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Category Archives: Spousal Sponsorship

April 11, 2022

IRCC back to 12-month processing for spousal sponsorship applications

After the pandemic slowed IRCC operations, spousal sponsorship is back to service standard, the government says.

In January 2022, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced that Canada’s spousal sponsorship has returned to its 12-month processing standard for new applicants. According to a government media release, efforts to modernize the Canadian immigration system have allowed Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to get back on track. IRCC also launched a portal where spousal and child sponsorship applicants can track their immigration applications online.

The service standard of 12 months is the same whether spouses are applying as inland or outland applicants. In both cases, the processing time includes the time required for applicants to give biometrics, for IRCC to assess the sponsor and the person being sponsored, as well as the time needed to ensure applicants meet eligibility requirements.

Eligibility for Spousal Sponsorship

Canadians may be eligible to sponsor if they:

• are at least 18 years old;
• are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or they are an Indigenous person registered under the Canadian Indian Act;
• demonstrate they are not receiving social assistance unless they have a disability; and
• can provide for the financial needs of the sponsored person.

Eligibility to be Sponsored

The person being sponsored needs to meet the following eligibility criteria:

• Spouse: They must have been legally married to the sponsor at an in-person ceremony.
• Common-law partner: They must have lived with the sponsor for at least 12 straight months.
• Conjugal partner: They must have been in a relationship with the sponsor for at least one year, live outside of Canada, and cannot live with the sponsor in their country or marry them due to significant legal or immigration causes. For example, they live in a country where same-sex marriage or divorce is not allowed.
Sponsors need to prove to IRCC that could not live together or get married in their partner’s country.
Foreign nationals must be at least 18 years old to be sponsored for immigration under all of these categories.

Also, foreign nationals must pass a health, security, and criminality screening and therefore be considered admissible to Canada.

Steps to submit a Sponsorship Application

Applicants will submit two applications together. One is for sponsorship and the other is a permanent residence application.
Step 1: Get an application package from IRCC.
Step 2: Pay the application fees to IRCC, which include processing fees, a right of permanent residence fee, and a biometrics fee. These fees need to be paid on IRCC’s website.
Step 3: Mail the completed application to IRCC.

IRCC’s processing standard is 12 months.

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