McCallum Promising Faster Processing, Wait Times for Spousal Reunification

John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, provides an update on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 on Canada's plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

The Government of Canada is making it faster and easier for Canadians and permanent residents to reunite with their spouses.

At the direction of the Minister, earlier this year Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) began a concerted effort to reduce processing times. From the start of 2016 to the fall, processing times were reduced by 15 percent for in-Canada applications and just over 10 percent for applications outside Canada.

Starting today, processing times will be reduced even further with most spousal applications now being processed in 12 months. Complex cases may require more time.

“We have listened to Canadians and are delivering results. Bringing families together makes for a stronger Canada,” John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and citizenship said. Applicants who already filed an application will not have to wait an additional 12 months to have them finalized. IRCC will continue to process applications in the order they have been received. Most families who have been waiting should have a decision on their sponsorship application no later than the end of December 2017.

These new changes are expected to benefit more than 64 000 applicants by the end of 2017, and are the latest measures to bring families together.  The new application should be available on IRCC’s official website by December 15.