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.
Changes to Parent/Grandparent Sponsorships
December 14, 2016
Today, Wednesday, December 14, 2016, The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced changes to Parent and Grandparent Sponsorships that, in his opinion, “will improve access to the application process, given that the number of applications accepted for intake is limited”.
Between January 3 and February 2, 2017, Canadian citizens and permanent residents who want to apply as sponsors must first complete an online form on the IRCC website to let the Department know they are interested in applying to sponsor their parents or grandparents. The online form will be available for 30 days, from noon Eastern Standard Time (EST) on January 3, 2017, to noon EST on February 2, 2017.
At the end of the 30 days, IRCC will remove the duplicates, randomly choose 10,000 people and ask them to complete the full application. IRCC will let everyone who completed an online form know whether they were chosen or not. Only those who were randomly chosen will be invited to apply to the Parent and Grandparent Program. Those who were invited to apply will have 90 days to submit their complete application to IRCC. The 2017 application kit and guide will be available on IRCC’s website on January 9, 2017.
Interested sponsors who are not selected will be able to indicate their interest to apply again in 2018.
If you are an existing client of Abrams & Krochak and were planning to apply to the Parent and Grandparent Program in January 2017, please contact Mr. Peter Krochak at email@example.com for further information.
Ministerial Announcement Regarding Parent/Grandparent Sponsorships Deferred to December 14, 2016
December 8, 2016
The Ministerial announcement regarding Parent and Grandparent sponsorships, which was anticipated today, Thursday, December 8, 2016 has been deferred to Wednesday, December 14, 2016. As soon as it is made, the contents will be made available on this website.
Minister Announces Improvements to Spousal/Partner Sponsorship Application Process
December 7, 2016
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Minister, The Honourable John McCallum, made an announcement today, Wednesday, December 7, 2016, regarding improvements to the Spousal/Partner Sponsorship Application Process. Among the improvements are:
- processing times for all spousal/partner applicants, inside and outside Canada, will be cut from 24 to 12 months
- a simplified guide (reduced from 180 to 75 pages in simpler language)
- one checklist (not clear whether visa office checklists will be removed)
- one relationship questionnaire
- medical, criminality and security screening to be done after applying (no longer up front)
- a new application kit for use by all spousal/partner applicants. Applicants will no longer have to choose between two different kits depending on whether they live in Canada or outside Canada. All applicants will use the same application kit. Since some applicants may have already started filling out their application using the current kit, IRCC will continue to accept new applications using the current kit until January 31, 2017. After this date, only applications using the new kit will be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin using the new kit, which is easier to use and understand, as soon as it is available on December 15, 2016.
- along with the new 12-month processing commitment, IRCC will extend its pilot program which gives open work permits to eligible spouses or partners who are being sponsored and are in Canada, giving them the freedom to work while their applications for permanent residence are being processed. This pilot program ensures applicants are able to work, provide for their families and contribute to the Canadian economy while waiting for their applications to be processed. The pilot, currently slated to end on December 22, 2016, will be extended until December 21, 2017.
These changes are to be online on December 15, 2016.
The Minister will be making another announcement tomorrow, Thursday, December 8, 2017 around the 2017 intake process and application kits for the Parents and Grandparents class and the announcement will be posted on our website just as soon as it becomes available.
CHANGES ANNOUNCED TO FEDERAL SKILLED WORKER AND CANADIAN EXPERIENCE CLASSES; CREATION OF NEW FEDERAL SKILLED TRADES CLASS
August 20, 2012
On Friday, August 17, 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced proposed regulatory changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Class and Canadian Experience Class as well as the creation of the Federal Skilled Trades Class. All of these changes will take effect on January 1, 2013.
FEDERAL SKILLED WORKER CLASS
Among the changes announced by the Minister are:
• Increasing the importance of language by establishing new minimum official language thresholds and increasing the points awarded for “Language” from 24 to 28 points;
• Increasing the emphasis on younger immigrants by increasing the points awarded for “Age” from 10-12 points and awarding maximum points to applicants between the ages of 18-35;
• Increasing the points awarded for Canadian work experience and reducing the points awarded for foreign work experience from 21 to 15 points;
• Simplifying the arranged employment process; and
• Awarding points for spousal language ability and Canadian experience.
