Canada has announced new measures to make it easier for families of recent immigrants to relocate to the country.
This announcement comes just a few days after the United Kingdom government banned foreign students including Nigeria from bringing their families into the country.
The new measures which were revealed on Friday aims to expedite the approval of family reunification applications.
The measurements are faster Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) processing times for spousal applicants and a new and dedicated processing tools for spousal TRV applicants.
A new open work permit for spousal and family class applicants and open work permit extensions for open work permit holders expiring between August 1st and the end of 2023.
“Family members from visa required countries who have submitted family class Permanent Residency (PR) applications can apply for TRV to join their sponsor in Canada,” Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC), said.
He said far too many are refused on the basis that they are unlikely to return home, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority are approved for permanent residency when their application is finally processed.
According to Fraser, IRCC has successfully eliminated the backlog of TRV applications for family members who already have a permanent residency application being processed.
“IRCC’s new approach towards spousal TRV applications has approved more than 98 percent of applications for spouses and their kids, so that they can be with their families while they await the processing of their PR applications,” he added.
Going forward, Fraser said the new approach to processing TRV applications will lead to processing times of within 30 days. “Family members will be able to travel to Canada more quickly and be with their loved ones sooner.”
Family reunification is one of the pillars of the country’s immigration system. According to the government, the family class is the second largest category of newcomers welcomed by Canada under its Immigration Levels Plan.
Last year, the country announced a new immigration plan that would see it welcome 500,000 immigrants per year by 2025 in a bid to strengthen the economy, reunite families, and help refugees.
Under the plan, it is hoping to get 465,000 new permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025.
The government also revealed that the IRCC is also launching a new initiative that will issue open work permits to spousal applicants and their dependent children who reside with their sponsor in Canada and have temporary resident status.