Spousal Sponsorship Immigration On Track To Rise In 2023

Canada Spousal Immigration Surged In 2023
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The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals spousal sponsorship arrivals slumped by 14.8 per cent in November from the immigration program’s strong performance the previous month.

In October, the number of new permanent residents to the country through spousal sponsorship had rebounded by 8.7 per cent and hit 5,155 after the September slump which saw only 4,710 spouses and common-law partners rejoin their loved ones in Canada that month.

But in November, the spousal sponsorship program again saw a dip in the number of new arrivals as only 4,390 spouses and common-law partners became new permanent residents of Canada during a month in which overall immigration to the country also fell.

November saw overall monthly immigration to the country softened by 12.4 per cent with only 29,430 new permanent residents that month.

Despite the slowdown in monthly spousal sponsorship arrivals to Canada in November, the country was still on track at that time to see a 17.6-per cent increase in spousal sponsorships for 2023 compared to the previous year with 75,458 new permanent residents under that program in 2023 compared to 64,145 in 2022.

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Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, saw the greatest number of arrivals under the spousal sponsorship program with 36,905 spouses making it their home in the first 11 months of this year.

The other provinces and territories attracted the following number of new permanent residents under the spousal sponsorship program during that period:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador – 180
  • Prince Edward Island – 120
  • Nova Scotia – 835
  • New Brunswick – 460
  • Quebec – 6,540
  • Manitoba – 1,925
  • Saskatchewan – 1,250
  • Alberta – 9,335
  • British Columbia – 11,475
  • Yukon – 80
  • Northwest Territories – 50
  • Nunavut – 15

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 their needs for everyday living, and;
  • dental care, eye care and other health needs 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.

EI Payments Considered Income For Sponsor Of Spouse

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.

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

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According to that website, the current processing time for sponsorship applications for spouses or common-law partners currently outside the country and planning to live outside of Quebec is now down to 12 months, a considerable improvement over the 20-month processing time in 2022.

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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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of immigration.ca featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.