What will come as a huge relief to 1000s of separated couples who have been anxiously waiting for an outcome of their spousal applications, Canada’s Immigration Minister has today announced speedy spousal application processing.
Typically when applying for a spousal sponsorship application the sponsoring permanent resident has to submit this application from inside Canada and reside in Canada for the duration of the application. If the spouse/partner is not in Canada, then this becomes a process of very long and anxious wait/separation, as the spousal sponsorship application process is painstakingly long, with no real-time update available as to the status of what’s happening with it.
The fact the ICCRC does not have a high approval rate for the sponsored spouse’s visit visa application on grounds of strong ties to Canada makes this process even more difficult.
It is a paper application and Canadian Immigration is notorious for returning the application back for the smallest of errors and misses. So one can imagine the tenterhooks that the couple is on when submitting this application only dreaming to unite at the end of this process and start their life in Canada.
Acknowledging how slow the process is and finally addressing the calls of various petitions and protest gatherings, Canada has finally announced that they will increase the number of decision-makers involved in this application process by 66%.
They will also introduce new technology in a pilot to digitize the application process so that the process can be streamlined even for staff who are working remotely. They also plan to facilitate remote interviews using the available technology, thereby being able to finalize the applications faster.
With these initiatives, ICCRC aims to accelerate, prioritize and finalize approximately 6,000 spousal applications each month from October until December 2020. Combined with processing to date, this rate will lead to about 49,000 decisions by the end of this year.
“COVID-19 has created uncertainty for Canadians who are sponsoring spouses for permanent residence. We will continue to search for innovative and compassionate ways to reunite families while following the advice of our public health experts to protect the health and safety of Canadians.” – says ICCRC notification update.
“We understand that the last few months have not been easy for those who are far from their loved ones in these difficult times. This is why we are accelerating the approval of spousal applications as much as possible. Our government will continue to find new ways to keep families together.”
– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship