published on 30 September 2020 @ 3:15 pm · COMMENT
IRCC Announces New Measures to Speed up Spousal Reunification in Canada
On September 24, 2020, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), will be speeding up the processing of spousal sponsorship applications, in order to finalize applications more quickly and to facilitate the reunification of couples in Canada. In a recent news release, IRCC indicated that it is aiming to accelerate, prioritize and finalize approximately 6,000 spousal applications each month between October to December 2020.
As part of this initiative, IRCC will be increasing the number of decision makers on spousal sponsorship applications, implementing facilitative biometrics measures, and piloting other technologies to conduct remote interviews with sponsorship applicants, where required.
On September 22, 2020, IRCC also announced a new temporary public policy for permanent residence applicants who are required to provide biometrics for their permanent residence applications. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many biometrics collection sites in and outside of Canada have remained closed or do not offer biometrics collection services, causing significant delays in processing. In recognizing the impact that these delays are having on applicants, IRCC’s new policy exempts permanent residence applicants from the requirement to provide biometrics if:
- They have a new or pending application for permanent residence made from within or outside Canada; and
- They have already submitted their biometrics in support of an immigration application within the last ten (10) years.
Together, these announcements are a welcome development in IRCC’s policy and promise to facilitate the reunification of many Canadians and their loved ones, who have been separated during these difficult times.
Express Entry Update
On September 30th 2020, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued a new round of invitations to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system.
Today’s draw invited candidates who qualify under all Express Entry categories, including the Canadian Experience Class, Provincial Nominees, Federal Skilled Trades, and the Federal Skilled Worker Class. A total of 4,200 candidates were invited to apply in today’s draw. The minimum score selected was 471.
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, IRCC previously excluded Federal Skilled Worker candidates from selection in the Express Entry draws as of March 4th 2020. While draws under the Federal Skilled Worker category resumed July 8th 2020, IRCC continued to limit alternating draws to only Canadian Experience Class and Provincial Nominee candidates.
This marks the first time we have seen three consecutive draws including Federal Skilled Worker candidates since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. With 4,200 candidates invited to apply, today’s draw has also been one of the largest we have seen in recent months, indicating that IRCC remains committed to the intake and processing of new applications for permanent residence in Canada.
On September 16th 2020, IRCC issued a new round of invitations to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system. The previous draw invited candidates who qualify under all Express Entry categories, including the Federal Skilled Worker Class. A total of 4,200 candidates were invited to apply in the previous draw on September 16th 2020. The minimum score selected was 472.