News report | | 01/06/2022 | ±3 minutes reading time

The IRCC is still struggling with a large amount of visa application by refugees and students. This results in an average wait time of 13 weeks. Read about the consequences for applying for your Canada visa or eTA in this article.

Immigration problems Canada

If you want to travel abroad for your holidays, work, or to live and study, there is often a lot that need to be arranged. That can be stressful. Now that many countries are opening their borders again, offering everyone the opportunity to travel abroad, a lot of immigration services are struggling with a high workload. This possibly results in long processing times for visas. Unfortunately, this is also the case for people who want to travel to Canada. The enormous backlog is, among other things, caused by the IRCC not yet reinstating the needed workforces that were no longer necessary during the pandemic with its travel restrictions. The small number of employees is unable to process the enormous amount of visa applications at the moment. The Canadian government has already funded a lot of money to solve this problem, but the new influx of refugees from Ukraine has only made the backlog worse. Now the immigration service has to deal with about 2 million applications for a Canada visa.

skyline TorontoWant to see this in real life? Apply for an eTA Canada.

Students in trouble due to visa application backlog

The IRCC says that the average processing time for a visa is now 13 weeks, but in reality the waiting times are much longer, especially for students. Some students who want to study in Canada from abroad have been waiting almost a year for approval, which means they cannot continue their studies and may lose a lot of money that they have invested in their studies in Canada. This delay is expected to continue until 2023. On top of this, after two years of studying online, students miss out on even more opportunities to gain new experiences and adventures, as they are forced to study from home or pause their studies altogether. The fact that Canadian universities have switched back to teaching on campus does not help the situation either. However, some universities have indicated that they will reimburse (part of) the tuition fees of the affected students.

Canada visa application delayed, what now?

Fortunately, a visa is not necessary for your holiday or business trip. That is why Canada has the eTA (electronic Travel Authorisation). An eTA is different from a (temporary) residence permit to work or study and therefore the average processing time of an application is generally much shorter. You do not need to visit an embassy or consulate to apply for an eTA and it is also much cheaper. However, there are certain requirements attached. For example, you cannot be employed by a Canadian company and you are not allowed to study. The eTA is valid for five years and allows you to stay in Canada for up to six consecutive months. That is a good time to travel around Canada. The application for an eTA Canada can be done online within minutes. The average waiting time for the eTA can vary between 18 minutes and in extreme cases several days or weeks. Therefore, be extra prepared and start your visa application well in advance to avoid that you do not have your visa before you leave.