The Honorable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced measures to speed up the processing of spousal sponsorship applications and help reunite families in Canada.
By increasing the number of decision makers reviewing spousal sponsorship applications by 66%, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to speed up the processing of such applications and reduce wait times for couples.
IRCC is testing new technology to digitize paper-based applications so that they can be processed more efficiently by IRCC employees who work from home and at select work locations. In addition to implementing biometric facilitation measures, IRCC will be testing technology in the coming weeks to enable virtual interviews with applicants in order to comply with public health guidelines.
Through these initiatives, IRCC aims to review approximately 6,000 spousal sponsorship applications each month, from October to December 2020. In addition to current processing, at this rate, approximately 49,000 decisions will be made by the end of this year.
COVID-19 has created uncertainty among Canadians sponsoring a spouse applying for permanent residence. We will continue to seek innovative and caring solutions to reunite families, while following the guidance of our public health experts to protect the health and safety of Canadians.