Ottawa, ON – The Government of Canada is making it faster and easier for Canadians and permanent residents to reunite with their spouses.
At the direction of the Minister, earlier this year Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) began a concerted effort to reduce processing times. From the start of 2016 to the fall, processing times were reduced by 15 percent for in-Canada applications and just over 10 percent for applications outside Canada.
Starting today, processing times will be reduced even further with most spousal applications now being processed in 12 months. Complex cases may require more time.
Applicants who already filed an application will not have to wait an additional 12 months to have them finalized. IRCC will continue to process applications in the order they have been received. Most families who have been waiting should have a decision on their sponsorship application no later than the end of December 2017.
These new changes are expected to benefit more than 64 000 applicants by the end of 2017, and are the latest measures to bring families together.
Family reunification is a key immigration commitment of the Government of Canada. The Parent and Grandparent Program brings together thousands of families each year. For 2017, the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced changes to how sponsorship applications will be submitted under the program.
In recent years, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada limited the number of parent and grandparent applications it would accept, in order to manage intake and interest in the program, and keep the number of applications from growing. Rather than the January rush to submit applications by courier or mail, those wanting to bring their parents or grandparents to Canada will now have 30 days to fill out an online form to indicate their interest. IRCC will then randomly choose 10,000 individuals from those who filled out the form, and those people will be invited to send in their complete application package.
The online form will be available starting January 3, 2017. Sponsors will have 30 days to submit the form.