Canada To Speed Up Spousal Sponsorship Processing With 2 New Tools – INC – Immigration News Canada

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Last Updated On 31 May 2024, 9:08 AM EDT (Toronto Time)

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is improving the processing time of overseas spousal sponsorship, including the common-law partner, by using 2 new automation tools.

The initiative’s goal is to automate the eligibility approval process for both the sponsor and principal applicant of routine family-class overseas spouse and partner applications.

The immigration department is aiming to clear the backlogs as well as use these innovative tools for future applications.


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The department is currently using similar automation tools to process post-graduation work permits (PGWPs), IEC, and LMIA-based applications.

Also, such automation tools have previously been implemented for super visas and visitor visas.

In order to improve operational efficiency, the new initiative will sort all routine and standard Family Class overseas spouse and partner applications by organizing them according to shared attributes.

Spousal sponsorship applicants often face delays in processing times, given that the current processing time may take around 12 months or even more.

The implementation of new automated tools for eligibility approval decisions for certain applications will assist in reducing processing times.

As per the department, immigration officers will have the final say on all family class applications before granting the approval and these new tools never reject applications or advise immigration officers to do so.

Applications for spouses and partners consist of two sections: the portion about sponsorship and the part about the primary applicant.

Two of the new tools will now focus on determining the eligibility of these sections, as listed below:

IRCC Automation Tools To Process Spousal Sponsorship Faster

The immigration officer first evaluates the application’s sponsorship section to identify common examples for immediate acceptance.

An officer manually reviews the sponsorship sections of applications not automatically authorized by the automation tool.

Officers then may focus on other sponsorship cases by automating routine approvals for sponsors, which will expedite the decision-making process for applicants.

Review of the primary applicant with automation

By recognizing routine applications for faster processing, the principle applicant automation tool for the second portion of the application will help the department operate more quickly.

When it comes to regular applications, the automation tool has the authority to determine that the primary applicant is qualified and forward the case to an officer, who will then make the final determination regarding the applicant’s approval.

Spousal sponsorship Canada processing time

What is a Canadian Spousal Sponsorship?

Spousal sponsorship is a program that allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner for Canadian permanent residency (PR).

How would new IRCC automation tools help applicants?

The automation tools will shorten the time it takes to process “active” eligibility, which will directly benefit the applicants.

“Active eligibility processing” refers to the time decision-makers invest in determining an applicant’s eligibility.

Indirectly, the technologies will help applicants by processing information more quickly overall.

Can automation tools refuse/reject spousal applications?

The Canadian immigration department has repeatedly reiterated that they will only use automation to triage applications, automate certain positive sponsorship approvals, and make some positive eligibility decisions for primary applicants.

The system neither recommends nor rejects applications.

An immigration officer still makes all rejections after conducting a thorough, personalized evaluation of all applications that the system cannot approve.

The system automatically forwards applications with positive primary eligibility and/or positive sponsorship approval to an officer for review and final determination of the principle applicant’s admissibility.

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