CBSA immigration security screening timeline statistics



Canadian Border Services Agency, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada


The last public statistics is from the governor general fall 2011 audit. This audit talks about an agreement between IRCC and CBSA from 2006 which indicates CBSA can take 9-18 months (part 2-51 to 2055). 2-55 talks about measures CBSA wanted to add to decrease this time. There is no statistics since then.

Can you please give us the average it takes CBSA in 2015-2017 to complete security screening based on their current backlog? The time is different for each applicant based on nationality, background, etc. But statistics can shows the average waiting time based on the backlog and all other variables.


Department Contacted

User comments

It takes years to get a clearance. Does this department think about the life in these families?

Really where is the human right in your department? How is it possible not to finish a security check of a normal person more that one year with this technology?
You are ruining our lives...

I agree with one of the comments already stated "Why is CSIS able to provide individuals with start date and end dates of their security screening checks (or whether security screening is still in-progress) and CBSA is unable to provide the same information? Applicants have the right to know the status of their security screening across all departments in the same way."
If CSIS, which is also a government agency, can provide feedback on immigration screening file, then CBSA should also be able to do so. Thanks

Please do something for spousal sponsorships
We all stuck in security check with no reason much more than the normal time

Plzz let us know the time frame for security screening so that we can plan our future. Applied 2 years back and just blessed with new born, waiting for my husband. Actually its not fair with genuine fair cases.kindly speed up ur security screening process.

My case has been processing for 33 months now and still waiting. Soon will be 3 years. We are just a normal couple, why torture us?

it takes more than 12 months now

Why is CSIS able to provide individuals with start date and end dates of their security screening checks (or whether security screening is still in-progress) and CBSA is unable to provide the same information? Applicants have the right to know the status of their security screening across all departments in the same way.

Bonjour, nous avons besoin ABSOLUMENT d'un délai pour le filtrage de sécurité. Vous devez améliorer votre service et nous tenir courant de ce qui se passe dans chaque étape. J'attends 10 mois après l'examen médical sans nouvel, mon plan est complètement bouleversé. Quand vous encaissez notre chèque, mandat postal etc, on constate votre efficacité et je vous en félicite alors que pourquoi on ne voit pas la rapidité quand vous travaillez?

The life of my family has been in limbo for a long time now. We are stressed out and desperately tired of this long and endless waiting process of "security screening", with absolutely no update or information about the status of our case. Canada is known for being racially and ethnically fair to all immigrants. Why we are treated like this, just because of our nationality??? why we are treated like criminals???

Dear officers in CBSA,
Please improve work efficiency and transparency. We need to plan our lives instead of waiting and waiting desperately without knowing when and where is the end of a tunnel.
Thank you.

CBSA need to improve security screening time. My PR application is stuck since March-2017, because of this security screening. Everything is on hold in life. I came to Canada almost 4 years ago, they must have conducted security check at that time, and cleared my file. What on earth, they want now?

how come the statistics from CBSA about the refugees intensive security screening timeline of 96 hours is not contradicted with the security and privacy. We are looking for the same statistics for other immigration categories. How come something that takes 96 hours for a refugee applicant will be timeless for a spouse of a Canadian for example or others living in Canada? Please let CBSA answer this question on its own behalf.

The minister of immigration Mr. Ahmed Hussen told us to contact CBSA in the town hall meeting on Sep 16th. So IRCC is not replying to us as they are waiting for the last piece of the process which needs to be completed by CBSA. We are looking exactly for the time frame from when CSIS completes the security screening (using all the security partners) and the time CBSA sends its final admissibility decision to IRCC. We understand security aspects are not open to public because of security reason itself but statistics like what the auditor general provided in 2011 is not a secret and does not thread the security. CBSA needs to be more open to public and explain their timelines.

The CBSA provides integrated border services that protects national security and public safety priorities all while maintaining integrity, respect and professionalism. As part of its vision to be recognized in service excellence, the CBSA supports open government and releases eligible data once certain concerns, such as security and privacy, have been negated as per the Government of Canada policies and procedures. At this time, there is no open data set on security screening wait times.

The time required to conduct security screening on an application varies based on multiple factors such as complexity, level of detail, availability of information and research required. In addition, the CBSA works closely with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and other security partners prior to making a recommendation on an application. Each file requires in-depth examination and therefore, depending on the factors outlined above, some cases may go beyond expected times for completion. This was recognized by the Auditor General in the last report which found that “CBSA had completed its analysis in less than 9 months in 67 percent of the cases and exceeded 18 months in 19 percent of the cases” * .

The CBSA understands the importance of getting up to date and accurate information pertaining to status updates and anticipated timeframes for immigration files. The CBSA thus recommends that applicants seeking information on their application should contact the responsible department, IRCC at the phone number 1-888-242-2100, or through their website.

Thank you.

The Open Government team on behalf of CBSA

Your reply to the established discussion is a mockery of the system and the forum. Honestly, it is extremely disrespectful to the applicants as well.

You have quoted the report that was posted in the actual post. The applicants are well aware of this report as they posted it! They are also aware of the contact number of IRCC.

This reply is so disrespectful to us, it looks like CBSA never read or cared about our opinions here.
Just gave us very standard answer with the same pre-Express Entry statistics we referred (which proves again that they didn't read our request).
None of our doubts are satisfied. This is not an answer.

