An early Christmas present arrived today from Immigration Canada.
In a major policy announcement, the government streamlined the methods by which it processes spousal sponsorship applications. Highlights of today’s announcements include:
- Processing times for the majority of applications will be 12 months. This will apply to future applications, and also those already submitted.
- New forms will be available as of December 15th. The same forms will be used for both inside and outside-Canada applicants. Only one questionnaire/sponsorship evaluation form will be needed. Old forms will be accepted until the end of January.
- The Instruction Guide will be simplified, and shortened, to make it easier to read.
- The Background/Declaration form (Schedule A) will not be required until requested.
- Medical examinations and police certificates will not be provided up front, but later when requested.
- The temporary policy allowing inland spousal applicants to receive an open work permit has been extended for another year.
These changes are a welcome development. I applaud in particular the decision to allow the old version of the forms to be submitted for six weeks after the new ones become available. In the past, applications were rejected if the form was received the day after a new version was released. For those who have already started on their forms, this means they do not have to lose all the hard work they have already done.
You can read about the changes at these links: