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Canada’s visa backlog will soon be cleared

We are pleased to share some good news regarding Canada’s visa backlog situation, which we know has been a concern for our members' international recruitment partners and for students when choosing Canada as their study destination.

Based on information shared by officials at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), please note the following:

  1. Processing for study permits has returned to within IRCC’s service standard. Current posted processing time for a study permit, when applying from any country outside of Canada, is 9 weeks.
  2. The backlog for temporary resident visas (TRVs) is not yet fully resolved but is being cleared rapidly and it is anticipated that processing will return to within normal service standards early in 2023. A very significant number of TRVs have been processed in the last month and the last of the backlog should be cleared in January 2023.
  3. Posted processing times are misleading indicators of current processing times. Processing times posted on the IRCC website are based on calculations that are backward facing – in other words, what is being reported is how long it took to process an application submitted in the past, not how long it takes to process a current or future application. For example, the Government of Canada website still indicates lengthy delays in TRV processing (188 days for Brazil; 205 days for Colombia). However, these posted times are significantly longer than processing times for applications submitted currently as they are calculated based on historical data. There is no posting on current or expected future processing times. Based on information from a few sources, newly submitted TRV applications seem to be processed within acceptable or close to acceptable times. The LC team has informed IRCC of the negative impact of posting backward facing processing times on student recruitment efforts. IRCC officials assure us that posted processing times are being reduced day-by-day, and we see clear evidence of this already happening.
  4. We have also learned that the system for calculating visa processing times is being upgraded. We all look forward to a more useful system which reflects more accurate present and future processing times and other helpful functionalities.

We trust this comes as welcome news as students make study plans for 2023 and beyond.

Please direct any questions to Rachel Lindsey, Director of Public Affairs.