Another change announced by the Minister is the creation of the “Educational Credential Assessment”. As of January 2013, all Federal Skilled Worker Class applicants will have to have their education abroad assessed against Canadian education standards by designated organizations chosen by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). CIC will then award points according to how an applicant’s foreign educational credential compares to a completed educational credential in Canada.
FEDERAL SKILLED TRADES CLASS
Also announced by the Minister was the creation of the Federal Skilled Trades Class to facilitate the immigration of certain skilled tradespersons in Canada, in response to labour market needs. The Class would be open to skilled tradespersons with experience in the following occupational areas: Industrial, Electrical and Construction Trades; Maintenance and Equipment Operation Trades; Supervisors and Technical Occupations in Natural Resources, Agriculture and Related Production; Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities Supervisors and Central Control Operators; as well as Chefs and Cooks, and Bakers and Butchers.
Applicants to the proposed program would be required to meet four (4) minimum requirements:
1. A qualifying offer of employment from up to two (2) employers in Canada of at least one (1) year duration or a Certificate of Qualification from a provincial or territorial Apprenticeship Authority;
2. Language proficiency, as evidenced by a test from a designated language testing organization that demonstrates the applicant’s abilities in the requisite skill areas meet the threshold set by the Minister in all four (4) language abilities (speaking, reading, writing, oral comprehension);
3. Twenty-four (24) months of work experience (after qualification/certification in the country where the work was performed, where applicable) in the same skilled trade in the last five (5) years; and
4. Qualifications that satisfy employment requirements as described by the National Occupational Classification, except for certification and licensing requirements, which are difficult to obtain outside Canada.
CANADIAN EXPERIENCE CLASS
The Minister announced that the Canadian work experience requirement will be reduced from twenty-four (24) months to twelve (12) in the preceding thirty-six (36) months. Only applicants with managerial/professional/technical/skilled trade work experience would continue to qualify for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Furthermore, just as will be the case with the Federal Skilled Worker Class, a minimum language threshold will be required in each of the four (4) abilities for applicants to the CEC. Initially, it is anticipated that the threshold would be set at “moderate intermediate proficiency” in speaking, oral comprehension, reading and writing for applicants with managerial/professional/technical work experience and “low intermediate” proficiency in each ability for applicants with skilled trade work experience.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
If you are an existing Federal Skilled Worker Class client of Abrams & Krochak who has not yet applied for Permanent Residence, your qualifications will be subject to the revised points grid/selection criteria and you will have to have your foreign educational credentials assessed. Likewise, if you are a skilled tradesperson, you might qualify in the new Federal Skilled Trades Class. If you have questions regarding the status of your Application, please send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not yet a client of Abrams & Krochak but wish to become one and have not yet had your eligibility to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker Class assessed by the firm, please visit http://www.abramsandkrochak.com/skilled-worker for your free eligibility assessment. If you have already received a favourable Federal Skilled Worker Class eligibility assessment from the firm, please send an e-mail to email@example.com and Abrams & Krochak will be more than happy to reassess your eligibility and, if favourable, represent you on the understanding that your Application for Permanent Residence cannot be filed until January 2013 at the earliest, and on the assumption that your eligibility to immigrate is not adversely affected by the possible publication of an Occupational Demand List and your occupation(s) do(es) not appear on the List. In the event that your eligibility to immigrate IS adversely affected, Abrams & Krochak will work with you to explore other options to make your proposed Canadian Immigration plans a success (i.e. Arranged Employment/Provincial Nominee Programs/ Temporary Visas (i.e. Work Permits/Study Permits), etc.).
With all of the changes taking place with respect to Canada’s Immigration system and all of the uncertainty that these changes have caused, one thing is certain: Now more than ever it is wise to have legal representation to help you understand and navigate the complex Canadian Immigration Application process.