Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has recently released its immigration targets for 2022-2024. For 2022, the target for spousal sponsorships is 80,000 and for 2023 and 2024, the target is slightly higher, at 81,000. (Supplementary Information for the 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan)
These are very encouraging numbers as Canada begins to exit the two-year long global pandemic. By contrast, when the pandemic hit the world in 2020, it slowed down the processing of applications -- probably because many IRCC employees began working remotely and spousal sponsorship applications were submitted in paper to either Mississauga, Ontario or Sydney, Nova Scotia. According to IRCC's annual report to Parliament on Immigration (concerning 2020), the number of spouses, parents, and children that were admitted to Canada as permanent residents in 2020 dropped drastically, from historic trends of approximately 60,000 (and with a high of 69,298 in 2019) down to 38,831.
Recognizing the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on IRCC's departmental targets, the Government plans to set "higher admission targets to address pandemic related shortfalls" (IRCC Departmental Plan 2022-2023). In fact, on March 31, 2022, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced that in the first quarter of 2022 the Department has already doubled the number of final decisions compared to the first quarter of 2021 (IRCC News Release).
Given the new, higher immigration target of 80,000 spouses, partners, and children, this is an excellent time to begin gathering your supporting documents and submitting your applications. In my experience, it can take some clients several months to assembly all of the necessary documents to support the genuineness of the relationship, and for that reason, I always encourage clients to reach out to me early on. While Canada's immigration application process can seem daunting and overwhelming, my goal is to help clients navigate the process with clarity and focus, with compassion and understanding, and ultimately, with the view to reunite families here in Canada.
If you would like to discuss sponsoring your spouse (married or common-law), or have any other immigration questions, please feel free to contact me.