Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is seeking to process and finalize 6,000 spousal sponsorship applications each month between October and December 2020.
This major announcement was well received by couples who have been protesting delays in spousal sponsorship applications. Now with this news, families can look forward to building their lives in Canada.
Currently, IRCC has increased the number of staffs that will review spousal sponsorship applications by Sixty-six (66) percent in order to reduce wait times and process applications faster.
In addition, Canada’s immigration department is going to make use of new technology in a pilot to digitize paper applications. This is to allow employees of IRCC to work remotely and at various workplaces to be able to process applications more quickly.
IRCC also said it will implement facilitative biometrics measure, but did not offer specifics.
In the coming months, it will also pilot technology to conduct interviews with applicants remotely.
These initiatives are aimed at speeding up, prioritizing, and finalizing about 6,000 spousal applications every month through to the end of 2020.
In all, this will result in 49,000 spousal applications receiving decisions by the end of this year.
IRCC noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty for Canadians and permanent residents seeking to sponsor their spouse. It will continue to explore more innovative and compassionate ways to bring families together.
Spousal sponsorship application processing has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in recent protests.
Immigration minister Marco Mendicino understands the challenges that delays in processing have caused for families, stating:
“We recognized that the last few months have been challenging for those who are far from their loved ones in these trying times. This is why we are speeding up the approval of spousal applications as fast as possible. Our government will continue to explore new ways to keep families together.“
Under its Immigration Levels Plan 2020-2022, Canada targeted approximately 70,000 partners, spouses, and children to be among the overall 341,000 new immigrants it planned to welcome in 2020. This plan and these targets were set before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.