Canada Is Processing More Spousal Immigration Applications

Canada is now processing more spousal immigration applications following a decline of immigration activities at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Canada was planning to welcome 70,000 new permanent immigrants under its Spouses, Partners, and dependent class. Under its new 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, this target will increase to about 80,000 annually moving forward.

Most of those welcomed under this category are the husbands, wives, and partners of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents who sponsor them.

Immigration processing and admissions have slowed down due to the COVID-19 however IRCC made a milestone announcement in late-Sept. that it would aim to process up to 6,000 spousal applications per month between September and December 2020.

IRCC spousal sponsorship processing has doubled

New data provided by IRCC indicates that the number of spousal sponsorship application that has been finalized by IRCC increased in September 2020 compared with July.


In September, IRCC processed just over 4,000 immigration applications, compared with just under 2,000 in July.

Both in-land and overseas applications have seen massive improvements.

The number of in-land applications processed rose to nearly 2,000 in September compared with about 1,200 in July.

Much of the growth came from overseas applications that were processed. This figure was well over 2,000 in September compared to about 800 in July.

Given IRCC’s announcement in late September about expediting the processing of spousal applications, we should expect even higher levels of finalized applications for the remainder of the year.

Eligibility requirements to sponsor your husband, wife, or partner

Canadian citizens and permanent residents are qualified to sponsor their spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner.

Sponsors must be at least eighteen (18) years old, must show they do not receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability and prove they can meet the basic financial needs of their partners.

Currently, Canadian citizens abroad need to show they plan to return to Canada to live with the person they are sponsoring.

Spouses must be legally married to you and at least eighteen (18) years old.

Common-law partners must be at least eighteen (18) years old and have lived with you for a minimum of twelve (12) consecutive months.

Conjugal partners must be eighteen (18) years old at least, have been in a relationship with you for a minimum of twelve (12) consecutive months, live outside of Canada, and are not able to live with you in their country or marry you due to some obstacles (e.g., same-sex marriage is prohibited in their country).

Three steps to submit a spousal application

IRCC asks you to lodge two applications at the same time: a permanent residence application, sponsorship application.

Step 1: Download the application from IRCC’s website.

Step 2: Pay the application fees on IRCC’s website (fees for processing, biometrics,  and right of permanent residence).

Step 3: Send your final application to IRCC through mail.