Avoiding Delays in Spousal Sponsorship: Key Insights from Hummel Law

The process of sponsoring your spouse, partner, or child for immigration to Canada is a journey filled with anticipation and hope. However, due to the meticulous nature of immigration procedures and the potential for delays, especially in light of COVID-19, applicants often face setbacks. At Hummel Law, we understand the importance of reuniting families. 

This article aims to guide you through the spousal sponsorship application process, highlighting key steps to avoid delays and ensure a smoother application process.

Understanding the Spousal Sponsorship Process

The spousal sponsorship program is designed for Canadian citizens and permanent residents wishing to bring their spouse, partner, or dependent children to live with them in Canada permanently. It’s crucial to ensure your application is complete and accurate to prevent unnecessary delays.

Tips to Streamline Your Application:

  1. Complete Applications: Incomplete applications are a common reason for delays. Double-check that all required forms are filled out correctly and that all necessary documents are included before submission. Due to COVID-19, incomplete applications may now be returned via email if a digital copy was made, facilitating a quicker resolution to missing information.
  2. Stay Informed: Regularly check the email provided in your application for updates or requests for additional information. This is crucial for timely responses to any inquiries from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  3. Track Your Application: Once you receive an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR), you can usually track your application’s status online (though the system does not always work as expected). This AOR confirms that your application is being processed and includes an application number necessary for tracking.
  4. Prepare for Biometrics and Interviews: Promptly booking your biometrics collection appointment when asked to do so, and preparing for the interview (if scheduled) can significantly reduce waiting times. Ensure all family members included in the application are ready and understand the process.
  5. Understand Processing Times: Processing times can vary based on several factors. Being aware of current processing times for spousal sponsorship applications helps set realistic expectations and prepare you for the wait ahead.
  6. Open Work Permit Pilot Program: If applicable, consider applying for the Open Work Permit Pilot Program. This allows spouses and partners who are applying inland to work in Canada while their sponsorship application is being processed, potentially easing financial burdens and making the waiting period more manageable.
  7. Respond to Procedural Fairness Letters Promptly: If IRCC has concerns regarding your application that might lead to a finding of inadmissibility or a refusal, you will receive a procedural fairness letter. It’s imperative to respond to this letter within the given timeframe, providing additional information or clarification as requested.
  8. Legal Representation: Consider engaging with a legal expert specializing in Canadian immigration law. Professional guidance from Hummel Law can help navigate the complexities of the spousal sponsorship process, ensuring all legal requirements are met and potentially avoiding common pitfalls that lead to delays.

Mitigating Common Challenges of Spousal Sponsorship:

Applicants often encounter challenges such as proving the genuineness of their relationship or meeting financial requirements. It’s crucial to provide comprehensive evidence of your relationship and ensure your financial documents accurately reflect your ability to support your spouse or partner upon their arrival in Canada.

If Your Application Faces Delays:

Delays can occur for various reasons, including incomplete applications, missing documents, or the need for additional verification. If your application is taking longer than the standard processing time:

  • Ensure your contact information is up to date with IRCC.
  • Consider providing additional supporting documents proactively.
  • Utilize the IRCC web form for inquiries specific to your case.

In cases of extreme delay, it is often worthwhile to pursue a mandamus application through the Federal Court, to force IRCC to render an immediate decision on your application. 

Bringing your loved one to Canada through spousal sponsorship is a process that requires patience, meticulous attention to detail, and a proactive approach. By following these guidelines and seeking professional advice from Hummel Law, you can navigate the application process more smoothly and avoid common delays. Our team is committed to assisting you every step of the way, ensuring your application is strong and processed as efficiently as possible. For personalized assistance or to discuss your spousal sponsorship application, contact Hummel Law today.


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