Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is now processing more spousal immigration applications following a slowdown at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, Canada was aiming to welcome 70,000 new immigrants under its Spouses, Partners and Children category. Under its new 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan this target will increase to around 80,000 annually moving forward.
Most of those welcomed under this category are the wives, husbands, and partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who sponsor them.
Immigration processing and admissions have slowed due to the pandemic however IRCC made a major announcement in late-September that it would aim to expedite up to 6,000 spousal applications per month between September and December 2020.
IRCC spousal sponsorship processing has recently doubled
New data provided by IRCC to CIC News shows that the number of spousal sponsorship applications that have been finalized by IRCC doubled in September 2020 compared with July.
In September, IRCC finalized and decided upon just over 4,000 applications, compared with just under 2,000 in July.
Both in-land and overseas applications have seen significant improvements.
The number of in-land applications finalized rose to nearly 2,000 in September compared with nearly 1,200 in July.
Much of the growth came from overseas applications that were finalized. This figure was over 2,000 in September compared to nearly 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 2020.
Eligibility requirements to sponsor your wife, husband, or partner
Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible to sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner.
Sponsors must be at least 18 years old, prove they do not receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability, and show they can meet the basic financial needs of their partners. Canadian citizens currently overseas need to prove they plan to return to Canada to live with the person they are sponsoring.
Spouses must be legally married to you and at least 18 years old.
Common-law partners must be at least 18 years old and have lived with you for a minimum of 12 consecutive months.
Conjugal partners must be 18 years old at least, have been in a relationship with you for a minimum of 12 consecutive months, reside outside of Canada, and are unable to live with you in their country or marry you due to significant obstacles (e.g., same-sex marriage is not allowed in their country).
Three steps to submit a spousal application
IRCC asks you to submit two applications at the same time: a sponsorship application and permanent residence application.
Step 1: Download the application package from IRCC’s website.
Step 2: Pay the application fees on IRCC’s website (fees for processing, right of permanent residence, and biometrics).
Step 3: Send your final application to IRCC via mail.