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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

Canada is processing more

spousal/partner applications

by Michael Scott

The sponsorship of spouse and partners has been delayed over the past year. The numbers of sponsors and applicants have increased drastically and there have even been public protests. The reunification of families continues to be a priority for the Canadian government. Minister Mendicino promised that his department is aware of the processing backlog for family sponsorship and they have been working to correct the situation.

The numbers of sponsorships finalized are increasing with 4,000 finalized in September 2020, double the number of 2,000 processed in July. Both the in-Canada and overseas family class applications have seen significant improvements. The totals from July through September can be seen in the table below.

Mike table Dec 1 2020

In-land applications finalized rose from 1,200 in July to nearly 2,000 in September. The overseas processing saw an even greater increase from 800 in July to nearly 2,000 in September. We should expect with the IRCC announcements to see the numbers increase more over the coming the months.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible to sponsor their spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner. Spouses must be legally married and at least 18 years of age. Common-law partners must have lived with the sponsor for one continuous year. Conjugal partners must be in a married-like relationship for one year but were unable to live together as common-law partners because of exceptional circumstances, such as an immigration barrier. The sponsors must be at least 18 years of age, not on social assistance for a reason other than a disability, not have an un-discharged bankruptcy nor owe money to the federal government, not have certain types of criminal convictions and show they can meet the basic financial needs of their partners. Canadian citizens overseas can start the sponsorship but must show that they have a real intention to return to Canada to live with the sponsored person.

If you are planning on sponsoring a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, make sure that you download the specific Document Checklist for the relationship along with the entire application package. You must pay the processing and biometric fees up front and that can include the Right of Permanent Residence fee as part of the initial payment, or pay it later upon request. It is important to note that in addition to the eligibility requirements for the Canadian sponsors, the foreign applicant must be admissible to Canada, normally based upon criminality, health and security. If you have questions about family class sponsorships, you can follow the online information provided by IRCC or contact an immigration lawyer or a licensed immigration consultant. If you are one of the sponsors or applicants in the processing cue, my recommendation is patience. IRCC is working its way through a deep backlog and will be contacting you in due course.

Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Canada Immigration and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with R.B. Global Immigration Consultants Ltd. 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail:

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