Waiting for word from Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding my application for Canadian Permanent Residency is a nerve shredding affair – the which is clearly also the case for the many who contribute to the fora of the various InterWebNet sites (several of which are linked in my blogroll) that are so very helpful to the putative immigrant. The situation is certainly not helped by the (perhaps understandable) total lack of information relayed to the eager applicant as things progress (or not!).
Way back at the very start of my first attempt at the residency process in 2012 I explained in this helpful post the various classes under which one can apply. I had but a single choice – to be sponsored under the family class with my spouse – the wholly admirable Kickass Canada Girl – as my sponsor.
Of course – it is actually more complex than that. Spousal sponsorship applications can be made under two further categories – Inland and Outland. Logic suggests that Inland applications are for those couples already living in Canada, whereas Outland applications are for those where the applicant is not yet resident. Inland applications can take longer to process – being considered less urgent since the couple are already together. As it happens many couples are actually eligible to apply under either category, and may thus choose the supposedly ‘quicker’ option. In practice – of course – it still doesn’t feel that quick!
Regardless of the type of application being made the paperwork is sent in the first instance to CIC in Mississauga, Ontario. CIC processes the sponsor’s application and – once sponsor approval has been granted – the norm for Outland applications (such as mine) is for the applicant’s paperwork to be sent back to his or her nearest visa office to be processed in full. That this does not always happen is dependant on the workloads on the various visa offices. Sometimes the whole application is processed in Canada, which is invariably the fastest option.
Sadly my paperwork was returned to London.
The timeline for my application – thus far – has been as follows:
- Medical certificate obtained – 30th April 2014
- Applications fees paid online – 31st May 2014
- Application sent to Mississauga – 3rd June 2014
- Application received by CIC – 6th June 2014
- Sponsor approval – 31st July 2014
- e-Client Application Status (EAS) online tool shows application and medical results received – 1st-Aug-2014
- Request from London Visa Office for RPRF fee – 27th November 2014
- RPRF fee paid online and receipt forwarded to London office – 27th November 2014
The CIC website has a guide to current processing times which covers the first part of the operation. For the second phase the applicant is referred to the local visa office website. Until very recently the London site has consistently shown a total processing time of 11 months, which figure is based on actual processing times over the previous 12 months.
About a week ago – to my absolute horror – the stated processing time shot up to 29 months!!!
The InterWebNet fora were – quite naturally – agog with anxious applicants seeking some sort of explanation for this abrupt escalation. The older hands at this mularkey offered the following:
Midway through 2014 the London office took over processing applications from that in Islamabad – where total processing times had reached 36 months, so swamped were they. The best guess is that the new 29 month figure is simply the result of combining those two sets of statistics, and the consensus seems to be that the times for UK applications are unlikely to change significantly from the previously quoted figure.
This remains, of course, to be seen – but I have to say that such shocks are not good for the constitution of us (near) pensioners!