Canada’s spousal sponsorship processing time is back to its 12-month processing standard for new applicants. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) also launched a portal where sponsorship applicants can track their immigration applications online.
In addition to married and common-law partners, you can also sponsor conjugal partners through outland sponsorship. Conjugal partners are couples in an ongoing and committed relationship for a period of at least 12 months. They can apply if, due to significant legal constraints or other factors beyond their control, they cannot live together.
Immigration minister Sean Fraser announced Canada’s spousal sponsorship processing updates on January 31. “I know that processing delays have been incredibly frustrating for many individuals. Helping clients come to Canada quickly, with predictable processing times and efficient communication with IRCC, remains a top priority for me”, Fraser said.
Canada’s spousal sponsorship processing standard of 12 months is the same for both inland and outland applicants. In both cases, the processing time includes:
- time for applicants to give biometrics
- IRCC assessment of the sponsor and candidate, and also
- time needed to ensure applicants meet all eligibility requirements
See generally IRCC Processing Times Tool. The processing times in IRCC’s “Check processing times” tool are estimates of how long it will take to process most applications.
How to sponsor your spouse or partner
Canada Immigration Levels Plans For Spouses, Partners and Children
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There are many options for a Canadian permanent resident or citizen to bring a spouse to Canada. Whichever option you choose, it is important to satisfy the following eligibility requirements:
Requirements for the Sponsor:
- must be at least 18 years of age;
- must be a Canadian permanent resident living in Canada or a Canadian citizen;
- cannot be in prison, bankrupt, under a removal order (if a permanent resident) or charged with a serious offence; and also
- cannot have been sponsored to Canada as a spouse within the last 5 years.
Requirements for the Sponsored Person:
- The sponsored person must be at least 16 years of age and
- The sponsored person must not be too closely related by blood to the sponsor.
If you’re sponsoring your spouse or partner, they may also be eligible for an open work permit. Find out how to apply.
Steps to submit Canada’s spousal sponsorship application
Applicants need to submit two applications together. One is application for Canada’s spousal sponsorship and the other is the permanent residence application.
Step 1: Get an application package from IRCC. Get your application package.
Step 2: Pay the application fees to IRCC. These include processing fees, a right of permanent residence fee, and also a biometrics fee. These fees also need to be paid on IRCC’s website. Pay your fees.
Step 3: Mail the completed application to IRCC. Submit your application.
Note that IRCC’s processing standard is 12 months. What to expect after you submit the application.