Faster options for spouses and dependants
ndividuals sponsored by their spouses or family members to come to Canada as permanent residents will receive much faster service for processing a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to travel to Canada. This comes after recent changes announced by the Government of Canada. Newly implemented measures benefit those sponsored by their Canadian resident or Canadian citizen spouses and by family members, if they were outside Canada at the time their application was submitted. If your application is already in the system, here is what you may want to do now to reunite with your family member:
- Apply for a temporary resident visa (TRV) to travel to Canada to be with the spouse while a permanent resident application is processed;
- Apply for an open work permit (OWP), once in Canada, and integrate into the workforce while an application for permanent residence is processed.
Faster service standard
TRV applications of spouses will be processed within 30 days. To expedite the processing of work permits of spouses and dependents who are already in Canada, the the promise is for processing to be completed within 60 days of submission. Processing of both applications (consecutively) is expected to take approximately three months to complete.
Once an (outside Canada) spousal or family class application has been submitted, a TRV application can immediately be submitted. When the principal applicant has received a visitor visa, and has arrived in Canada, an open work permit can then be submitted. IRCC’s service standard for finalizing spousal application processing is 12 months.
What has changed?
Previously, individuals living outside Canada at the time of their sponsorship by their spouses and family members remained in their country of residence until they were granted permanent residence. Even though sponsored individuals were eligible to apply for a TRV while they waited for their final decision, the approval rate for such applications was very low. Also, applying for an OWP was only available to sponsored spouses if they were already living in Canada and even then, it was not possible until the first stage in the processing of their application was finalized and the approval in principle letter was issued.
Why the change was made
The newly implemented measures strengthen existing measures to reunite family members faster. The measures also address labour shortages in Canada by broadening the eligibility factor for OWP applicants. Those eligible for a TRV and an OWP under the spousal pathway, include dependents of the principal applicant. When an application for permanent residence has been submitted under the family class reunification program, either an open work permit application may be submitted by the sponsored party and eligible dependents from within Canada, or a TRV may be submitted by the sponsored party and dependents that are outside Canada.
New processing tools
The increased efficiency level and increased approval rate for spousal TRV applications stems from the implementation and use of new and dedicated processing tools by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for such applications. The streamlining and processing of information submitted by applicants in their applications means that the processing time of TRVs now averages 30 days, with an approval rate of around 93 percent.
Who can be sponsored
If you are a citizen of Canada with a child who was born outside Canada, your child may already be a citizen, and therefore cannot be sponsored. Contact us for help to determine the status of your child, and to determine whether or not sponsorship is necessary.
Spouses: A permanent resident or citizen of Canada can sponsor his or her spouse, common law partner or conjugal partner to come to Canada as a permanent resident.
Dependants: Children who are under the age of 22 and are either unmarried or not in a common-law relationship and whose parents are either permanent residents or citizens can be sponsored. If a dependent child is over 22 years old, there must be evidence that the child is dependent on the parents for financial support because of a mental or physical disability. It must also be established that the financial support started before the age of 22 and is ongoing.