Canadians Facing Troubling Delays Should Seek the Help of an Immigration Lawyer
In Canada, if a Canadian citizen marries a foreign national, they can sponsor their spouse, with the help of an immigration lawyer, for permanent residency under the Family Class. Being a permanent resident will not only allow this spouse to live, study, and work in Canada, but to begin their new life with their partner.
Permanent resident lawyers explain that Canadians have the option of sponsoring their spouse from within Canada (inland), if the spouse is already here legally with valid temporary status, or from abroad (overseas), within their spouse’s home country. As you can imagine, most prefer to do so from Canada, so that they don’t have to be separated while an application is in process overseas, or have to give up their career in Canada to be with them.
Regardless of whether you are an inland or an overseas applicant, there are two steps in the process. The first stage is the initial assessment of the sponsor’s eligibility, and the second stage is an examination of the sponsored spouse, which includes criminal and health clearance. As with all permanent residency applications, both steps can be made easier with the help of a permanent residency lawyer.
In recent years, immigration lawyers have seen processing times for immigration applications for foreign spouses already living in Canada increase drastically. In 2013 processing time for the first stage was 6 months, and the second stage was 8 months. In 2014 the processing time for the first stage increased to 12 months, and in 2015 times for the first stage tripled to 17 months, and increased to 10 months for the second stage, for a total of 27 months.
Permanent resident lawyers are seeing many Canadians waiting more than two years to acquire permanent resident status for their foreign spouses living in Canada. This is problematic for a number of reasons, but most notably is the effect that it has on both the lives of the applicants and their Canadian spouses. While they are waiting, their lives are essentially put on pause. As many immigration lawyers know all too well, these applicants are not allowed to work, can’t access healthcare, education or travel abroad. The Canadian spouse is forced to support their family, having children becomes a challenge due to the lack of access to healthcare, and these spouses cannot visit their family members abroad.
If you’re in the process of sponsoring your spouse for permanent residency, and you need help navigating these applications and understanding these delays, contact a permanent resident lawyer today.