Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, declared noteworthy enhancements to reinforce family class immigration in Canada on May 26th, 2023. The new measures aim to enhance the processing times, introduce dedicated tools, and provide work permit opportunities for spousal and family class applicants.

Faster Processing Times for Spousal Applicants

One of the key improvements is the implementation of faster processing times for spousal applicants seeking Temporary Resident Visas (TRV). Previously, many applicants from visa-required countries faced refusals based on the assumption that they were unlikely to return to their home countries. However, statistics have shown that the majority of these applicants are ultimately approved for permanent residency. As a result, the new approach aims to eliminate unnecessary delays and facilitate quicker reunification of families.

Dedicated Processing Tools for Spousal Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) Applicants

To further expedite the processing of spousal TRV applications, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has developed dedicated processing tools. Implementing these tools has resulted in an impressive approval rate of over 98% for spousal and dependent children’s applications. This means that families can be together in Canada while awaiting the processing of their permanent residency applications. As a result of these improvements, processing times for TRV applications are expected to be within 30 days, enabling families to be reunited more quickly.

Open Work Permits for Spousal and Family Class Applicants

In addition to the faster processing times, the IRCC has launched a new initiative to issue open work permits for spousal applicants and their dependent children residing with their sponsors in Canada. Previously, open work permits were only available for inland spousal program applicants, but now they are being extended to those applying from outside Canada. This initiative aims to provide additional opportunities for spouses, partners, and dependents to work and contribute to the Canadian economy while their permanent residence applications are being processed.

Extension of Open Work Permits for Existing Permit Holders

Starting from June 7th, open work permit holders set to expire between August 1st and the end of 2023 can extend their permits for an additional 18 months. The extension process will be facilitated and free of charge, benefiting approximately 25,000 individuals currently in Canada who are eligible to work. This extension opportunity applies to spouses and dependents of most temporary workers, spouses of international students, as well as permanent resident applicants and their spouses/dependents who are awaiting the finalization of their permanent residency.

Family Class Sponsorship: A Key Component of Canadian Immigration

Family class sponsorship plays a vital role in Canada’s immigration system and is the second largest category under the Immigration Levels Plan. In 2023, the country aims to welcome 106,500 newcomers through family-class immigration, with 78,000 being spouses, partners, and children and 28,500 being parents and grandparents. Looking ahead, Canada plans to increase the number of newcomers welcomed through family-class immigration to 118,000 by 2025.

Targets for Family Class Immigration in 2023 and Beyond

The government’s targets for family-class immigration demonstrate the significance placed on reunifying families and promoting integration within Canadian society. The goal for 2023 is to welcome 106,500 newcomers through family class sponsorship, ensuring that eligible individuals can join their Canadian citizen or permanent resident sponsors and become permanent residents themselves. This commitment reflects Canada’s commitment to family unity and fostering a diverse and inclusive society.

Eligibility Requirements for Sponsors and Sponsored Individuals

To be eligible as a sponsor, individuals must meet specific requirements. They must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, be 18 years of age or older, and not be incarcerated, bankrupt, subject to a removal order, or facing serious criminal charges. Additionally, sponsors have yet to be sponsored as a spouse within the last five years.

Under family class sponsorship, various relatives can be sponsored, including spouses, common-law or conjugal partners, children, parents, and grandparents. However, each sponsored individual must meet the specific eligibility criteria established by the Canadian immigration authorities.

Final Words

In conclusion, Canada’s recent measures to strengthen family-class immigration demonstrate the government’s commitment to promoting family unity and facilitating the integration of sponsored individuals into Canadian society. The improvements in processing times, the introduction of dedicated tools, and the extension of work permits aim to expedite the reunification of families and provide opportunities for spouses and dependents to contribute to the Canadian workforce. These initiatives align with Canada’s goal of welcoming a substantial number of newcomers through family-class immigration, fostering a diverse and inclusive nation.

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