On May 26, 2023, the IRCC unveiled new measures aimed at enhancing family reunification, which include:
- Accelerated processing times for temporary resident visas (TRVs) for spousal applicants
- Introduction of specialized processing tools for spousal TRV applicants
- Introduction of an open work permit for spousal and family class applicants
- Extension of open work permits for holders whose permits expire between August 1 and the end of 2023
The IRCC has introduced faster processing of temporary resident visas (TRVs) and more compassionate application measures to reduce the wait time for families awaiting finalization of their permanent residence. Moving forward, most of these applications will be processed within 30 days, with specific processing measures tailored to the circumstances of spouses and dependents. Many applications have already been processed using these new tools, resulting in an impressive approval rate of 93%.
Upon arrival in Canada, newcomers often seek employment to support themselves and their families. To address this, Canada has made open work permits available to spousal applicants and their dependent children who are residing with their sponsor in Canada and hold temporary resident status. Spouses, partners, and dependents can now apply for and obtain an open work permit as soon as they submit a complete permanent residence application under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SPCLC) or other family class programs.
Lastly, the IRCC has announced that spousal applicants, along with other open work permit holders whose permits expire between August 1 and the end of 2023, will have the option to extend their work permits for an additional 18 months. A similar opportunity was recently provided to individuals with expiring post-graduation work permits.
Immigration will continue to play a crucial role in addressing Canada’s labor shortages, and these initiatives fulfill the Minister’s commitment, as outlined in the mandate letter, to strengthen family reunification by facilitating temporary resident status for spouses, partners, and dependent children awaiting permanent residence.