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.
“We have listened to Canadians and are delivering results. Bringing families together makes for a stronger Canada. Canadians who marry someone from abroad shouldn’t have to wait for years to have them immigrate or be left with uncertainty in terms of their ability to stay. What we’re announcing today is a more efficient, more considerate process to reunite families.”
– The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
- The application kit for new sponsors has been redesigned to be simpler and easier to understand. It will be available on December 15, 2016.
- To bring families together, IRCC plans to admit 64 000 spouses and dependants in 2017, well above the average over the past decade of about 47 000.