• Calver & Associates

Immigration Document Timelines

Updated: May 18

how long does it take to get a biometric instruction letter?


We often receive questions about processing and request times for various parts of the immigration process. When submitting an immigration application, many people are concerned with how long the immigration process will take, when they will receive a request for additional documentation, and how long it will take to process the application.


Today, we review some common document request timelines and processing times. Before reading any further, please note:


  • Processing times vary based on a number of factors, which include:

  • The type of application submitted

  • If the application is complete

  • How many applications are currently in the system waiting to be processed

  • How easily IRCC can verify your information

  • Where you submit the application (i.e. which country)

  • And more!


Processing times change over time. The processing time estimates in this blog post may not be accurate in 2021 or 2022. You should always use the Government of Canada’s application processing time calculator to see the most accurate estimate.



How long will it take to receive a Biometrics instruction letter?


Temporary Residents: a month after submitting your application

Permanent Residents: close to the end of the estimated processing time


As of last year, Immigration Canada requires all Temporary Residency applicants to have their fingerprints taken before they come to Canada. Temporary resident applicants usually receive a biometrics request letter within a month of submitting an application. A month after you apply for your visa online (i.e. work permit, study permit, temporary resident visa) and you should receive the biometrics letter. You will then have 30 days to complete the biometrics.


Permanent Resident applicants often receive a biometrics letter closer to the end of the estimated application processing time. For example, Express Entry processing time is currently 12 months. Applicants for this system can expect to receive a biometrics instruction letter 5-6 months after they submit the application.


When will I receive my medical exam instruction letter?


Temporary Residents: halfway through the estimated processing time

Permanent Residents: close to the end of the estimated processing time


Temporary Residents typically receive a medical exam instruction letter halfway through the estimated processing time. For example, if you apply for a study permit and the estimated processing time is 8 weeks, you can expect to receive a medical exam instruction letter 4 weeks after submitting your application.


For Permanent Residency applications, medical exam instruction letters are typically sent near the end of application processing time. For example, a spousal sponsorship application is estimated to take 12 months to process. So, applicants can expect to receive their medical exam instruction letter around 8 months after submitting their application.


When will I receive confirmation of Permanent Residency (COPR)?


Confirmation of PR: 4 to 6 weeks


Many clients want to know how quickly they will receive Confirmation of Permanent Residency once they have submitted their passport, pictures, and other documents to the visa office. Most applicants can expect to receive their passport after 4 weeks. However, it’s important to note that some countries don’t have a visa office. As such, some countries will send the passport to a regional visa office to be stamped. In those cases, it may take a little longer (up to 6 weeks) to get your passport stamped and returned.


How long will my WES results take to be processed?


Varies by country and submission time: Typically 2 months.


The processing time for WES (World Education Services) results is very country-specific and it depends on how quickly the applicant submits documentation and how quickly their educational institution provides documentation. Some can take as little as three weeks, whereas others have taken 4 months. The most common reason for lengthy processing time is a delay in the provision of documentation from your educational institution to WES.


Language Test Results


Softcopy: 2 weeks

Hardcopy: 3 weeks


From the day you take the language test, it usually takes about three weeks for you to get the results. You’ll receive a softcopy of your results by email first, which will indicate how you did. You will then receive a hardcopy (which you will need to submit in your application for Permanent Residency) approximately 3 weeks from the date of the test.


How long will it take to get a request for a citizenship test or ceremony?


Fingerprinting: 3 months

Citizenship test: 4-7 months

Citizenship exam: 6-12 months


Once you apply for citizenship, you will get a request for fingerprinting approximately 3 months after you applied. The citizenship test usually occurs around month 4 to 7 and the ceremony can happen anywhere from month 6 to 12.


Our Services


Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.


We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.



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