The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Sean Fraser, announced on May 26, 2023 new measures to help strengthen family reunification and address Canada’s labour shortages.
Amongst these changes are faster temporary resident visa (TRV) processing times, so that families can be reunited more quickly while they wait for their permanent residence application to be finalized. Applications for temporary resident visas will now be processed within 30 days. There will also be new processing measures that are specific to an applicant’s circumstances as a spouse or dependent, that will assist in faster processing.
Additionally, spouses, partners and dependent children who are residing with their sponsor in Canada and have temporary resident status will now be allowed to apply for an open work permit as soon as they submit a complete permanent residence application. The application has to be submitted under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SPCLC) or other family class programs for a spouse or dependent children to receive the permit. Furthermore, an application submission will only be considered complete when you receive an Acknowledgement of Receipt from IRCC confirming an application is complete.
Spousal applicants on open work permits that expire between August 1 and the end of 2023 will now be able to extend their work permits for an additional 18 months. While open work permits can be available to foreign national through a multitude of situations, only certain people will be eligible for an extension including:
- applicants awaiting a decision on their permanent residence application and their spouses
- family class-sponsored spouses with valid temporary resident status and their dependent children
- spouses and common-law partners of most work permit holders and their dependent children
- spouses and common-law partners of study permit holders
These initiatives were implemented to make it easier for people who were awaiting permanent resident status to rejoin their spouses, partners, & children in Canada. In addition, by expanding the eligibility for open work permits, the Minister hopes these measures will allow families to better support themselves in Canada while addressing some of the labour shortages the country is facing.
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