How long is the processing time for Canadian spouse and common-law sponsorship?

One of the most common questions asked about spouse and common-law sponsorship to Canada is how long is the processing time? Canada is one of the most popular places in the world to immigrate, so it’s no surprise that many people are hoping to live and work in Canada with thousands of applications submitted every day. The spousal sponsorship processing time in Canada depends on various factors and conditions that we take a look at in this article.

Average processing time 

Canadian spouse and common-law sponsorship takes on average twelve months to process, for both inland and outland applications. It’s important to note that this is the average processing time, and it can differ from case to case.

How are processing times calculated?

Immigration Canada (IRCC) measures processing times from the day they receive a complete application until a final decision is made. Applications that are not complete will be returned. The twelve months does not include wait times for landing interviews or passport requests. Prior to submitting an application, it can take weeks or months to compile a thoroughly documented sponsorship case.

Factors affecting processing time for spouse and common-law partner sponsorship applications

The processing time for spousal and common-law sponsorship can depend on the following factors:

Sending a complete application

Prior to filing, it is crucial that you provide all documents and application forms are duly signed and filled out correctly. If a document is missing or you forget a signature, the application will be returned weeks and even months later. This is why hiring an immigration expert is recommended to complete the application on your behalf to ensure it is done correctly.

Visa office location

Depending on the country the applicant currently resides, an application can be transferred to the appropriate visa office of their country or any visa office before a decision is made. Every visa office has a different level of the backlog which can promote delays in processing. IRCC will inform you if your sponsorship application is being transferred to any visa office.

Number of applications received

The number of applications received by the processing office can impact processing times. However, for some offices, this can mean fewer applications are received and faster decisions can be made. 

How well your application is documented

If your application is not thoroughly compiled and presented clearly,  a visa officer will require more time to review your case. The officer may request further documentation which will naturally cause delays. We cannot stress enough how avoidable these types of delays can be which is why choosing an experienced immigration expert can help alleviate application concerns. 

Background checks

Even with a thorough application, some applicants may have a criminal history that involves providing court records and police reports with their application. Every situation is different and it is important to ensure you are not inadmissible prior to starting an application. If however you are “admissible” but have committed a criminal offense(s) in the past, this can delay processing.

Processing time is always a valued concern for both the sponsor and their spouse or partner. However, Canada remains committed to family reunification. Applicants should always follow the guidelines carefully when applying for sponsorship to help avoid unnecessary delays.

If you have any further questions about spousal sponsorship in Canada please get in touch to find out how we can help you and your partner come to Canada please get in touch, call +1 (604) 265-4966 or email.