Canada Prioritizes Family Reunification in Immigration Strategy, Introduces New Measures

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Canada has made significant strides in its immigration strategy by placing a renewed focus on family reunification. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has unveiled a comprehensive plan aimed at expediting the process of reuniting families while permanent residency applications are being processed.

Under the new measures, the IRCC will issue temporary resident status (TRV) to spouses and children residing abroad. This will enable families to join their loved ones in Canada while their permanent residency applications are being reviewed. The goal is to streamline and expedite the family reunification process, ensuring that families can be together as quickly as possible.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has announced several initiatives to facilitate family reunification. One of the key changes includes faster processing times for spousal applicants, reducing the waiting period for couples who are eager to reunite. Additionally, dedicated processing tools will be introduced specifically for spousal TRV applicants, simplifying and expediting their application process.

To further support families, the IRCC has introduced an open work permit for spousal and family class applicants. This will allow spouses and dependents of these applicants to work in Canada while their applications are being processed, thereby mitigating financial strain and promoting family unity.

The implementation of new technology by the IRCC has resulted in a high approval rate for spousal TRV applications. As a result, the backlog of TRV visas for spouses of permanent resident applicants has been completely eliminated. Going forward, the IRCC aims to achieve a 30-day service standard for these applications, ensuring a faster and more efficient process for families.

In addition to the aforementioned measures, open work permit holders, including spouses and dependents of temporary workers and international students, will be able to extend their permits for an additional 18 months if they expire between August 1st and the end of 2023. Furthermore, the availability of open work permits for spouses of participants in the temporary foreign worker program and international mobility program has been extended until 2025. These steps have been taken to ease financial burdens on families and contribute to the Canadian workforce and economy.

Family class immigration, which encompasses spouses, partners, dependent children, parents, and grandparents, is the second most popular immigration category in Canada, following economic class immigration. By the end of 2025, Canada aims to welcome 118,000 permanent residents annually through family class sponsorship. Sponsors must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are at least 18 years old and possess the financial capacity to support the sponsored individuals for a specified period of time. The support requirements vary based on the number of people being sponsored, and sponsors assume legal responsibility, even in the event of a relationship breakdown, by signing a financial undertaking.

With these new measures and initiatives, Canada is demonstrating its commitment to family reunification and prioritizing the well-being of families throughout the immigration process. The introduction of faster processing times, dedicated tools, and open work permits signifies a progressive approach to immigration, fostering unity, and contributing to the nation’s social and economic fabric.

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