Spousal sponsorship can be extremely frustrating. Whether you are sponsoring your spouse or common-law partner from inside or outside of Canada, processing times can be long and daunting.
Once you have officially submitted your application, it can feel like all that’s left is a long waiting game. Though there are not many ways to speed up the process, here are just some things you can expect, think about or plan for while your application is processing.
Keep Track of Processing Times
You can keep track of updated application processing times by checking the IRCC’s website. Processing times can vary depending on the IRCC’s situation when you submit your application.
Currently, processing times for spousal sponsorship applications are 14 to 16 months.
Open Work Permit for Sponsored Spouses
If you have sponsored your spouse and they are already in Canada on a temporary visa, they may be eligible to apply for an open work permit. As a sponsored spouse, you can apply for an open work permit while your sponsorship application is still being processed.
An open work permit for a sponsored spouse will allow them to work anywhere in Canada for any employer. The permit has few restrictions, which is a great way to make sure that you and your spouse can stay together even if any of their other temporary permits expire. The important thing to note is that you must apply for this open work permit before any of your other temporary permits expire.
Inland spousal sponsorship open work permits are available to sponsored spouses with temporary resident status as visitors, students, or workers. They must also reside at the same address as their spouse or sponsor.
Spousal open work permits will be valid for two years. After that, they can be extended accordingly with the validity of your passport.
Updating Your Application
You can check your spousal sponsorship application status with the IRCC’s application status tracker. You can also update any important information, such as your address and contact information, and pay any application fees if required. In addition, you will be able to check the status of your application after receiving an acknowledgement of receipt (AOR), proof your application has been received. The AOR will be in the form of a letter or an email.
While your application is processing, the sponsored spouse will be asked to provide any required medical exams, police certificates and biometric data. Be prepared to get these documents and information in a timely manner to keep your application process moving along.
You must also keep the IRCC informed of any changes affecting your application. Doing so will help avoid any issues as your application process moves forward.
Some circumstances you should inform the IRCC about would include the following:
- The birth or adoption of children
- A marriage, divorce or separation
- The death of an applicant or dependent