Faster processing times, simpler application forms for spousal sponsorships: A welcome announcement today for Canadians wishing to bring their spouses to Canada

December 2016

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.
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