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Harry

How long to get a Permanent Resident Visa

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Harry

How long does it actually take to get a Permanent Resident Visa

Naturally, this is one of the major questions in this whole process of changing countries to Canada. Folks ask this question before they start the whole process. However, even more folks ask this question once they have already applied, because the wait times can be absolutely soul-shatteringly long.

Recently one of our members pointed out that Citizenship & Immigration Canada, the government department in charge of this whole trauma, has been forced to post the data on how long it actually takes.

I worked through this data and realised they had grouped the information in a way that was possibly not making things quite as clear as they should have or could have ( <_< )

I have therefore taken the data from their site, ignored the misleading continental and regional grouping, and have sorted the data in Excel. I then truned it into a graphic that hopefully makes the whole challenge rather more clear.

The graphic shows, for each city listed, the time it takes to process the first 30% of applications, the first 50%, 70% and 80 %. I have made the first 30% very dark and have sorted the cities by that number. The reason is simple. I have very good reason to believe that there are intentional delays built in for different countries. By looking at how long it takes to do the first 30%, we can get an idea of this intentional delay.

CIC1B.jpg

If I were to apply again, I'd go via Mexico or Brazil, if I could get residence and a job there in a short time. Both those offices handle only their own countries. CIC requires you to file from your country of citizenship OR, if you are living elsewhere, you must have lived there for a year. Even if you add a year to any of those, you beat the best South Africa times handsomely.

You do NOT want to apply from Paris, or any of the cities below Pretoria on the list. I do not believe the slow Paris times are related to regular French folks. Thisbecomes obvious when you realise that Paris is responsible for visas not only to people from Andorra, Azores, Belgium, Canary Islands, France, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madeira, Monaco, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, but also from Tunisia, Algeria and Libya.

Rome handles Greece, Italy, Malta, San Marino, Vatican City and Albania.

Pretoria handles not only South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Botswana and Lesotho, but also Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Angola. See how low down it is on the list! Hmmm.

Nairobi beats Pretoria despite handling Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda

Accra handles Ascension, Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea (refugees), Liberia, Nigeria, Sao Tome e Principe, Sierra Leone, St. Helena, Togo, Tristan da Cunha!

Damascus is the office for Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria. Anyone surprised at where it is on the list?

Tel Aviv also handles the Palestinian Territories, though the folks may also use Cairo, where things take on average much longer.

Notice how London does not do particularly well?. It handles Bahrain, Channel Islands, Denmark, England, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Kuwait, Northern Ireland, Norway, Oman, Qatar], Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, Wales, Yemen

Manila handles Guam, Japan(!!), Johnston Atoll, Kosrae, Marinas, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Midway Island, Northern Mariana Island, Pacific Islands, Palau (Belau), Philippines, Ponape, Truk Island, Wake Island and Yap Island. I suspect the Phillipines and Japan make up 99% of the load there, with the Phillipines in the vast majority.

Contrast all this with Vienna, which handles not only Austria, but also Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Slovenia.

I think the patterns are obvious.

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Harry

Which place takes TYPICALLY shortest or longest.

To get an idea of this, we take the same data, and sort it in terms of how long it takes to do thefirst 50% of applications. The result is as follows ( Follow the green bar):

CIC2B.jpg

Pretoria remains a bit of a problem...always hovering around 28th to 30th from the top.

Notice how Colombo and Tel Aviv have now shifted down the pile?

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Harry

Just how bad can it actually get?

In the case of some places, some folks really struggle. It tends to take a long time to get going on their applications and there often seems to be a long line of "stragglers". One sees this when one sorts in terms of how long it takes the relevant High Commission to do 80% of the applications

CIC3B.jpg

Notice how Berlin has slipped in this case.

Stll, SA stays in that 28-30th position.

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Harry

How long does it take, once they get going on your application.

to get some indication of this, I subtracted the time it takes to get the first 30% done. We then count the time from there. I reckon that takes care to some extent of any secret wait times they built into the process.

Now Pretoria moves up very strongly.

CIC4B.jpg

In this picture, Berlin, Tel Aviv and Vienna are seriously bad news.

This picture also explains how it can be that some folks, like some of our church ministers, could have had such quick processing. It also explains the fast processing for folks that land a job from SA after having applied for PRV.

