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Is the 1 Year Goal for Processing of Spousal Sponsorship Applications Being Met?

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Family Class and Spousal Sponsorship

Is the 1 Year Goal for Processing of Spousal Sponsorship Applications Being Met?

Spousal sponsorship applications, like other immigration applications, have been hurt by the backlog caused by the pandemic, and the processing of spousal sponsorship applications is experiencing longer wait times. Many families have been separated due to the pandemic and are anxious to reunite, and Canada places a high priority on family reunification immigration. Canadian permanent residents or citizens with a foreign spouse or partner who wants to live and work in Canada may be able to help them become a permanent residents in Canada.

In September 2020, IRCC committed to faster processing of spousal sponsorships, and to accelerate, prioritize and finalize approximately 6,000 spousal applications per month from October through December 2020 to deal with the backlog - but the backlog has only worsened in 2021. On January 31, 2022, Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced measures to improve the client experience and modernize the immigration system, including spousal sponsorship. Canada's current goal is to process 80% of new spousal sponsorship applications within a one-year timeline. This means that IRCC's service standard is that 80% of spousal sponsorship applications submitted in 2022 will be processed by the end of the same calendar month in 2023.

Spousal Sponsorship Processing Times

On February 15, 2022, Minister Fraser said that average wait times for processing of spousal sponsorship applicants have returned to the service standard of 12 months for new applications. However, current IRCC wait times show that spousal sponsorship processing times are:

spousal sponsorship processing times
  • 15 months for a spouse or common-law partner living inside Canada
  • 23 months for a spouse or common-law partner living outside Canada

How You Can Facilitate Faster Processing of Spousal Sponsorship Application

IRCC staffing shortages and paperwork-heavy systems have contributed to the immigration backlog. While IRCC is implementing new measures to address modernize the immigration system and clear the backlog and speed up application processing times, there are things you can to do help ensure your spousal sponsorship application is processed as quickly as possible.

  1. Ensure You Are Qualified to Sponsor Your Spouse
    IRCC has strict eligibility criteria for who can - and who cannot - sponsor their spouse or partner if you live within or outside of Canada. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria to sponsor your spouse or sponsor, you should not fill out a spousal sponsorship application. Consult an experienced immigration lawyer to discuss your options and alternatives.
  2. Complete All Required Documentation
    Many spousal sponsorship applications are denied because the applicant did not follow the instructions and complete all the required forms, pay all required fees and submit all required proof and documentation.
  3. Ensure All Documents Are Legible
    Make sure that all photocopies and documents you submit are clear and can be ready
  4. Do Not Hide Information or Lie On Your Application
    If you do not answer truthfully or try to hide information, your application will be delayed and more information will be requested - or your application may be denied and you could face severe penalties for lying to the Canadian government.
  5. Consult An Experienced Spousal Sponsorship Immigration Lawyer
    This is probably your first time submitting a spousal sponsorship application. An experienced immigration lawyer has handled many spousal sponsorships and can guide you through every step and help you troubleshoot any potential problems with your application.


Talk To A Canada Spousal Sponsorship Lawyer

Canada’s spousal sponsorship immigration laws can be confusing, and a missed deadline or missing supporting documents can result in delays or even denial of your immigration application. A Spousal Sponsorship Application completed with the help of a knowledgeable and experienced immigration professional can prevent many mistakes, save time and reduce stress. An experienced Canada spousal sponsorship immigration lawyer can help you to understand any points of confusion or overcome any issues that may pose a challenge to the application process.

Contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email us directly at [email protected]

Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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