top of page

Canada's commitment to reuniting and keeping families together

Canada has reaffirmed its commitment to keeping families together, which is key to the country's existing immigration system.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented new procedures to expedite family reunions, ensuring that defendants and spouses who would not otherwise be eligible to travel to Canada now have a road to rejoin their families.

On the 26th of May, former Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced additional restrictions, which include:

  • Expedited processing times for temporary residence visas (TRV) for spousal applicants, thanks to the introduction of new, specialized systems intended solely to process spousal TRV applications.

  • Provision of a new open work permit scheme for both spousal and family class applicants; and extending the eligibility of Open Work Permits (OWPs) to spouses and family members of permanent residents, Canadian citizens, temporary employees, and students (currently in Canada).

New tools and faster processing times:

These new processing tools and methods are intended to improve efficiency, particularly in non-complex applications. These procedures have already had positive results, with 98% approval rate for spousal TRV applicants (including both spouses and dependents). Much of this efficiency can be attributed to IRCC's recent use of new analytics in application processing, which can employ a multifactor analysis of applications to assist immigration officers in determining whether an applicant is likely to be qualified for Permanent Residence (PR). Officers can then place this application in a category where it is more likely to be granted (based on the applicant's eligibility), considerably reducing processing times.

New Spousal and Family Class Work Permits are now available:

OWPs were made available for a limited time to spouses of individuals participating in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and International Mobility Program (IMP) on January 30th of this year. This effort will be carried out until 2025. The IRCC thinks that giving work permits to these workers' spouses, dependents, and common-law partners may ease some of their stress by enhancing their financial security and encouraging family unity and inclusion into their communities.

Working-age children 16 and older of the major applicants of all skill levels are also included in the project. According to IRCC estimates, this program will allow over 200,000 families of foreign workers to enter the Canadian workforce, helping to reduce the national labor shortage and boost the economy.

Open Work Permit for Applicants from Outside:

IRCC also released an improved family sponsorship guideline for outland sponsorships on May 26th.

Spouses, partners, and dependents of permanent residents, Canadian citizens, temporary employees, and students (now in Canada) are now possibly eligible for an OWP under the revised rules. Spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners, and dependent children over the age of 18 are considered family members.

Previously, OWPs were only accessible to candidates through inland sponsorship or to persons who already had a TRV and lived in Canada. The modified proposal, on the other hand, allows applications from outside of Canada, generally known as outland sponsorship applications, to be reviewed, making these people eligible for OWPs.

Under this new approach, IRCC plans to process all spousal sponsorship applications within a 12-month timeframe. Family members who have a valid temporary resident status, who have maintained their status or who are eligible for and have applied to restore their status, and who share a residential address in Canada with their sponsor at the time of their OWP application may be eligible for a work permit.

Officers can give OWPs to foreign nationals who meet one of two sets of qualifications, according to IRCC public policy.

Such candidates should:

  • I've also applied for a work permit for a maximum of two years.

  • Should be the subject of a sponsorship application from their Canadian citizen or permanent resident spouse, common law or conjugal partner;

  • At the time of application, they must share a residential residence in Canada with their sponsor; and

  • Have valid temporary residence status in Canada or be eligible for and have applied for status restoration.

In another case, the foreign national could be a dependent child listed as a family member in the permanent residency application. They should have done the following:

  • submitted an application for a two-year work permit;

  • At the time of application, share the same residential address in Canada as the major applicant and their sponsor; and

  • Maintain valid temporary resident status in Canada, or be eligible for and have applied for status restoration.


bottom of page