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


Ghaith - February 22, 2018

my father in law he is 60 years old, waiting from 3 years to join his family in Canada . he finished all requirement medical test and interview but still waiting , for how long ??????we don't know

Anonymous - February 14, 2018

Any response from the responsible organization (CBSA)? There are a lot of requests for publishing this data. What is the reason for not considering the requests?

JJ - February 06, 2018

No time frame for security check according to the IRCC Agent. Being a good Citizen it hurts our feelings, but for the love of Canada we do respect the process. Waiting from November 2016!

open-ouvert - February 07, 2018

I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

This comment system leads to the team responsible for transparency and accountability work in the public service. We host datasets and records about many things, including historic statistics on immigration and visa applications, but we do not deal with these services directly.

I suggest you have a look at the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada website to have more information on security check:…

I hope this helps.

Open Government team

M.ALI - January 31, 2018

This wait is a sign of true love (with Canada) and patience. Anyone can say i love you, but not everyone can wait and proves its true. I am also waiting since Feb: 2017 and the wait is often rewarded sweetly.

Anon - January 24, 2018

Security checks underway since June 2017. it's now almost end of January 2018! Have some heart, help us!!!

Saber - January 07, 2018

Dear CBSA management,
If you plan to take more immigrants, you simply should have hired more staff to do the security screening. Besides, why should my file go for security screening? Is it because I am Iranian and have a chemical engineering degree? I like this country, but this kind of discrimination and waiting time is so unaccepatble

ElbowGrease - January 04, 2018

I was security screened lickety-split. Kudos to the CBSA and their exceptionally efficient staff!

Khaleel Rahman kamashi Omar THASUL - December 29, 2017

Iam a Refugee claimant,who made my claim on Nov 2016, at Pearson international airport, I was given hearing date on Jan. 11.2017",but unfortunately my hearing was cancelled because of security clearance, And again my hearing was rescheduled to November 09.2017,a day before to my hearing my lawyer called me said my hearing is cancelled again because of no security clearance from CBSA, I don't know why it's taking so long in my case, my family In india are unsecured, Can anyone very kindly help me in this regard.

Joe Elyahchouchi - December 27, 2017

Yes please release data on security screening timelines. It's not fair nor ethical for immigration to expect me to be always ready to immigrate before my medical expires when they on the other hand can take several years to finish my application claiming "security screening is out of their control".

Jerome - December 20, 2017

French citizen married to a Canadian lady for 20 years, with two dual citizen kids perfectly bilingual / bi-cultural. MBA graduate from top US university with now more than 20 years of work experience in high profile organizations in Europe and US. Frequent business traveler to Canada for the last 10 years as Director of a subsidiary based in Ontario. That is my background, at least I thought so. But the family project consisting in moving to Toronto in summer 2016, where my wife grew up and studied years ago, has become very stressful due to uncertainty of timing of my PR (spouse sponsorship) in relation to "background check" conducted for more than 1 year now. In the meantime, work permit applications will not go through, which came as a surprise to me (and to my immigration lawyer !). Disctinction between OUTLAND and INLAND applications... In short, everybody understands the need for "screening" applicants for national security purposes, but this cannot be such a lengthy process. "Normal" life of families are at stake. Even MPs and lawyers admit they cannot do much to get visibility on processing of applications when it comes to background checks. Something shall be fixed with a human touch. Thank you for your consideration and for putting a "public space" available to raise the issue.

LL - December 14, 2017

I am very disappointed that the security screening takes soooo long and I have no idea when it will be complete.

Pedram - December 13, 2017

I feel that I am offended. I am a scientist working in a Canadian university for several years now. I love this country and have been contributed to the its society as much as I could, and yet I am treated like a criminal!!! this SS is totally discriminatory and unjust.

Bahar - December 11, 2017

So disappointing. After 23 month my status is stocked with the background check. This process ruined my life and I wish, I've never entered in this tortuous way.

Anonymous - December 11, 2017

The only thing I can say is, none of these officers and politicians who are talking about human rights would handle being far from their spouse for 12 months! In Canada, people get divorce approval from court only after one year being separated! And now they ask couples to be a part for 12 months to reunited and they even don't have any observation to keep that 12 months timeline promise!

Provicial Nominee - December 07, 2017

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

Anonymous - December 03, 2017

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...

Anonymous - November 30, 2017

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

Lovebird - November 29, 2017

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

Maira - November 27, 2017

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.

Spouse Case - November 20, 2017

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?

Anonymous - November 16, 2017

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.

Anonymous - November 15, 2017

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?

Hamed - November 10, 2017

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???

NA - November 09, 2017

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.

BA - November 09, 2017

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?

a ss effectee - November 08, 2017

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.…

a ss effectee - November 03, 2017

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.

open-ouvert - November 03, 2017

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

AlexUSA - November 15, 2017

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.

Anonymous - November 03, 2017

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.

Jesimiel - October 31, 2017

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.

Anonymous - October 31, 2017

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.

Xibin Li - October 25, 2017

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.

Anonymous - October 25, 2017

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!

Anne - October 25, 2017

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.

Anonymous - October 25, 2017

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.

Anonymous - October 25, 2017

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.

miu - October 25, 2017

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?

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