Spouses, children, and parents of recent immigrants will have a faster process to join their loved ones in Canada, according to an announcement by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
The government is implementing a new system to expedite family reunification applications.
This change comes in contrast to the United Kingdom’s recent law, set to take effect in January 2024, which aims to reduce immigration numbers by restricting Nigerian and other international students from bringing their families as dependents, except in specific cases.
The UK government also plans to prevent international students from switching to work visas before completing their studies to prevent visa system abuse.
In Canada, family members seeking permanent residency can now apply for a temporary visitor’s visa while awaiting approval.
However, these visa applications are often denied due to concerns that applicants might overstay their visa.
The new system utilizes advanced analytics to identify individuals with pending permanent residency applications and expedites their temporary visa approval.
The minister expects the turnaround time to be as short as 30 days.
At a press conference in Vancouver, Fraser expressed his hope that this change would enable family members to travel to Canada and reunite with their loved ones more swiftly than before.
The new system categorizes applicants based on their likelihood of obtaining permanent residency, fast-tracking those with a higher probability.
Fraser stated that the approval rate for applications under the new system currently exceeds 98 percent.
The announcement builds upon the instructions issued in April to immigration staff, emphasizing that applications for temporary visas and permanent residency are complementary rather than contradictory.
While the increased use of advanced analytics raises concerns about potential discrimination or disadvantages based on applicants’ backgrounds, Fraser assured that the system applies uniformly and has resulted in improved approval rates for all applicants.
Fraser also revealed that spouses and dependent children with temporary visas will receive open work permits, irrespective of whether they applied before or after arriving in Canada. This measure aims to enable them to support themselves and their families as soon as possible.