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Canada announces measures to strengthen family reunification

Canada announces measures to strengthen family reunification

Canada announces measures to strengthen family reunification

May 31, 2023
Canada announces measures to strengthen family reunification

On May 26th, 2023, Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, unveiled significant improvements aimed at strengthening family class immigration in Canada. These measures are set to enhance the process for spousal applicants and provide more opportunities for families to reunite. Let’s dive into the details.

One of the key enhancements is the introduction of faster processing times for Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs) for spousal applicants. Recognizing the urgency of family reunification, the government has implemented new and dedicated processing tools for spousal TRV applicants. This will result in more efficient processing and reduced waiting times, allowing families to be together in Canada sooner.

In addition to expediting TRV processing, the Canadian government has introduced a new open work permit specifically for spousal and family class applicants. This open work permit initiative enables spouses, partners, and dependent children residing with their sponsors in Canada to apply for a work permit while their permanent residence application is being processed. Previously limited to the inland spousal program, this benefit is now extended to those applying from outside Canada as well.

Furthermore, a crucial development announced by Fraser is the open work permit extension for current open work permit holders expiring between August 1st and the end of 2023. Through a simplified and free facilitated process, approximately 25,000 individuals, including spouses and dependents of temporary workers, spouses of international students, and permanent resident applicants and their families, will be eligible to extend their permits for an additional 18 months. This provision offers stability and continued employment opportunities to those awaiting the finalization of their permanent residency.

It’s important to note that family class sponsorship holds immense significance in Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan. In 2023 alone, the country aims to welcome 106,500 newcomers under the family class category, with 78,000 falling under the spouses, partners, and children category and 28,500 under the parents and grandparents category. By 2025, Canada is striving to welcome 118,000 newcomers through family class immigration.

To become a sponsor under the family class category, certain eligibility criteria must be met. Sponsors must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents aged 18 years or older, with no recent history of imprisonment, bankruptcy, removal orders, or serious offenses. Additionally, sponsors cannot have been sponsored as a spouse within the last five years. Spouses, common law and conjugal partners, children, parents, and grandparents are all eligible for sponsorship, provided they meet the necessary requirements.

This new open work permit for family class and spousal applicants reflects Canada’s commitment to supporting family reunification and creating a more inclusive and welcoming immigration system. It acknowledges the importance of keeping families together during the often lengthy process of permanent residency applications.

With these changes, families will benefit from expedited processing times for spousal TRV applications, allowing them to travel to Canada and be with their loved ones within 30 days. The introduction of open work permits for spousal and family class applicants provides an opportunity for spouses, partners, and dependents to contribute to the Canadian workforce while awaiting the outcome of their permanent residency applications.

The extension of open work permits for existing permit holders ensures that individuals and their families can continue to work and support themselves during the extended waiting period. This provision brings stability and peace of mind to those in the process of transitioning to permanent residency.

The government’s focus on family class immigration aligns with its broader objectives of attracting skilled individuals, fostering social cohesion, and building a diverse and prosperous society. By facilitating family reunification, Canada recognizes the positive impact of strong familial bonds on immigrants’ integration and success in their new home.

These recent improvements demonstrate Canada’s ongoing commitment to creating a fair and efficient immigration system that prioritizes family unity. The government’s efforts to streamline processes and reduce wait times will undoubtedly bring relief and joy to countless families longing to be together.

In conclusion, Canada’s announcement of a new open work permit for family class and spousal applicants, along with other measures to strengthen family class immigration, marks a significant step towards facilitating family reunification and supporting immigrant families in their journey to permanent residency. These changes not only provide opportunities for families to be together but also contribute to Canada’s social fabric and economic growth. As the country continues to welcome newcomers under the family class category, it affirms its commitment to a compassionate and inclusive immigration policy.


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