Applications Can Now Be Submitted Online For Canada Family Sponsorship Immigration

Applications Can Now Be Submitted Online For Canada Family Sponsorship Immigration
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Applications for Canada family sponsorship immigration can now be submitted online, one of the multiple classes of application that went digital last month.

It means applications for spousal sponsorship, parents and grandparents sponsorship and applications to sponsor children can all be submitted digitally. The change as introduced on September 23, 2022.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has hailed the move as a way to quicken the submission of applications and receive immediate confirmation applications have been received.

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Applications can still be submitted by paper or other means for those with special requirements.

Canada’s immigration department sped up its planned move towards online applications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After launching its citizenship application status tracker for clients in May last year, IRCC introduced another application status tracker, this one for permanent residence applications, in February this year. 

“By spring 2023, we will have expanded this application status tracker to include seven more permanent residence and temporary residence programs,” IRCC says on its website.  

Canada To Issue More Than 23,000 Immigration Invitations For Parents and Grandparents Program 

Canada is currently issuing invitations to apply to 23,100 potential sponsors for the Parents and Grandparents Program for 2022.

Invitations will go out by the end of this week, after which IRCC expects to receive 15,000 invitations.

The invitations will be sent to randomly selected candidates who submitted an interest to sponsor form in 2020. This will be the third batch of invitations sent to these candidates, after January and September 2021.

Families are being reunited in Canada through the PGP in such high numbers that it is almost certain to far exceed its target under the current Immigration Levels Plan.

Under the plan, Ottawa was hoping to bring in 25,000 parents and grandparents to the country under the PGP this year and then raise the target to 28,500 new permanent residents next year. 

But IRCC data for the first seven months of this year reveals Canada is likely going to welcome 29,091 new permanent residents under the PGP this year – or more than targeted for either this year or 2023.

Spousal Sponsorship Immigration To Canada At Record High Levels 

Numbers of Canada immigrants coming through the spousal sponsorship program at record high levels.

Early this year, it quickly became apparent these programs would be setting a new record for the number of new permanent residents they would bring to Canada.

Two months into 2022, the number of new permanent residents to Canada under spousal sponsorships had already hit 11,265. 

That put the country on track to welcome 67,590 new permanent residents under these programs this year, about 3,155 or almost 4.9 per cent, more than the 64,435 who came to Canada under them in 2021.

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Fast forward five months, to the end of July, and the rate of arrivals under spousal sponsorship programs has only grown.

In the first seven months of this year, Canada welcomed 41,140 new permanent residents under these programs, putting it now on track to see 70,526 new arrivals under these programs by the end of 2022. 

That number of new permanent residents under spousal sponsorship programs this year, if the current trend continues, would mean an extra 6,091 over the number that came last year, roughly 9.4 per cent more than in 2021.

Spousal Sponsorship Requirements

When a Canadian citizen or permanent resident chooses to sponsor a spouse or common-law partner to immigrate to Canada, the sponsor must sign an undertaking, promising to give financial support for the sponsored person’s basic needs, including:

  • food, clothing, shelter and other needs for everyday living, and;
  • dental care, eye care and other health need are not covered by public health services.

This agreement cannot be cancelled, even if:

  • the person sponsored becomes a Canadian citizen;
  • the couple divorces, separates or the relationship breaks down;
  • either the sponsor or the sponsored spouse or common-law partner moves to another province or country, or;
  • the sponsor experiences financial problems.

Maternity, parental and sickness benefits paid under the Employment Insurance Act in Canada are all considered income and contribute to allowing a person to sponsor a spouse or common-law partner but other payments from the government, such as employment insurance and federal training allowances, are not considered income.

Estimated Time To Process Sponsorship Applications Is Nudging Down

On its website, IRCC provides estimates of the current processing times for various types of applications, including spousal sponsorships.

According to that website, the current processing time for sponsorship applications for spouses or common-law partners currently outside the country is now 23 months, one month less than the estimated wait time in August.

That estimated processing time includes:

  • the time needed to provide biometrics;
  • the assessment of the sponsor and the person being sponsored, and;
  • the time immigration officials need to ensure the sponsor and his or her spouse or common-law partner meet the eligibility requirements.
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