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  • Writer's pictureImmergity Immigration Consultant

Canadian Spousal Sponsorship Processing Times

Updated: Oct 27, 2023


Spousal Sponsorship Processing Times

Canadian Spousal Sponsorship is a program that allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner to come and live with them in Canada. The processing times for these applications can vary based on several factors.


Firstly, the type of application submitted can influence the processing time. There are two main types: Inland and Outland. Inland applications are for those already living in Canada, while Outland applications are for those living outside of Canada.


Secondly, the volume of applications received by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can affect the processing time. High volumes can lead to longer wait times.


Additionally, the completeness and accuracy of the application play a crucial role. Applications with missing or incorrect information can face delays.


The country of origin of the applicant can also influence the processing time. Some countries might have longer background check processes, for instance.


Lastly, unforeseen circumstances such as global events or changes in immigration policies can impact processing times.


Differences Between Inland and Outland Applications

Inland and Outland applications have distinct characteristics and processing times.


Inland applications are for spouses or partners who are already in Canada. They can apply for an open work permit alongside their sponsorship application, allowing them to work while waiting for a decision.


Outland applications are for those outside of Canada. The advantage of this type is that they are often processed faster than Inland applications. However, the applicant cannot work in Canada until their application is approved.


It's essential to choose the right type of application based on the applicant's current situation and future plans. Making the wrong choice can lead to unnecessary delays or complications.


Factors Affecting Spousal Sponsorship Processing Times

Several factors can influence the processing times for spousal sponsorship applications.

  • Country of Origin: Some countries might have longer background check processes or other administrative delays.

  • Application Volume: High volumes of applications can lead to longer processing times.

  • Completeness of Application: Incomplete applications or those with errors can face significant delays.

  • Changes in Immigration Policies: Any changes in policies or regulations can impact processing times.

  • Global Events: Events like pandemics or political unrest can affect processing times.

How to Speed Up the Application Process

While there's no guaranteed way to speed up the application process, applicants can take certain steps to ensure their application is processed as quickly as possible.

  • Submit a Complete Application: Ensure all required documents are submitted and filled out correctly.

  • Stay Updated: Regularly check the IRCC website for any updates or changes in the application process.

  • Respond Promptly: If IRCC requests additional information, respond as quickly as possible.

  • Use a Representative: Consider using an immigration lawyer or consultant who is familiar with the process.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoiding common mistakes can help prevent unnecessary delays in the application process.

  • Submitting Incomplete Applications: Always double-check to ensure all required documents are included.

  • Providing Incorrect Information: Ensure all details are accurate and up-to-date.

  • Not Following Up: If you haven't received any updates for an extended period, consider following up with IRCC.

  • Missing Deadlines: If IRCC requests additional information, ensure you provide it within the given timeframe.

Checking Spousal Sponsorship Eligibility

Before submitting a spousal sponsorship application, it is essential to ensure that both the sponsor and the applicant meet the eligibility requirements. To check your eligibility for spousal sponsorship, consider the following criteria:


For the sponsor:

  1. Must be at least 18 years old.

  2. Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

  3. Must not be in prison, bankrupt, or under a removal order (if a permanent resident).

  4. Must not have been sponsored to Canada as a spouse within the last five years.

For the sponsored spouse:

  1. Must be at least 18 years old.

  2. Must pass criminal and medical background checks.

  3. Must not have been sponsored to Canada as a spouse within the last five years.

If you are not sure that you are eligible, please use the Sponsorship Eligibility Checker to check your eligibility to sponsor or be sponsored.


The Role of Immigration Consultants

Immigration consultants can play a crucial role in the spousal sponsorship process.

  • Expertise: They are familiar with the process and can guide applicants through each step.

  • Avoiding Mistakes: They can help ensure the application is complete and accurate, reducing the chance of delays.

  • Updates and Changes: Consultants stay updated on any changes in immigration policies or processes.

Navigating the Canadian Spousal Sponsorship process can be challenging, but with the right information and preparation, applicants can ensure a smoother journey. Always stay updated, avoid common mistakes, and consider seeking expert guidance if unsure about any aspect of the process.


If you need further assistance, feel free to book a consultation with a licensed professional.

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