FAQs about IRCC application in progress during COVID-19


Q. How long does IRCC take to process an application?

If you submit your application online, it should be processed within 99 days. If, however, you submit a paper-based application, you can expect a longer processing time of around 117 days.


Q. Will it take longer to process my application because I have to give biometrics?

It depends on the type of application.

For visitor visa, study or work permit applicants:

  • The time it takes you to give your biometrics isn’t included in the application processing time.

  • The sooner you provide your biometrics, the sooner IRCC can start processing your application.

    • Pay the biometrics fee when you submit your application to get the instruction letter as soon as possible. This letter is what allows you to go give your biometrics at an official collection point.

  • After they send you a request, you have up to 30 days to submit your biometrics.

For most permanent resident applicants:

  • The time it takes you to give your biometrics is included in the application processing time.

For all applications, give IRCC your biometrics as quickly as possible. You can only give your biometrics after you pay the biometrics fee and IRCC sends you the letter that tells you how and where to give your biometrics.

If there is no biometric service available where you live, you may need extra time to travel to a service location. Find the location closest to you.

Q. Why do some application processing times change and others do not?

The number of applications IRCC receives for each program can affect processing times.

Some programs get a similar number of applications each month. Their processing times don’t change often.

Other programs get a different number of applications throughout the year. For some of these programs, you can only apply during certain times of the year. This can cause processing times to change often.

Some posted processing times are a service commitment. Since the commitment applies, these times will not change.


Q. Why are there differences in processing times among regions and offices?

Visa offices face different challenges operating in different countries and regions, and even in different offices within the same region.

IRCC may move applications between their offices to make sure they are processed as efficiently as possible. Your application may not be processed at the office closest to where you live or where you submitted your application.

Processing times may vary based on:

  • the type of application submitted

  • if the application is complete

  • how quickly IRCC processes applications they’ve already received

  • how easily IRCC can verify your information

  • how long do you take to respond to any request or concerns

  • other factors


Q. Supporting documents for an application in progress

IRCC no longer automatically gives more time to send documents.

  • They’ll contact you to request the supporting documents.

    • This will happen in the next few months.

    • You’ll have 30 days from the date IRCC contacts you to submit the information.

  • Start collecting your documents.

    • Do this before IRCC contacts you. It can take time to get some documents.

    • Check the last email they sent you to confirm what you need.

  • Don’t travel to another city or country to get the supporting documents.

  • If you have a reasonable explanation that shows you’re affected by COVID-19, they’ll consider extending your deadline.

Find out what to do if you still have documents to provide for your application.


Q. Where can I find out the status of my citizenship application and the processing time?

To check the status of your application, you can:

Find out more about improvements to processing times and reducing the backlog.


Progress bar removal

Starting March 26, 2021, until further notice IRCC is removing the progress bar in all Express Entry applicants’ online accounts.

FAQs about IRCC application in progress during COVID-19