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Harry

My preferred list of places to work through, based on all of the above, in descending order of preference, would be:

2 Mexico City

2 Sao Paulo

5 Guatemala City

6 Sydney

6 Port-au-Prince

8 Port of Spain

11 Lima

14 Vienna

15 Kingston

15 Santiago

15 Taipei

16 Caracas

17 Buenos Aires

18 Buffalo

20 Kuala Lumpur

21 Havana

21 Cairo

21 Berlin

21 Rabat

22 Bogota

22 Kyiv

23 London

23 Nairobi

24 Singapore

24 Pretoria

25 Tel Aviv

25 Seoul

26 Rome

27 Paris

27 Beijing

28 Abidjan

28 Islamabad

28 Accra

30 Bucharest

31 New Delhi

32 Colombo

32 Manila

33 Warsaw

35 Ankara

35 Moscow

36 Damascus

37 Hong Kong

To get this ranking, I simply listed each table above, and, if (say) a certain city was 5th in graph1, 7th in graph 2, 12th in graph 3 and 4th in graph 4, then I added these ranking numbers to get 5+7+12+4=28, and then divided by 4 to get the "average position" of the city in the rankings. A high score is therefore bad. This is very unscientific, but gives an indication nonetheless. This way Mexico City was "on average in position" 2 and Hong Kong "on average in position" 37.

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Nico

Harry,

Excellent work!!! Thank you for the hard work.

Note of caution - the Immigration & refugee Protection Act regulates specifically the office where you have to file you application. Section 11 of the Immigration & Refugee Protection Regulations states that you have to file where you are residing for at least one year.

Nico

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Harry

Nico,

I only saw your post today (!?). Sorry 'bout that. As for the caution, see the second sentence after the first graphic in the first post above. :( I prefer the places at the top of the list, DESPITE that condition. They still beat Pretoria! Of course, I have no idea what it takes to get residency in Mexico...maybe that delay nullifies the idea.

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adesoji

Pls is it possible for some one in london (Native of Nigeria ) to apply through london

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Harry

adesoji,

Nico can confirm this, but I believe you ARE SUPPOSED TO apply from your country of residence, if you have lived there for MORE THAN ONE YEAR.

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nkrombein

Many thanks Harry - we are having much trouble trying to understand why things take so long just to send us for medicals.

When you say "process first 30%, 50% etc", does that refer to the first percentage of each application, or the first x percentage of each application before it is attended to.

regards

Nolan

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Moonstones

Wow good work Harry!

I think that is the question everyone asks - why does it take upwards of 2 years just to GET to your application, and then they process it within a month or so?

Is this because of a backlog? I mean imagine if the turnaround time was 6-12 months for the whole operation - I would be thrilled!

And if it is a backlog - are they ever going to get rid of it?

Thanks again for that insightful bit of info! ;)

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Ann

It must be due to a backlog. When I applied in 1993 my application was submitted towards the end of March and I received my PR visa early November (the same year).

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Nathan

Groete almal! Ek het lank laas op SaCanada gekom, maar ek hoop dat hierdie kort boodskap sal julle in goeie gesondheid vind en dat dalk iemand kan my 'n bietjie help! Nogtans, na die hart van my vraag...

My wife and I have submitted our application for the immigration for her and her daughter to the Mississauga Centre on 6 July 2006 and I received a letter dated 15 August 2006 stating that I was approved as a sponsorer. Not long after that I did a quick online follow up on our application using Immigration Canada's site and saw that the status of our application is now "In Process" in Pretoria. Would any of you happen to know what the estimated time of approval is once an application has reached that stage? I am a born Canadian and some people have told me that that has helped with my application being processed so quickly up unto this point. Once again, I truly hope that someone can help or shed a little light on what our time-line could possibly be from this point on.

Opreg,

Nathan :-)

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Jenny

I have recently gone through the Sponsorship within Canada route and the process took 10 months. I am in a common-law relationship and my partner, who is a PR, sponsored me. We submitted our papers to Vegreville in November 2005, and in mid-July 2006 we were notified that our application had been transferred to Victoria for consideration. Soon after, my partner was informed that he was accepted as a sponsor and that the next step was to assess my suitability. Late last week, I received a letter saying that I needed to present myself at the Victoria office. I went in on Tuesday, answered a few questions and was immediately presented with my PR papers. My passport was stamped by the official and I was welcomed in as a Permanent Resident.

So all in all, a pretty smooth process!!!

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Nathan

Thanks for the reply, Jenny :-) Glad to know that this whole process is almost at it's end :-)

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Jenny

Nathan - for a long time (ie 7-8 months) our application was shown to be in progress, then once it was transferred to the Victoria office, things happened very quickly. My partner was only approved as a sponsor about 5 weeks before I actually became a PR.

Are you and your family in SA? As I said, we submitted our application to Vegreville and it was assessed within Canada. At no point during the process, did my application go through the Pretoria office.

I have been in Canada for 3 years now - came in on a study visa and then converted it to a post-graduate work permit.

Anyway, I am glad it is over - it is a weight off one's shoulders. Good luck with your application.

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EvB

here is the link to get you to the detail dope regarding Canada Immigration Act and Regulations. Follow links click on Full doc for printing, print to PDF, save on hard disk - happy reading

Canada Statutes and regulations - Canada Justice Dept

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/BROWSETITLE?l...=I&subject=

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Jean C

Hooray! Just received our letter in the mail from Buffalo, "CONGRATULATIONS! The processing of your application for permanent residence in Canada is complete." Wow! The nicest sentence I have read in a long time!

