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IRCC News: Spouses being reunited more quickly in Canada – Feb 2018

On February 24, 2018 the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that the sponsorship process improvements have led to backlog reduction and shorter processing times.

The IRCC new release states that, over the past year, the Government of Canada has made significant improvements to the spousal sponsorship process, making it faster and easier for Canadians and permanent residents to reunite with their spouses. Therefore, IRCC is reporting a significant reduction in the lengthy processing time of spousal sponsorship applications as they managed to reduce the spousal inventory from 75,000 applications to 15,000 as of December 31, 2017.

In addition, after introducing a new spousal sponsorship application package in December 2016, IRCC continued to respond to client and stakeholder feedback to further improve the application process, and make it simpler and easier for sponsors and applicants to understand and navigate. As a result, IRCC made a number of improvements to the application package in June 2017. And today, they are introducing further updates to the application kit and process to improve the client experience and make sure everybody interested in bringing their spouse to Canada, can process applications as quickly as possible.

The new changes to the spousal sponsorship application package are:

  • Improved Basic Guide;
  • Improved Complete Guide;
  • Improved Document checklists (one each for spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, and dependent child), and
  • New Order in which certain required documents must be submitted to IRCC.

According to IRCC source, spousal applicants will now be asked to submit their Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669) form and police clearance certificates (PCC) as part of their initial paper application package, instead of later in the application process, as it was previously required. This will help IRCC to process applications even more quickly and efficiently, and to avoid unnecessary delays.

The Spousal applicants are still encouraged to link their applications to an online account to communicate quickly and securely with IRCC, get medical instructions as soon as they are issued, receive and respond to request letters quickly, and get application updates online. However, this can be done at any time during the processing of the spousal application.

The new checklists and guides replace the ones that were made available on the IRCC website in June 2017 (and which received a minor update in October 2017 to reflect the change to the age limit for dependent children).

Although, the IRCC have changed the checklists and the placement of some forms within the application process, the forms themselves have not changed by them and as part of this important update.

Applicants who are currently filling out an application using the previous version of the checklists (identified in the bottom left hand corner by version code 10-2017), IRCC will still accept your application using the old version until March 15, 2018. However, and as possible, IRCC encourages everybody to use the new checklist, guides and processes current available on their website immediately.

Please click on the hyperlink above to see the new updates and on the following link below to read more information about these improvements made by IRCC:


Source: IRCC website

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