Canada is making significant strides in facilitating family reunification and supporting newcomers in their settlement journey. In a recent announcement, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser introduced a series of measures aimed at expediting the processing of spousal applications and providing open work permits for family class applicants.

Faster Processing Times for Spousal Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs)

The new policies prioritize faster processing times for temporary resident visas (TRVs) for spousal applicants, offering a turnaround time of 30 days for most applications. This accelerated processing is made possible by dedicated tools and resources tailored to the unique circumstances of spouses and dependents. Notably, these measures have already shown promising results, with a 93% approval rate among applicants processed using the specialized tools.

Open Work Permits for Spousal and Family Class Applicants

Open work permits have become available for spousal applicants and their dependent children residing in Canada with temporary resident status. By granting open work permits upon submission of a complete permanent residence application under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class, Canada aims to provide immediate access to the job market for newcomers. This step not only promotes family reunification but also empowers individuals to support themselves financially.

 Extension of Open Work Permits for Spousal Applicants

To alleviate concerns surrounding work permit expiration, the government has extended the validity of open work permits for spousal applicants and other permit holders whose permits expire between August 1 and the end of 2023. This extension offers much-needed reassurance to individuals and families facing uncertainty.

Canada’s Commitment to Family Reunification

These progressive measures underscore Canada’s commitment to family reunification and recognize its importance as a fundamental pillar of Canadian society. Minister Fraser emphasizes that immigration based on family ties is not only an act of compassion but also an essential aspect of building a strong and inclusive nation.

 Enhancing Client Services and Streamlining Processes

In recent years, Canada has been proactive in enhancing client services, streamlining processes, and expediting decision-making in immigration applications. In 2022 alone, more than 5.2 million applications were processed across various immigration programs, resulting in millions of individuals receiving timely decisions on their cases. As part of these improvements, the service standard for processing new spousal sponsorship applications has been set at 12 months for 80% of cases, excluding Quebec.

Eligibility for Open Work Permit Extensions

While open work permits are available to foreign nationals in various situations, it is important to note that not all individuals will be eligible for the extension. The extension is limited to categories such as permanent residence applicants awaiting a decision, sponsored spouses with valid temporary resident status, spouses or common-law partners of work permit holders, and spouses or common-law partners of study permit holders.

Canada’s Issuance of Work Permits and Extensions

Canada’s commitment to facilitating family reunification and supporting newcomers is evident in the issuance of over one million work permits and work permit extensions in 2022. These measures reflect the country’s dedication to creating a welcoming environment and ensuring the successful integration of immigrants into Canadian society.

Exciting Opportunities for Common-Law and Spousal Sponsorship Applicants

The updates to the spousal sponsorship and open work permit programs present exciting opportunities for common-law and spousal sponsorship applicants. Canada continues to be a beacon of hope and opportunity for families seeking to build a new life in a diverse and inclusive nation.

Considering using this pathway to immigrate to Canada? Contact us today to book a consultation.