Canadian immigration authorities have vowed to cut waiting times for families by processing 6,000 spousal applications per month from October to December.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino says the new commitment is designed to “find new ways to keep families together”.
A statement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said: “COVID-19 has created uncertainty for Canadians who are sponsoring spouses for permanent residence.”
In an announcement on September 24, it said it would speed up processing by:
- Increasing the number of spousal application decision-makers by two-thirds.
- Digitize paper applications so they can be processed by IRCC employees working remotely.
- Piloting new technology to conduct interviews with applicants remotely.
IRCC says that by processing 6,000 applications per month from October to December, “combined with processing to date, this rate will lead to about 49,000 decisions by the end of this year.”
“We will continue to search for innovative and compassionate ways to reunite families while following the advice of our public health experts to protect the health and safety of Canadians,” IRCC said.
Mendicino added: “We understand that the last few months have not been easy for those who are far from their loved ones in these difficult times.
“This is why we are accelerating the approval of spousal applications as much as possible. Our government will continue to find new ways to keep families together.”
Basic Requirements For Family Sponsorship
To be a sponsor:
- You must be 18 years of age or older.
- You and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits you to provide financial support for your relative, if necessary. This agreement also says the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support her or himself.
- You must provide financial support for a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner for three years from the date they become a permanent resident.
- You must provide financial support for a dependent child for 10 years, or until the child turns 25, whichever comes first.