How long does a Spousal Sponsorship application take?
Those applying for spousal sponsorship, common-law partner sponsorship, or conjugal partner sponsorship will need to submit their completed application to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) case processing centre in Mississauga, Ontario. The Mississauga case processing centre will review the sponsor’s qualifications, and if they find the sponsor to be qualified, will refer the sponsorship application to the appropriate visa office for processing. It generally takes the Mississauga office one to three months to make a final decision.
Once the application reaches the foreign visa office, the processing times will vary according to the work load, number of staff, and processing priorities of the individual visa office. As a result, the average processing time could be anywhere from six months to two years. However, except at one or two particularly busy offices, spousal sponsorships are usually completed in less than one year from receipt at the visa office.
In-Canada applications generally take longer than outside-Canada applications, as the immigration authorities consider these cases to be lower priority given that the spouse is already in Canada. In-Canada cases typically take about one to two years to process.
It should be noted that the Minister of Immigration has stated his intention to reduce the processing times for sponsorship cases to six months on average. If this target is achieved, it would be a welcome relief for Canadians and their spouses or partners who wish to be quickly reunited in Canada.