180 days 38%
Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)Process within 180 days16%
Provincial Nominee Program (Paper Applications)Process within 11 months (doesn’t include the time it takes the province or territory to process)8%
Provincial Nominee Program (via Express Entry)Process within 180 days41%
Quebec-selected Skilled Workers ProgramProcess applications within 11 months (doesn’t include the time it takes the province to process)0%
Express Entry Federal Skilled Trades ProgramProcess within 180 days5%
IRCC Service Standards

Temporary residence applications

Application TypeIRCC Service Standard (Target is to process 80% of the applications in this time)IRCC Performance In 2020-2021
(Percentage of applications processed within service standards)
Work PermitProcess within 60 days 74%
Work Permit extensions inside CanadaProcess within 120 days87%
Work permit applications under International Experience CanadaProcess within 56 days or less (target is to process 100% of applications within service standards)24%
Issuance of opinion to employers on exemption from a Labour Market Impact Assessment or work permitissue opinions to employers within 14 days99%
Study permit (outside Canada)Process within 60 days59%
Study permit (new permit and extension) inside CanadaProcess within 120 days91%
Visitor visa and electronic travel authorization (eTA)Process within 14 days27%
Parents and grandparents Super VisaProcess within 112 days.41%
Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTA)Automated approvals within 5 minutes for most applicants100%
IRCC Service Standards

IRCC Client Support Centre

TypeIRCC Service Standard (Target is to process 80% of the applications in this time)IRCC Performance In 2020-2021
(Percentage of applications processed within service standards)
Email enquiriesWeb form inquiries (emails) to be acknowledged within 1 business day and responded to within 3 business days. 27%
Telephone enquiries50% of calls seeking an agent reach the wait line, and customers should wait no more than 30 minutes once in the queue.44%
IRCC Service Standards

Source: IRCC Service Standards

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