IRCC processing spousal TRVs in 30 days with a 90% approval rate

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) now has a processing time of 30 days for Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs) for spousal applicants.

The measure applies to spousal applicants who have already applied for permanent residency in Canada. Rather than require applicants to remain in their home countries while awaiting IRCC’s decision, they can now come to Canada while they wait for their application to be processed.

In short, this means that Canadians or permanent residents who have spouses and dependents abroad will be able to reunite with their families sooner and begin settling in their communities.

Spouses and dependents on a TRV are not eligible to work or study in Canada until they are either approved for permanent residence or obtain a work or study permit.

The service standard was announced by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser in Vancouver on May 26. He went on to say that there was a TRV approval rating of over 90% for spousal applicants.

The high approval rating is in part due to IRCC’s increased use of advanced analytics to pre-screen TRV applications before an IRCC officer reviews them for a final decision. Minister Fraser said use of this technology allows the department to look across a number of factors on a person’s application to help determine the likelihood that they are going to be eligible for permanent residence and put them in a category that is more easily approved by IRCC officers.

Processing time for family class sponsorship

There is a processing time of 12 months for permanent residence applications through family class sponsorship. However, now that spousal TRVs are processed within 30 days, and IRCC has a service standard of 60 days for work permits, it could take as little as three months (90 days) for a sponsored spouse, partner, or dependent child to be able to arrive in Canada and start working while they wait for IRCC’s decision on their permanent resident application.

Any Canadian citizen or permanent resident may be eligible to sponsor a spouse, common law, or conjugal partner for permanent residence if they can sign an undertaking agreement to become financially responsible for the sponsored family for several years. The amount of money required to sponsor changes when there are dependent children to support too.

Other family reunification measures

IRCC made the TRV announcement in addition to another saying that spousal applicants and their dependent children who reside with their sponsor in Canada and have temporary resident status may be eligible for open work permits. They may apply for an Open Work Permit as soon as they have submitted a completed application for permanent residence to IRCC.

Previously, spousal applicants were only eligible for an open work permit if they were applying for sponsorship from within Canada.

Fraser also announced that open work permit holders whose current permit expires between August 1st and the end of 2023 will be eligible to extend their permit for 18 months using a free facilitated process. This extension will include spouses and dependents of most temporary workers, spouses of international students and permanent resident applicants.

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