Updated: Feb 8
ARE CANADIAN IMMIGRATION AND COVID-19 KEEPING YOU APART?
READ ON FOR REAL INFORMATION THAT WILL HELP YOU TO BE REUNITED WITH YOUR LOVED ONE.
Free Download Link Below - 5 TOP TIPS that will Strengthen Your Spousal Open Work Permit Application - MADE FOR APPLICATIONS THAT ARE OR WILL BE SUBMITTED DURING THE PANDEMIC
HAVE YOU APPLIED FOR A SPOUSAL OPEN WORK PERMIT AND 6 MONTHS LATER (OR EVEN MORE) IT'S STILL IN PROCESSING.
HAVE YOU APPLIED FOR SPOUSAL SPONSORSHIP AND YOUR CASE STILL HASN'T EVEN BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED?
IS IT COVID KEEPING YOU FROM YOUR LOVED ONE, OR IS IT CANADIAN IMMIGRATION THAT IS KEEPING YOU FROM YOUR LOVED ONE?!
LONG WAITS, AND UNCERTAINTIES FOR YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONE
It's been nearly a year since we started noticing COVID-19 in Canada and for many who are Temporary Residents in Canada, it has been even longer than that since they have seen their loved ones. In fact, many of you reading this post probably had plans in place for a visit to your home country and they were derailed by COVID. Even when you could travel, you were advised not to leave Canada because you may not get back in. Ultimately you made the very difficult choice to stay in Canada, but what has that meant for your relationship, your family, and your mental health during what is already a very difficult time?
The problems you are facing are the border closures, lack of flights, and requirements to quarantine if you or your spouse could travel. However, the biggest issues are that even if you could get these things in place, if you leave Canada you may not get back in and your spouse still hasn't obtained valid status so that they can travel to Canada.
Spouses are exempt from travel restrictions, but not spouses of Temporary Residents (those who are are here to work, study or visit.) Despite this, even spouses of Canadians and Canadian permanent residents are unable to obtain permission to travel to Canada because their applications are stuck in application processing limbo. For many you submitted an application and have been stopped in your tracks by the lack of open biometrics centres. In many countries, they have been closed for months. Some of you are travelling to other countries, (with great difficulty) to get your biometrics, others do not have this as an option. We had a visitor record (inside of Canada application) recently that took more than 7 months to process!!! Another example is with a spousal sponsorship that is in process and nearly complete. The spouse would like to join her husband in Canada and her application to travel to Canada has been in processing for more than three months despite multiple web form requests and the public policy that indicates she is permitted to enter Canada.
However, in contrast to this, as an example, we are seeing permits from some countries process in as little as a few weeks.
So where does this leave you and what do you do?
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FAMILY REUNIFICATION IN 2021
There is no question that family reunification in 2021 is going to be very different from what we are used to.
In the past, you would obtain your study permit or work permit (in a National Occupation Code (NOC) 0, A or B) and would either immediately apply for your spouse to join you or would get settled and apply. The processing time was about 12 weeks which was long, but not an unreasonable amount of time to be separated from your spouse if it meant that you could achieve your Canadian immigration goals in the interim.
The same could be said for outside of Canada spousal sponsorships. You know there would be a sacrifice but at least you could visit and the turnaround times just weren't that long so it was doable
"Now you're stuck in processing limbo,
unable to travel, unable to get answers,
unable to move in any direction, and
with lockdown, that means, not even out
of your own home!"
You hoped that the new year would bring a vaccine and changes but it has been slower than slow to be implemented and seemingly, particularly in Canada where we hear daily about how hard it is to get and to distribute the vaccine. "Vaccine Delays" is the phrase of the day. This means that for many, you will see more waiting, and more processing delays.
So instead of a light at the end of the tunnel, you're still stuck in processing limbo, unable to travel, unable to get answers, unable to move in any direction, and with lockdown, barely even out of your own home! This means is that you have a whole lot of time to think, and stress, and get angry about the things that are preventing you from being with your partner.
