I’ve been thinking about this recent release by the Canadian Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, where they announced new measures to strengthen family reunification, including
- faster temporary resident visa (TRV) processing times for spousal applicants
- new and dedicated processing tools for spousal TRV applicants
- a new open work permit for spousal and family class applicants
- open work permit extensions for open work permit holders expiring between August 1 and the end of 2023
Foreigners who are spouses or common law partners being sponsored for immigration will be able to get work permits even if their application is processed at a visa office. The catch is they have to get here first.
For people who need visas, officers will assess the genuineness of the relationship when processing visitor visa applications. Most won’t know how to show this. The change means they can’t apply for work visas directly, only after the visitor visa is approved and they’re here.
This two step process is unnecessary. Overall, what this tells me is that the bureaucrats are very much concerned with fraud and that they’re a powerful influence over our politicians. Just after becoming the Immigration Minister, Minister Fraser spoke about letting spouses in as visitors while their Permanent Resident sponsorships are pending. Prime Minister Trudeau’s mandate letter to Minister Fraser mentioned this. Both have recently said Canada needs to facilitate – even to the point of a leaked memo about suspending an assessment of applicant’s ties to their home countries (assessing whether they’re genuine visitors).
I’ve expressed reservations that the politicians would follow through. I think there is just too much fraud and too many bad actors here and abroad. It’s a shame for many innocent people and they should seek the help of a proper immigration lawyer because these visitor visa applications are going to need to document the relationship very, very well.