Spousal Sponsorship Changes Looking Positive for 2017!
On December 07th 2016, Canadian Immigration Minister, John McCallum, announced that the department aims to process spousal sponsorship applications within 12 months of date of filing. Some visa offices have been taking several years to finalize applications, so this announcement is very welcoming news. In decreasing processing time, the department has also attempted to streamline the intake process, making it more transparent and easy to follow. Now that it has been a few weeks since the program was changed, we thought we would share some important points:
- There is now one single checklist for all applicants in Canada and overseas.
- The government is asking for less supporting evidence of relationship. There is now a 10 page limit on supporting photos and documents confirming the genuine nature of relationships.
- The new guide outlines a 4-month processing time for work permits submitted with applications filed inside Canada. This processing time has gone down from 6+ months.
- Forms have been updated and instructions have been edited for clarity.
- Police certificates are not required when submitting the initial application, but will be required prior to finalizing applications. Since it can sometimes take several months to obtain require police certificates this change will enable applicant to submit applications faster.
- Medical examinations no longer need to be performed prior to filing. They will be required prior to approval, however, since they are only valid for 12 months from date of completion, this change could prevent applicant s from having to undergo several medical examinations.
We have included an easy to read chart from the Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada website highlighting some of the key changes. We would be pleased to discuss the process to sponsor your spouse or common law partner in greater detail. Please contact us anytime to schedule a consultation.