So what are your options?
WHAT DO WE EXPECT FOR THE REST OF 2021
So far we have seen increased travel restrictions, limited vaccine availability, slow processing times and variable reopening of biometrics centres. As far as we can see there will be more of the same. However, as we know with COVID, things change quickly and we need to be ready. I know many already have their eye on 2022 and a year goes by quickly. Although we can't predict the rest of 2021 we can make a plan that works with the current conditions and the unknowns.
WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS FOR REUNIFICATION WITH YOUR SPOUSE IN 2021
WHAT CAN YOU AND SHOULD YOU DO?
1. IF YOU WERE GOING TO MAKE AN
APPLICATION, THEN MAKE THE APPLICATION
If you had already planned to make an application for a spousal open work permit, or visitor permit and had assessed your eligibility surrounding this application and everything previously looked good, then continue on and make the application. What you don't want to happen is that you wait until the borders open up and everyone makes an application. Get in line now. At least you're in the queue when things get going so even if you're waiting now, you won't be waiting when everyone else is just beginning their wait.
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2. GET AN UPFRONT MEDICAL
Schedule a medical exam with a panel physician. Have your medical ready so that you have one less step, one less hoop to jump through when the time comes.
3. GET ALL REQUIRED POLICE REPORTS
Do not give the officer a reason to delay or refuse your application. If you have lived in ANY country for 6 months or more in the last ten years, get a police clearance for that country. Keep in mind there may be delays in processing and mailing the clearances.
4. SEE WHERE YOU CAN GET BIOMETRICS AND KNOW AHEAD
Know where you can get your biometrics done. Know if your biometrics centre is open and make a plan for when you get the request to obtain biometrics because this is far more challenging during the pandemic.
5. BE EXTREMELY THOROUGH WITH YOUR APPLICATION
If you don't think you can do this application on your own, get professional help. The quality of the application is more important than ever. Don't let yourself down by missing a vital piece of information. Do set yourself up for success by working closely with your consultant to achieve the highest quality application possible. Remember, immigration professionals have resources and experience that go beyond what is available to the average person. If you have a complicated case, in particular, this may be exactly what you need.
6. LOOK AT YOUR LONGTERM, OVERALL GOAL
If you're here on a study permit and there are less than 6 months to go you may not be eligible for the Spousal Open Work Permit. However, if you're getting a Post Graduate Open Work Permit then look at the long-term plan and apply. This is another area where an immigration professional's experience may allow you to submit the right application in order to achieve success.
7. EXPECT LONG WAITS
It's going to be a very long wait and it's going to be frustrating. Basically, you need to prepare for the worse and hope for the best. Expect long waits, expect to be totally ready and to just have to wait.
2020 and 2021 are unchartered waters for everyone. This has been an extremely challenging year for couples. However, we hope that providing the information we have that it may make this difficult time a little easier. To all of you who are waiting to be reunited with your spouse, hang in there and work on the things that you can work on. If you need help with your application or more information for your application, please visit us at www.immigrationstationcanada.com. Please let us know how you made out with your application. You can drop us a line at facebook.com/immigrationstationcanada or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We want to know how you're doing!
Immigration Station Canada is a dedicated, professional Canadian Immigration firm practicing out of Northumberland County, just east of Toronto, in Canada. We serve clients from Kingston, Belleville, Brighton, Cobourg, Oshawa, the GTA, Guelph, Milton, Stratford and St. Catharines and around the world. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Anne C. McCaughey (Annie) is an experienced immigration services provider and a 6th-generation Canadian who values the immigration process and the unique individuals who immigrate to Canada to become part of the fabric of this wonderful country. If you would like to submit a question to Ask Annie, use the link located at the top right of the page.
How Can We Help?
We do work permits, study permits, visitor visas, Express Entry, spousal sponsorship, family class sponsorship, and Canadian citizenship with an expertise in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications and Global Talent Stream applications.
Please contact us if you would like assistance with your immigration application or to book an appointment.