On September 24th, 2020, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino announced an action to speed up spousal application processing.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has increased the number of decision makers on spousal applications by 66%, which will help process applications more quickly. Further, IRCC has implemented new technology to speed up the application reviewal process, including a pilot for digitizing paper applications, remote interviews, and facilitative biometrics measures.
This action is largely aimed at alleviating the challenges that exist for Canadian couples as a result of COVID-19. Global border closures and travel prohibitions have limited the ability for spouses and partners to reunite. Canadians have raised concerns and protested lengthy family sponsorship processing times. While Canada is extending immigration application deadlines as a result of COVID-19, speeding up spousal application processing is a welcome change to those Canadians looking for faster relief.
It is expected that this action will lead to about 49,000 decisions by the end of the year as IRCC employees process applications more rapidly. Spousal sponsorship remains one of the ways in which individuals can obtain permanent residence in Canada. If you wish to discuss your options for permanent residence in Canada, please contact our office.