We submitted our application exactly today a year ago. We plan to go to Buffalo next Thursday and hand in our passports, do some shopping, fetch our passports and re-enter Canada as LANDED immigrants. Hope this works. They say that, "every effort will be made to have your passports ready on the same day".

I could not have imagined the overwhelming, expolding emotion that one feels when receiving THE letter! I just want to phone, shout it out and dance! YIPEE!

Had to share this with SACanada as I know that most of you will understand.

Jean

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Cathy

Wonderful news.

The feeling of euphoria has to be experienced to be understood.

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell
Hooray! Just received our letter in the mail from Buffalo, "CONGRATULATIONS! The processing of your application for permanent residence in Canada is complete." Wow! The nicest sentence I have read in a long time!

We submitted our application exactly today a year ago. We plan to go to Buffalo next Thursday and hand in our passports, do some shopping, fetch our passports and re-enter Canada as LANDED immigrants. Hope this works. They say that, "every effort will be made to have your passports ready on the same day".

I could not have imagined the overwhelming, expolding emotion that one feels when receiving THE letter! I just want to phone, shout it out and dance! YIPEE!

Had to share this with SACanada as I know that most of you will understand.

Jean

Awesome news, Jean! ;)

So very glad for you and your family.

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Jean C

We landed yesterday at 4:30pm at the Peace Bridge, Buffalo. What a long day it had been!

We had decided to take our passports in person to the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo as my husband needed his passport for travel. It took 3 hours of waiting and then our passports were returned with the immigration visa in them. We also received a letter stating what documents were required when we re-entered Canada. Well, we did not have any of these with us (proof of funds, children's innoculations records) as nothing had been said in our letter that we had received.

After a bit of retail therapy we headed back to the border praying that all will go well. We have some friends who could not land with their first attempt as they did not have the correct amount in their bank account (never mind that they had been living in Canada for 3 years, had a home, jobs etc).

They asked us for our proof of funds and we said that we had been living in Canada for 2 years, owned a house, had jobs etc. Silence. What a few agonizing moments. Nothing more was said about our proof of funds and we signed the documents and with a "Congratulations" from the immigration officer we walked out the building as LANDED IMMIGRANTS! Yippee!

Jean

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Zonnenshine

I arrived in Canada on a visitors visa to visit my mom's sister and her family, as well as meet my then boyfriend (whom I had met on the internet 4 years prior to that). I had some trouble obtaining a visa (instead of 24 hours it took 4 agonizing weeks with them requiring flight details but insisting I am not to buy a flight and you can't temp book a flight for more than a couple of days)

I arrived in Victoria, British Columbia in June 2006. I got engaged to my sweet now husband in July 06 and married in October 2006 (my visa was only good for 3 months and we found out that if I returned to South Africa and we got married there I would not be granted re-entry into South Africa and the sponsorship process could take more than a year)

Anyhow, due to financial issues we only sent away the sponsorship papers in May 2007 (after getting my visa renewed twice). The medical cost us $250, the initial paperwork costs us more than $500 ... and then there was the wait. But exactly 6 months later (didn't hear from them once) ... we got a letter in the mail saying that the requirements for permenant residency had been met and my husband was allowed to sponsor me. Then came the bombshell, within less than a month they required us to pay $490 for 'rights and priviledges' that come with being a permanent resident, without the payment the whole process comes to a stop. Anyhow thankfully with help from both our parents we were able to pay up ... bah

And since November 2007 I am a permanent resident! wohoo! I applied for my sin number and finally am on BC health now (starting the 1st of Feb!) overall ... except for the expenses, a smooth process!

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

Congrats Zonnenshine - it is a good feeling, eh?! :ilikeit:

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Tammy

Can anyone tell me, will the Canadian Embassy make us wait nearly 36 months (our AOR 1 March 2005) and then deny our application, am feeling a bit paranoid here... is there anyway i can find out?

Thanks Tammy

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EvB
Can anyone tell me, will the Canadian Embassy make us wait nearly 36 months (our AOR 1 March 2005) and then deny our application, am feeling a bit paranoid here... is there anyway i can find out?

Thanks Tammy

If I understand you correctly, you are asking if CHC (Canada High Commission in Ptia, SA) can decline towards the end. I wish I can say no, but they can. Remember each step is a small process making up the whole process of 3y or so. I stand to be corrected, but CHC can really only decline if:

1) You do not obtain the required points

2) You are medically unfit

3) You have a criminal record/s

4) During any of the process stages, you or your accompanying family has become a security threat.

Even if you are approved, a security officer at your point of entry can stop you from entering Canada if any of the above items surfaces prior to you actually arriving in Canada.

Best to also consider a few other countries for immigration as well not have all your eggs in one basket, have options.

Regards

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