Been waiting for my spouse's background checks to finish. It's been 6 months!!!

The security screening should be timed based. Makes me look like a man without goal for is life due to endless waiting. Pls. We need time line.

I understand that security is of prime concern for CBSA but still any sane person would agree that security screening should be completed within a "reasonable" time frame. The delays in security screening are affecting families, where family members, spouses and kids are being forced to live separate, young couples are unable to plan their family because of uncertainty, and many working professionals are uncertain about their jobs/careers/future. How ridiculous is it that even for people who have been living in Canada for last 4-5 years and who hold valid work/study permits, security screening seems to be taking more than 12-14 months; if such people were threat to Canadian society, why were they granted work/study permits and visas in the very first place? We certainly need to see some data to find how badly messed up this security screening thing is.

The security screening process seems endless and painful. Eight months passed since the eligibility approval without any further progress or even a message about the following steps. Hope to get the golden email soon.

CBSA, please do your duty efficiently! you should give us timelines and stick to it!

we need the timelines in CBSA for security screening, and we hope CBSA will stick to the timeline. it looks like CBSA never do anything for those applicants, CBSA please do your duty efficiently!

It's sad to read so many comments, and I know I am one of them. I just want to say that, we are spending our most precious time waiting for no reason. If the process could not be quickened, at lease let us know what is going on and how long should we wait for.

Security Screening is over 6 months already, but we do not know how long this will be taken. How hard gives us a time-frame and dead line? This is totally stuck my life decision and first baby pregnancy plan as my medical examination has expired.

CBSA is the most irresponsible organization I have ever seen. It took them nearly four months to give me the disclosure of my application status, which they had generated three months ago and totally out-dated. It has been more than six months for them to process my case and I have no idea how long I still need to wait. I am so disappointed at their low efficiency and rude attitude. They need regulation to re-organize their work.

Please shorten the processing time of security screening and improve the efficiency of CBSA.!!! Life is short. How many 6 or 8 months do people have to be wasted in something that they couldn't do anything but wait?

Please kindly upload an online system of the process&timeline of Security Screening.We really need to know how about the process&timeline of Security Screening when we are under Security Screening.

The endless security screening is ruining my life

It has been 17months since start of security screening. 17 months and still waiting. Contacted the MP who telling us they can not do anything about it. Who can do anything about it? Who is responsible for this? Who is destroying normal people’s life?

The security screening is putting my life in a limbo. I cannot plan my life. The endless and hopeless waiting is killing me.

Have been waiting for security screening for 16 months and still waiting. So My family application has been processing totally 29 months and still waiting.
They put our file on hold because of "background check". So I just spend 1 year and 4 months waiting for cic who saying they are waiting for security result.
The rest of words You can skip the rest if you do not like reading complain. Just a normal person complain:
They do not really care about us.

It's quite perplexing equally for all stakeholders ( CBSA, IRCC. applicants, audit parties,...) to have an undefinable process with not metrics whatsoever!

However my husband's file completed in csis unfortunatly stuck in (Cbsa) since 24 oct 2016.please help us .

Waiting for this process to be completed without a proper timeline makes it impossible to plan ahead for the new life in Canada and it will hurt our chances on achieving success in Canada.
Please provide applicants with a clear although approximate processing time

So I have been in living in Canada for more than 8 years on valid study and work permits that were periodically updated as required. I have gone from being a young boy to a fully grown adult in Canada. All my friends are in Canada and Canadians. I cheer for Canada in international sporting events and follow Canadian teams in the MLB, NHL, NBA. I work hard and pay my taxes, but now all of a sudden I have become a security risk as per CBSA which is why they have been processing my application for the last 9 months. Job well done CBSA *big round of applause*

Our spouse sponsorship application is under Security screening since over 12 months .. please expedite the process and make it clear. We have been waiting for more than 2 years.. we need to reunite please help us..

Secruity Screening should be completed in given timeline

Please provide proper timeline for security screening process... so that we can plan for out future outlook.
You need to improve CBSA!


Security Screening timeline is insane. I am stuck for more than 5 months under Security screening and for more than 10 months since EE - AOR.

CBSA should release the time-frame to affected applicants, so that they can make appropriate decisions regarding the future.

Its been 5 years a part from my son. He celebrate Christmas Bday and even on his special day( graduation day) I'm not with him. He doesn't want to talk to me. This processing time is so prustrated! Hopeless! A lot of sacrifices. Leaving for 5 years with out my son.

Please provide the applicants with proper timelines regarding security, people have been putting their lifes on hold for the immigration

Will be helpful for all of us to have a defined timeframe

A timeline needs to be set for the security screening taking ages

These said time lines should be specified. It can make a difference in someone's life.

It's been more than 7 months for my "express" entry application. Background checks conducted by CBSA/CSIS is delaying my application. There is absolutely no timeline whatsoever on when my application be finalized. At least have a timeline for background checks!!

Please advise on the average time to finalize security screening

We seek to make Security Screening processing time estimates public

I'm waiting for 10 months since AOR already, what's wrong with all this security screening?

We need information on timeframe needed for CBSA to complete security screening. CSIS is doing security screenings too, but they at least provide the information whether they're done or file is still in process. Why this info is kept as a secret by CBSA? CBSA's nontransparency is affecting people's lives. Providing info on timeframe won't menace the security screening, it will just give people the choice to make a decision of their future life

2017-10-03 14:01