Reuniting more spouses and partners

Date: December 8, 2016 Author: ocsco Categories: OCSCO News

Reuniting more spouses and partners - Canada News Centre

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been looking to find solutions to improve service to clients and reduce the uncertainty for Canadian citizens and permanent residents and for their spouses and partners who are being sponsored for permanent residence.

High demand led to longer processing times

Each year, the Government sets how many permanent residents Canada intends to admit through its various immigration categories for the following year. This is done through the immigration levels plan, tabled annually in Parliament.

Over time, more people have applied to sponsor their spouse or partner than there has been room in this category of the immigration levels plan. This resulted in a backlog of applications. In 2015 alone, nearly 70 000 applicants applied through spousal sponsorship but there was only space for 48 000 people to be admitted to Canada that year. This led to a longer wait for applicants and processing times increased.

Spousal applications can be made from outside Canada, as members of the family class, or within Canada, as members of the spouse or common-law partner in-Canada class. At the start of 2016, processing times were an average of 26 months for in-Canada applications, and 18 months for applications made outside Canada. The Government of Canada is committed to bringing down these processing times. 

Press release can be found here: