The Canadian government has announced a new measure to speed up the approval of family reunification applications, after the UK government banned students from Nigeria and other foreign countries on study visas from bringing their families into the country.
Announcing the development, Canadian immigration minister, Sean Fraser explained that the new measures were put in place to strengthen family reunification in Canada.
The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, joined by the Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre, said the new measures is to strengthen family reunification, including faster temporary resident visa (TRV) processing times for spousal applicants new and dedicated processing tools for spousal TRV applicants.
He also announced faster temporary resident visa (TRV) processing and more considerate application measures so that families can be together sooner while they wait for their permanent residence to be finalized. Going forward, most of these applications will be processed within 30 days, and applicants will benefit from processing measures specific to their circumstances as spouses and dependants. Many applications have already been processed using these new tools. Within this cohort of applicants, we have seen an approval rate of 93%.
Once in Canada, newcomers often seek jobs to support themselves and their families. That is why Canada has also made open work permits available for spousal applicants and their dependent children who reside with their sponsor in Canada and have temporary resident status. Spouses, partners and dependants are now able to apply for and receive 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.
Fraser further announced that spousal applicants, along with other open work permit holders, whose open work permits expire between August 1 and the end of 2023, will be able to extend their work permits for an additional 18 months. A similar option was recently offered to many with expiring post-graduation work permits.
“Family reunification through immigration is not only a matter of compassion; it is a fundamental pillar of Canadian society. Today’s announcement is a mandate commitment to help build inclusive and resilient communities. We are supporting Canadians and newcomers by reuniting families faster, and also allowing them to work and support themselves more quickly once they’re here. By doing so, Canada is helping newcomers achieve their true potential, while also strengthening Canada’s economy and social fabric.”
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship stressed that: “Family reunification lies at the heart of building vibrant and inclusive communities. In Vancouver, we know that when families are united, they become stable, put down roots and begin to build a future. Our city thrives. This unwavering commitment to bringing loved ones together fuels our collective spirit and enriches the tapestry of our diverse neighbourhoods.
“Today’s emphasis on family reunification amplifies Vancouver’s strength, resilience, and compassion as we create a city where every individual feels a sense of belonging, and every family can flourish.”
Recall that the British government banned foreign students including Nigerians from bringing family members to the country as a part of the new plan to cut immigration numbers.