Stop obsessing about visa timelines

I see so many posts on the online forums lately asking or complaining about the processing times for Canadian visas, whether it’s waiting for an LMIA, a work permit approval or PR via Express Entry.

If you really want to drive yourself crazy, then start obsessing about a timeline…

We need to all understand that the processing times stated on the CIC website are merely a guide and an average and that every case is completely different. There are so many factors that may affect the processing of an application, from the work load of the office reviewing your file to how easy it is to verify all the information you have presented. There are so many different things to consider, and you can’t compare, it will only stress you out in a big way. You’ll become paranoid, resentful and frustrated.

For Express Entry, it’s 80% of applications that are processed within six months, or so it’s stated on the CIC website. Then of course, there are the other 20%, which clearly take a lot longer. Processing times have definitely slowed in 2019, and it seems very rare for anyone to get their visa before six months these days. The average seems to be closer to eight to ten months at this point in time.

If you’re only a few weeks or even a few months into the wait and you’re stressing out, you need to dig a bit deeper, pull yourself together and realize that immigration takes time. It’s a process and everything will happen as and when it should. Don’t stress about what visa office is processing your file – it’s really not going to make a difference. Don’t compare your case to another – they are all different!

I say all this while we are entering the 14th month of waiting for our PR visa, so I know all about the wait, stress and frustration. I say all the above as much to convince myself as to convince my fellow applicants.

Patience and humility are something you will need to learn and embrace if you’re going to go through this process. And you’ll need to realize that this is only the first step and there is plenty of stress and change to come after the visa is approved. Then things will really get real.

Learn to embrace this season of limbo. Do the things you’ve been wanting to do and explore the places you’ve been meaning to explore. Spend time with your family and friends, appreciate what you have and enjoy the good that you have and see in your home country, rather than focusing on the bad.

Good luck to all those waiting. If you’re needing a bit of inspiration, have a read of my tips for staying sane while you wait for your visa.

[Update: After a wait of 16 months we finally received our visa approval in August 2019.]

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