I just received an update today. Here's my timeline:
Mailed paper application to NS in late November
12/24/19: Received at IRCC/AOR issued
1/6/20: Requested biometrics fee
1/6/20: Biometrics fee paid via online tool
At some point in summer of ’20, processing status switched from In Process to Application Received.
Nov 22, 2020: in Application Received status, processing time listed as 22 months. (Expected answer by Oct 2021.)
Jan 14, 2022: Request for the following materials: “newly completed” Schedule A Background Declaration, another original FBI clearance certificate (both provided with the original application, but maybe covid-related delays expired the certificates? Just a guess), proof of self-employment since 12/2019 (when they received my application, so this is just to cover the gap and prove that I’ve remained self-employed all this time) and a request for a medical examination to be completed within 30 days.
I applied from the USA, under the Authors & Writers designation
Good luck to everyone! It takes a long time, but hang in there! Now we will scramble to get all the documents back and get our medical exams scheduled with an approved doctor as quickly as possible. The postal system in the USA is still pretty messed up, so we'll have to act quickly.