IRCC processes spousal TRVs in 30 days with a 90% approval rate

Posted on Jul 23, 2023 at 08:00 am EDT

Couple meets at an airport.

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) now has a 30-day processing time for Temporary Resident Visas (TRV) for spouse applicants.

The measure applies to marriage applicants who have already applied for permanent residence in Canada. Instead of requiring applicants to stay in their home countries while they wait for the IRCC’s decision, they can now come to Canada while they wait for their application to be processed.

In short, this means that Canadians or permanent residents who have spouses and dependents abroad they will be able to reunite with their families sooner and begin to settle in their communities.

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Spouses and dependents in a TRV are not eligible to work or study in Canada until they are approved for permanent residence or obtain a work either permission to study.

The service standard was announced by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser in Vancouver on May 26. He went on to say that there was a TRV approval rate of over 90% for spouse applicants.

The high approval rate is due in part to IRCC’s increased use of advanced analytics to shortlist TRV applications before they are reviewed by an IRCC officer for a final decision. Minister Fraser said the use of this technology allows the department to look at a number of factors in a person’s application to help determine the likelihood that they will be eligible for permanent residence and place them in a category that is more easily approved by IRCC officers.

Processing Time for Family Class Sponsorship

There is a 12-month processing time for applications for permanent residence through family class sponsorship. However, now that spousal TRVs are processed within 30 days, and IRCC has a 60-day service standard for work permits, it could take as little as three months (90 days) for a spouse, partner or sponsored dependent child to arrive in Canada and start working while they await IRCC’s decision on their permanent residence application.

Any Canadian citizen or permanent resident may be eligible to sponsor a spouse, common-law partner, or spousal partner for permanent residence if they can sign a compromise agreement become financially responsible for the sponsored family for several years. The amount of money required to sponsor changes when there are also dependent children to support.

Other family reunification measures

IRCC made the TRV announcement in addition to another that applicant spouses and their dependent children who reside with their sponsor in Canada and have temporary resident status may be eligible for open work permits. They can apply for an Open Work Permit as soon as they have submitted a complete application for permanent residence to IRCC.

Previously, applicant spouses were only eligible for an open work permit if they applied for sponsorship from Canada.

Fraser also announced that open work permit holders whose current permit expires between August 1 and the end of 2023 will be eligible to extend their permit for 18 months through a free facilitated process. This extension will include the spouses and dependents of most temporary workers, spouses of international students, and applicants for permanent residence.

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