Canadian Skilled Worker Application Processing times cut: But not all good news

Skilled Worker Application Processing times lowered

The processing time of skilled worker visa applications has been almost cut in half according to a new report by a British Columbia immigration lawyer Richard Kurland.

In 2005, it took approximately 50 months to process a Skilled Worker application whereas in 2009 is took only 26 months on average.

In 2008, the Government of Canada began fast-tracking skilled worker visa applications for a series of select occupations, including chefs and nurses, which are placed ahead of workers who don’t have those skills. Today, the approvals usually come within seven months. However, a larger issue lies under the surface of these speedy visa approvals.

The skilled worker’s family members are still waiting years to be reunited with their relatives in Canada. “We continue to process applications from family members, particularly from spouses and dependent children, but attracting immigrants who are most likely to help grow our economy remains our focus,” a spokesperson for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenny said to the Montreal Gazette in an e-mail.

According to Toronto-area MP Olivia Chow some immigrants wait up to five years to have their parents allowed into Canada and just last week a neurosurgeon in Toronto headed for the US because he had been waiting three years to have his wife accepted into Canada. Last year, 14,917 visas were given to fast-tracked foreign workers and their families.

Have a question about Canadian Skilled Worker Applications? Contact Niren and Associates immigration law firm.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

  • christine


    Do you have any idea what the processing time is now for applications already submitted for the Federal Skilled Worker Prog, given the freeze?

    • Michael Niren

      Hello Christine

      Thank you for your question. Processing times vary from visa post to visa post and it also depends on when you submitted the application. Generally FSW cases can take from 6 months to a few years. A large range!


  • Parminder SINGH

    I applied on June 1, 2010 for PR in Canada under the Federal Skilled Workers category. I got my first file number in October 2010 and my second file no in January 2011. AFter that, I have not heard anything. How can I know the current status of my application? What is the current processing time?

    • Dear Parminder,

      Current processing times for Federal Skilled Worker applications ranges from 15 to 27 months depending on where you have submitted your application. If you still have not heard from Immigration, I suggest that you contact an experienced immigration lawyer to follow up with the immigration office regarding the current status of your application as soon as possible.

      Thank you.

  • naresh


    I am applying for Permanent Residence in Canada. What forms do I need to fill out to apply (under the Skilled Worker category)?


    • Dear Naresh,

      There are the forms to be used by all applicants: IMM0008, Schedule 1, Schedule 3, IMM 5406, IMM 5620, IMM 5612, and IMM 5476. Please confirm any additional forms/materials required by the visa office responsible for your area. You also have to submit supporting documentation.

      Hope this helps.

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