September 24, 2020—Ottawa—Today, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, is announcing action to speed up spousal application processing and help families build their lives together in Canada.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has increased the number of decision-makers on spousal applications in Canada by 66%, to process spousal applications more quickly and reduce couples’ wait times.
IRCC is leveraging new technology in a pilot to digitize paper applications so they can be processed more efficiently by IRCC employees working remotely and at various worksites. In addition to implementing facilitative biometrics measures, IRCC will be piloting, in the upcoming weeks, technology to conduct interviews with applicants remotely, in adherence with public health protocols.
With these initiatives, IRCC aims to accelerate, prioritize and finalize approximately 6,000 spousal applications each month from October until December 2020. Combined with processing to date, this rate will lead to about 49,000 decisions by the end of this year.
COVID-19 has created uncertainty for Canadians who are sponsoring spouses for permanent residence. We will continue to search for innovative and compassionate ways to reunite families, while following the advice of our public health experts to protect the health and safety of Canadians.
“We understand that the last few months have not been easy for those who are far from their loved ones in these difficult times. This is why we are accelerating the approval of spousal applications as much as possible. Our government will continue to find new ways to keep families together.”
– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship