What are the changes to the spousal sponsorship program?
We made changes to help reduce processing times for both in-Canada and overseas applicants.
These changes include the following:
- One application package for all spousal sponsorship applicants: All applicants, both in Canada and overseas, can now use the same application package and checklists.
- New basic guide: Applicants can prepare their application using a shorter, more basic guide.
- Personalized document checklist: Applicants can use one of four checklists (based on who is being sponsored) to find out which forms and documents they need to submit.
- Simplified relationship questionnaire: The new questionnaire is easier to understand and has fewer questions.
- Medical exam: Applicants no longer need to submit medical exams up front with an application. Instructions will be sent to the applicant when a medical exam is needed.
- Police certificates: Applicants need to provide only the police certificates from:
- the country where they currently live; and
- the country where they have spent most of their adult life since the age of 18 (if different from the country where they live).
Weâ€™ll request other police certificates only if needed.
- The person being sponsored can access more information through their online account: They can
- get instructions to send us other documents we need;
- see real-time information about their application status;
- receive messages from us in their online account.
- 2 application kits, separate for in-Canada and overseas
- 180 pages of guides different for overseas and in-Canada, and for sponsors and applicants
- 14 guides and checklists
- 3 separate relationship questionnaires and 1 sponsorship evaluation form
- Upfront medical exams and police certificates
- Processing times: up to 26 months (for 80% of cases)
New improved process (December 15, 2016)
- 1 application kit for everyone
- 1 guide, 75 pages
- 1 checklist
- 1 relationship and sponsorship form
- Later in the process, medical and police certificates requested
- Processing times: 12 months for all applicants (for 80% of cases)
Overseas and in-Canada applications all processed within 12 months (for 80% of cases)
- Get new application kit. 12 month process
- Read basic guide. Refer to complete guide if needed, and check country specific requirements.
- Identify your checklist. Identify which checklist applies to your situation: spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or a dependent child.
- Fill out forms and assemble application package. Include all forms and documents required on the checklist for your situation.
- Mail application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Processing starts.
- Receiver letter of acknowledgement and instructions. Review instructions to create online account and link your application.
- Link paper application to online account if you wish. Makes it easier to receive and send information.
- You have 30 days to submit background information. Complete and submit Schedule A and police certificates.
- Medical examination: Wait to receive instructions and medical form, then do your exam
- Check account. Receive requests for additional information through your online account, if required.
- IRCC completes processing. IRCC will finish processing your application after it has all the necessary information.
- Decision issued: If approved, applicant receives permanent residence on visa. If refused, applicants receive letter.
- Processing time of 26 months for in-Canada applicants and 18 months for overseas applicants (for 80% of cases).
Starting December 7, 2016:
- Overseas and in-Canada applications all processed within 12 months (for 80% of cases).