As one of the most popular places in the world to immigrate, Canada receives hundreds of thousands of applications every year from people wishing to live and work here.
These applications include many spousal sponsorship forms that must be carefully vetted before visa offices can make a decision. The amount of time it takes for spousal sponsorships to be processed varies from case to case, depending on different factors, including the number of applications at hand and where your sponsorship papers are being processed.
Estimating Visa Application Processing Times
Since there are dozens of different types of applications that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, IRCC receives, it’s extremely difficult for them to provide an exact processing time for each spousal sponsorship. If Canadian visa officials receive a glut of applications in another type of non-spousal immigration, then there’s a good chance it'll take longer for your application to be processed. On the other hand, if you happen to apply during a period of reduced demand, then you may end up receiving your answer sooner than expected.
The best advice for those who are interested in getting the latest details of their application would be to check the online processing time tool provided by the federal government. This online app gives you details in terms of how long the government requires to process 80% of all applications entered during a given time. Since demand changes frequently, this tool is updated at least once a week.
It should be noted that this tool does not tell you exactly when you can expect an answer. It provides only a rough idea of how long it might take for you to get a yes or no. You should also consider adding a cushion of 10 days to the estimate, because it may take that long for the final answer to arrive in the mail.
Location Also Determines Processing Time
Not all visa processing locations operate with the same amount of resources. If your application has been sent to a region of Canada with fewer personnel, equipment, or a smaller budget, then it may take longer for you to receive an answer. On the flip side of the coin, if you’re fortunate enough to have your application sent to an office with robust resources, then the waiting time you experience may be reduced.
Another variable is the volume of applications that an office receives. The more spousal sponsorships that must be processed, the longer it will take for that office to follow through on its obligations. Popular immigration destinations are more likely to be dealing with higher volumes of applications, increasing the time it takes to process them.
To ensure the smallest possible processing time, you should do what it takes to avoid adding delays to the process. If the office processing your application notices that a document isn’t signed, or if a vital piece of paperwork is missing, then the time required for processing will increase.
Bad photocopies, documents in languages other than French and English, and missing fees will also cause delays that are completely avoidable. Be sure to double check your paperwork and documentation before submitting, and keep copies of all vital information for your own records.
Canadian Government Looks To Reduce Waiting Times
Unfortunately, in the past, families eager to be reunited in Canada have had to deal with lengthy waiting times that can stretch on for years, in addition to the mandatory waiting periods. Such delays have placed stress on families attempting to start their new lives in Canada. Previously, applicants waiting for long periods of time while in Canada were even told to leave the country to “speed things up.”
Recent announcements made by government officials, reveal that the Canadian government is looking to expedite immigration processes. In addition to plans that would reduce wait times for foreign workers, the minister announced that spousal sponsorship processing would also be targeted for a reduction in wait times.
As part of a plan that calls for immigration to focus on uniting families, the government announced that the focus will be on clearing current backlogs, while reducing processing time for future applicants.
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