Changes To Canada Family Reunification Immigration

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Canada has introduced a number of initiatives meant to encourage family reunions and assist immigrants in settling in the nation. Open work permits for candidates in the family and spousal classes are one of them.

Sean Fraser, the minister of immigration, has announced a number of reforms, including the opening of work permits and quicker processing periods for temporary resident visas (TRVs) for spouses.

According to the federal government, these progressive policies are designed to make it easier for families to reconnect while simultaneously giving them the resources they need to survive in Canada.

The establishment of quicker TRV processing timeframes for spousal candidates is one of the main changes. The majority of these applications will now be processed within 30 days.

These applications will benefit from specialized processing measures tailored to the circumstances of spouses and dependents. This focus on expedited processing has already yielded promising results, with an approval rate of 93 per cent among applicants who have been processed using these new tools.

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Spousal applicants and their dependant children who live in Canada with their sponsor and have temporary residence status are now eligible for open work permits. Canada attempts to give newcomers quick access to the labor market by issuing open work permits as soon as a full permanent residence application is submitted under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class or other family class programs.

For applicants for spousal visas and other open work permit holders whose visas expire between August 1 and the end of 2023, the government has additionally extended the validity of these visas.

Individuals and families who were concerned about the unpredictability surrounding their work permits can now be at ease thanks to this extension.

Recently, people with expired post-graduation employment permits had a comparable choice.

Family reunification through immigration is a fundamental tenet of Canadian civilization, according to Fraser. It is not just a matter of charity.

Canada has worked hard in recent years to improve customer service, streamline procedures, and hasten the processing of immigration applications.

Across all immigration programs, nearly 5.2 million applications were completed in 2022, resulting in millions of people receiving decisions on their cases. The service standard for processing new spousal sponsorship applications has been set at 12 months for 80% of cases, excluding Quebec, as part of these reforms.

Foreign nationals may obtain open work permits in a variety of circumstances, but not everyone will be qualified for an extension.


Eligibility for the extension is limited to categories including permanent residence applicants awaiting a decision, sponsored spouses with valid temporary resident status, spouses or common-law partners of work permit holders, and spouses or common-law partners of study permit holders.

Canada issued over one million work permits and work permit extensions in 2022.

PGWP Extensions Allowed

Canada recently allowed foreign nationals with expired or expiring Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP) another 18-month extension.

PGWPs are not usually renewable but, starting Apr. 6, international graduates with one of these permits which expired last year or earlier this year will qualify for an additional or extended work permit to stay longer and gain additional work experience for up to 18 months.

Those with expired work permits will be able to restore their status, even if they are beyond the 90-day restoration period and will receive an interim work authorization while awaiting processing of their new work permit application.

Tens of thousands of international students successfully transition to permanent residence each year, including more than 157,000 in 2021, a record high, and nearly 95,000 in 2022, the second-highest total ever.

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