Faster Spousal Temporary Resident (Visitor) Visa Processing Times; New Open Work Permit for Spousal and Family Class Applicants
May 26, 2023
Today, Friday, May 26, 2023, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced new measures to strengthen family reunification, which include:
- faster temporary resident visa (TRV) processing times for spousal applicants
- new and dedicated processing tools for spousal TRV applicants
- a new open work permit for spousal and family class applicants
- open work permit extensions for open work permit holders expiring between August 1 and the end of 2023
Minister Fraser announced that, going forward, most TRV applications will be processed within 30 days, and applicants will benefit from processing measures specific to their circumstances as spouses and dependants.
Once in Canada, spouses, partners and dependants are now able to apply for and receive an open work permit as soon as they submit a complete permanent residence application under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SPCLC) or other family class programs.
Finally, Minister Fraser announced that spousal applicants, along with other open work permit holders, whose open work permits expire between August 1 and the end of 2023, will be able to extend their work permits for an additional 18 months.
Canada Announces New Immigration Programs/Initiatives for Ukrainians Fleeing War
March 3, 2022
On Thursday, March 3, 2022, the Government of Canada announced the following:
As part of the Government of Canada’s response to the war in Ukraine, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is introducing new immigration streams for Ukrainians who want to come to Canada temporarily or permanently.
For Ukrainians who want to come to Canada temporarily, IRCC will create a Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel, available for individuals fleeing Ukraine. There will be no limit to the number of Ukrainians who can apply. This is the fastest, safest, and most efficient way for Ukrainians to come to Canada and eliminates many of the normal visa requirements. All Ukrainian nationals will be able to apply through this new path, and, pending background check and security screening, their stay in Canada could be extended by at least 2 years. IRCC aims to have the extended pathway open for applications in 2 weeks, and, in the interim, encourages Ukrainians to apply through all existing programs, and their Applications will be prioritized.
IRCC will also quickly implement a special family reunification sponsorship pathway for permanent residence for Ukrainians who have immediate and extended family members in Canada. IRCC will develop the details of this program in the coming weeks, including by working with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
All Ukrainians who come to Canada as part of these measures will be eligible to apply for open work permits, making it easier for employers to quickly hire Ukrainian nationals.
This announcement follows an earlier announcement on February 24, 2022, which reads as follows:
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is taking additional steps to support Ukrainians and people residing in Ukraine, and to make it easier and faster for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their accompanying immediate family members to return to Canada.
As part of the Government of Canada’s response, IRCC has taken the decision to prioritize applications for new and replacement travel documents for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members. Over a month ago, IRCC implemented measures to priority process citizenship grant applications for adoption, as well as permanent and temporary residence applications for people with a primary residence in Ukraine who want to reunite or travel with family, study, work, or start a new life in Canada. Ukrainian nationals currently in Canada on a temporary basis can apply to extend their status as a visitor, student or worker.
In addition to prioritizing applications, IRCC is launching a package of new immigration measures, including the following:
- Establishing a dedicated service channel for Ukraine enquiries that will be available for clients both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243, with collect calls accepted. In addition, clients can now add the keyword “Ukraine2022” to the IRCC Web form with their enquiry and their email will be prioritized.
- Implementing urgent processing of travel documents, including issuing single-journey travel documents for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who do not have valid passports.
- Updating a Web page to provide current information on measures; this page will include content in Ukrainian for ease of reference.
- Ensuring that Ukrainians currently in Canada are able to extend their stay or stay longer in Canada by prioritizing the renewal of work and study permits, and extending a policy that allows individuals to apply for a work permit from within Canada. This policy would allow temporary residents who receive a job offer to remain in Canada and start working while they wait for their work permit application to be processed.
IRCC will issue open work permits to Ukrainian visitors, workers and students who are currently in Canada and cannot go home, so they can stay longer if they wish. IRCC will waive fees, retroactive to February 22, 2022, for certain travel and immigration documents, such as Canadian passports, permanent resident travel documents, proofs of citizenship, visitor visas, and work and study permits. Further details will be made available in the coming weeks as these measures launch.
IRCC has also taken steps to increase operational readiness in the region, including relocating staff, moving additional supplies and equipment, such as mobile biometric collection kits, in anticipation of an increased volume of requests, and adjusting operations in offices across their global network to ensure service continuity for Ukraine. Online options are available for most applications.
If Abrams & Krochak can assist you or your loved ones with any of the aforementioned Applications, please let us know by e-mail at email@example.com and we will send you full details regarding our fees and services.
Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship Program to Reopen on October 13, 2020
October 5, 2020
Today, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced details for the opening of the 2020 Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program (PGP).
Over a 3-week period, from 12 noon Eastern Daylight Time on October 13, 2020, to 12 noon Eastern Standard Time on November 3, 2020, Canadian citizens and permanent residents who wish to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada will have an opportunity to submit an interest to sponsor form online.
From those who submit an interest to sponsor form online, IRCC will randomly select potential sponsors and send them an invitation to submit an Application. Selected applicants will have 60 days to submit their Application. A maximum of 10,000 Applications will be accepted for processing as part of the 2020 PGP intake. In 2021, IRCC will open a new intake of interest to sponsor forms to accept a total of 30,000 new Applications.
Given that many sponsors may have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC is introducing a temporary public policy that will reduce the income requirement for the 2020 tax year to the minimum necessary income, instead of the minimum necessary income plus 30%.
If you are an existing PGP client of Abrams & Krochak and you require more information regarding today’s announcement, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and file number. If you are not yet a PGP client of Abrams & Krochak, but you are interested in sponsoring a parent or grandparent to immigrate to Canada with Abrams & Krochak’s assistance, please complete our Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship Online Eligibility Assessment Questionnaire at https://www.akcanada.com/assessment4.php and you will receive our assessment within one (1) business day.
Canada to Speed Up Spousal Sponsorship Application Processing
September 24, 2020
On September 24, 2020, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC), announced that the Government of Canada would be taking action to speed up the processing of Spousal Sponsorship Applications.
IRCC has increased the number of decision makers on Spousal Sponsorship Applications in Canada by 66%, to process these applications more quickly and reduce couples’ wait times.
With these initiatives, IRCC aims to accelerate, prioritize and finalize approximately 6,000 applications each month from October until December 2020. Combined with processing to date, this rate will lead to about 49,000 decisions by the end of this year.
Update on 2020 Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program
March 27, 2020
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced, today, Friday, March 27, 2020, that the launch of the annual call for expressions of interest to apply to sponsor parents and grandparents will be delayed. It was anticipated that the program would reopen in the upcoming weeks; however, because IRCC is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it has put a temporary hold on accepting new Applications.
Applicants from previous years who already received an Invitation to Apply will continue to have their Applications processed by IRCC. As for new Applications, IRCC has indicated that they are committed to opening the 2020 program as soon as possible and will share any updates once they become available. Abrams & Krochak will continue to post those updates on this blog as soon as they are announced.