Canada Immigration Update

New Measures to Strengthen Family Reunification Announced

Published on: May 26th, 2023

Today Immigration Minister Sean Fraser made an announcement about changes to strengthen family class immigration in Canada. 

Announcement to Strengthen Family Reunification

A number of exciting updates were announced today during Sean Frasers speech in Vancouver. Fraser began by stressing the importance immigrants play in Canada and highlighting that in order for Canada to remain a top choice for newcomers, options must be given to welcome their families as well. 

Currently family members from visa-required countries who have submitted family class permanent residency (PR) applications can apply for Temporary Resident Visas (TRVS) to join their family in Canada. However, too often many of these applications are refused on the grounds that they are unlikely to return home. Despite the fact that over 90% are approved for permanent residency once their application has been processed.

The IRCC is pleased to share that using advancements in technology and streamlining their processes, have led to overall improvements with how they process visas for family members. The backlog for TRV for family members who already have a permanent residency application in process has been eliminated. This new process towards spousal TRV applications has approved well over 98% of applications for spouses and their dependent children. This will allow for more families to be together while awaiting their PR applications.  

TRV applications will now have a processing time of 30 days moving forward. In addition, these modernization efforts have allowed the processing of new PR applications within the standard 12 month processing time. 

The IRCC is also launching a new initiative to help new newcomers in Canada to support themselves and their families as soon as possible. This new initiative will allow spouses and dependent children to be issued an open work permit regardless of whether they applied for family sponsorship from overseas (outland sponsorship) or if they applied from within Canada (inland sponsorship). Previously, these open work permits were only eligible for those applying from within Canada.  

The last major update announced today is hat beginning June 7th, open work permit holders whose current permit expires at the end of 2023, can extend their permit for 18 months using a free process. This will include spouses and dependent children of most workers here temporarily, spouses of international students and PR applicants and their spouses and dependents waiting for permanent residency to be finalised. It is estimated that this will impact around 25,000 people who are currently in Canada but are unable to work.  

What is family class sponsorship?

Canada offers sponsorship programs for permanent residents or citizens of Canada that wish to bring their loved ones to Canada. These programs allow certain family members to become permanent residents of Canada. One of the most popular streams of Canadian immigration, family sponsorship programs makes it easy for citizens and permanent residents to bring their spouse and immediate family members to Canada with reduced processing times because Canada knows that family should never be put on hold.

Spouses, common law and conjugal partners, children, parents and grandparents may all be sponsored, provided they meet the required eligibility criteria.

Who is eligible to sponsor a family member?

To sponsor a family member, you must meet minimum eligibility requirements. Eligible sponsors must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • be at least 18 years old
  • live in Canada, or plan to return to Canada once your spouse or partner becomes a permanent resident of Canada
  • be able and willing to provide for the basic financial needs of your family member for three years

Do you have family you want to reunite with in Canada? Canadim can help! Get started by completing a free assessment today.

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