Canada has seen a significant increase in spousal sponsorship immigration numbers, with a projected 33.7% increase by the end of this year compared to last year. The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals that 6,215 new permanent residents were welcomed through spousal sponsorship in July, almost the same level as the previous month. By the end of July, Canada had already opened its doors to 50,015 new permanent residents through this immigration program, marking a 21.6% increase compared to the first seven months of 2022.
Based on the current trend, Canada is expected to receive a total of 85,740 new permanent residents through spousal sponsorships by the end of this year. This projected level of immigration surpasses the target set by Ottawa for spousal sponsorships for this year. In its Immigration Levels Plan 2023 – 2025, Ottawa has set an upper limit of 84,000 new permanent residents under programs to sponsor spouses, partners, and children. The target for this year specifically is 78,000 new permanent residents.
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, has seen the highest number of arrivals under the spousal sponsorship program, with 26,270 spouses making it their home in the first seven months of this year. Other provinces and territories have also attracted significant numbers of new permanent residents through spousal sponsorship, including Quebec with 5,335, Alberta with 6,430, and British Columbia with 8,545.
When a Canadian citizen or permanent resident chooses to sponsor a spouse or common-law partner to immigrate to Canada, they must sign an undertaking to provide financial support for the sponsored person’s basic needs. This includes food, clothing, shelter, and other everyday living expenses. The agreement cannot be canceled, even in the event of divorce, separation, or financial difficulties.
It is worth noting that certain government payments, such as maternity, parental, and sickness benefits under the Employment Insurance Act, are considered income and contribute to the eligibility of sponsoring a spouse or common-law partner. However, other payments, like employment insurance and federal training allowances, are not considered income.
In terms of processing times, the current estimated processing time for sponsorship applications for spouses or common-law partners outside the country and planning to live outside of Quebec is now 13 months. This is a significant improvement compared to the 20-month processing time last year. The processing time includes biometrics, assessment of the sponsor and the sponsored person, and eligibility checks by immigration officials.
Overall, the increase in spousal sponsorship immigration numbers in Canada is expected to continue throughout the year. With a projected 33.7% increase compared to last year, Canada is opening its doors to more individuals seeking to join their spouses or common-law partners in the country. This increase reflects the importance of family reunification and highlights Canada’s commitment to facilitating immigration through various programs and initiatives.