Thousands Of Canadians Reuniting With Their Foreign Spouses In Canada

Thousands of Canadians are reuniting with their foreign spouses in Canada after being separated due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Toronto Star.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a delay in the processing of applications for immigration to Canada. In September, however, the Canadian government announced that it would accelerate the processing of spousal sponsorship applications.

Hence, Canada’s immigration department, also known as IRCC, increased staff responsible for spousal sponsorships by sixty-six (66) percent, looking to processing and finalizing about 6,000 applications every month between October and December 2020.

Canada made serious progress in making that happen. As a matter of fact, a total of 15,999 files were processed throughout that period – 14,816 applications were approved, 837 refused and 346 withdrawn. The majority of the applications were from individuals outside Canada.

Despite these laudable efforts, processing times still need to be improved. Before the pandemic, average processing times were around twelve (12) months. However, processing times of Seventeen (17) months for overseas applications and fifteen (15) months for domestic applications are currently being reported.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) seek to address this issue by carrying out new technologies through such initiatives as a newly implemented pilot project to digitize paper-based applications.

That project’s aim is to enable staff working remotely to process applications quickly. IRCC also started holding interviews with applicants remotely. These initiatives are aimed at prioritizing, accelerating, and finalizing more applications – something Canada is on the verge of achieving.

How Canadian Citizens Can Sponsor their foreign spouses to come to Canada

The first step you need to take is to find out if you qualify to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner to join you in Canada. You must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or First Nation to be eligible. You must also be at least eighteen (18) years old, and prove that you do not receive social support for any reason other than a disability.

In addition, you must be able to show that you are financially buoyant to meet your partner’s basic needs. If you are abroad, you must also prove that you plan to return to Canada to live with the spouse you wish to sponsor.

Your spouse must be legally married to you and be at least eighteen (18) years of age. 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 at least twelve (12) consecutive months, live outside of Canada, and are not able to live with you in their country or marry you due to significant obstacles. For example, if same-sex marriage is forbidden in your home country.

When you see that you are eligible, you will be required to lodge two different applications: a sponsorship application, and a Canadian permanent residence application.

To get started, you can download the application package from IRCC’s website. The second step will be to pay the necessary administrative fees and forward your final application to IRCC by email.