The Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly known as CIC), John McCallum, has stated that the government of Canada is planning on introducing changes in the “next couple of months” that will grant permanent resident status to all sponsored spouses of Canadians immediately upon arriving in Canada.
The changes would also remove the conditional permanent residence provision currently in place for common-law or conjugal partners in a relationship of two years or less with their sponsor and who have no children in common with their sponsor at the time they submit their sponsorship application. This provision was introduced by the previous Conservative government, which stated that it was necessary in order to counter what it called 'marriages of convenience'.
"When spouses come in now, they don’t immediately become permanent residents; there’s a two-year period where they are not yet permanent residents,” said Mr. McCallum in an interview with The Hill Times, an Ottawa-based newspaper covering federal politics. “We said in our platform that we will end that so that they will become permanent residents on arrival.”
Currently, sponsored spouses of Canadians, as well as common-law and conjugal partners, receive conditional permanent residence upon arrival in Canada and have to wait for two years to obtain full permanent resident status. If the relationship breaks down, the sponsored person's permanent resident status can be revoked.
Mr. McCallum said that he finds it “abominable” that it takes almost two years for many spousal immigration applications to be processed, and, after arriving in Canada, another two years to receive permanent resident status. He said that his department is working on plans to reduce the application processing times. Mr. McCallum did not offer a specific target timeframe, but said that processing times will be brought down “radically.”