How long does it take to process my inland sponsorship application?
- Applications submitted before December 7, 2016: 26 months
- Applications submitted on or after December 7, 2016: 12 months*
The processing time for an inland sponsorship application is 26 months. It has been hovering around the 2-year mark for years. And this is just an average. Though some have been lucky enough to get approved in less time, others have had their applications drag on for even longer.
However, as of December 7, 2016, the Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has pledged to reduce to wait times for inland sponsorship to 12 months right now, and, eventually, 6 months. In fact, IRCC's website is already showing the sponsorship wait times for applications submitted after December 7, 2016 to be 12 months. The goal is to have all applications submitted in the last few weeks of 2016 approved by next December. The Minister has also indicated that he wants to see processing times drop to 6 months in the near future.
Here's his statement:
We have listened to Canadians and are delivering results. Bringing families together makes for a stronger Canada. Canadians who marry someone from abroad shouldn’t have to wait for years to have them immigrate or be left with uncertainty in terms of their ability to stay. What we’re announcing today is a more efficient, more considerate process to reunite families.
- The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
In order to speed up the processing times, there will be a new set of sponsorship application forms available from IRCC on December 15, 2016. These forms will become mandatory for applicants to use the new forms as of January 31, 2017. If you submit an application using old forms after that date, your application will be processed slower, and you can expect your application to take 2 years or more.
For those people who submitted applications before December 7, 2016, it will likely still take more than 2 years from the submission date to get a decision. If the sponsored spouse is on an open work permit, remember to renew that work permit before it expires.
What this means
- Processing time for applications submitted before December 7, 2016: 26 months
- Processing time for applications submitted on old forms between December 7, 2016 and January 31, 2017: 12 months
- Processing time for applications submitted on new forms after December 15, 2016: 12 months
- Processing time for applications submitted on old forms after January 31, 2016: 26 months