COVID-19 & Immigration - Reunite families speed up the immigration process.

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  • COVID-19 has delayed spousal sponsorship applications, both outland and inland;
  • Outland and inland applications are expected to be complete in 12 months, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC);
  • Many outland application delays have already exceeded the 12-month timeline at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020);
  • Temporary Resident Visas are generally denied for spouses from visa-required countries;
  • Extended periods of separation from loved ones may cause severe emotional distress, anxiety, and situational depression;
  • Children, in particular, suffer greatly from the physical absence of a parental figure;
  • Citizens and permanent residents have the right to obtain government services within a reasonable time frame; and
  • As per IRCC Procedural Fairness policies, “Applicants should not be subject to unnecessary delays.”

We, the undersigned, Canadians, permanent residents and supporters, call upon the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to offer the following accommodations to accelerate the reunification of families with ongoing Spousal Sponsorship Applications by:

1) Creating a Special Temporary Resident Visa (STRV), for outland applicants, with reasonable eligibility criteria and conditions - abolishing 179(b) criteria;
2) Allowing spouses with their children from visa-required countries to easily apply for the STRV online;
3) Issuing and delivering multi-entry STRVs electronically and expediently;
4) Increasing the processing capacity to handle the backlog of new, delayed, and overdue spousal sponsorship applications;
5) Allocating a specifically designated budget to expedite applications that exceed the 12-month spousal sponsorship timeline;
6) Defining specific completion timeline targets for applications in process for 12 months or more; and
7) Allowing spouses and children to visit Canada for the purpose of reunification and well-being during the sponsorship process.

Additionally we ask: 

Dear Justin Trudeau, 

COVID-19 has affected the lives of many. As you can imagine many spouses have applied for sponsorship abroad prior to COVID-19 and are awaiting to be reunited with their families. In the uncertainty of what's ahead, if there is a second wave the process of being reunited may not be easy and for some nearly impossible.  Now that the restrictions are being lifted, we are asking that the Quebec and Canada Ministers of Immigration ( Nadine Girault & Marco EL Mendicino)  make the reunification families a priority. #PrioritizeFamilySponsorship

Children need both their parents. Being separated due to immigration applications is already a heavy weight to carry but COVID-19 has made the burden and isolation even more intense. Families are undergoing a huge stress job losses, tighter flying restrictions and even possibly being infected by COVID-19.

In the midst of uncertainty prioritizing reunification of families is a humanitarian right.


Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents 


version française 

Première Ministre Justin Trudeau,

Covid-19 a affecté la vie de nombreuses personnes. Comme vous pouvez l'imaginer, de nombreux conjoints ont demandé la citoyenneté t à l'étranger avant Covid-19 et attendent d'être réunis avec leur famille. Dans l'incertitude de ce qui nous attend, s'il y a une seconde dérogation, le processus de réunification peut ne pas être facile et pour certains presque impossible. Maintenant que les restrictions sont levées, je demande que les ministres de l'Immigration du Québec et du Canada (Nadine Girault & Marco EL Mendicino) fassent du regroupement familial une priorité.

Les enfants ont besoin de leurs deux parents. Être séparé en raison de demandes d'immigration est déjà un poids lourd à transporter, mais Covid-19 a rendu le fardeau et l'isolement encore plus intenses. Les familles subissent d'énormes pertes d'emplois stressantes, des restrictions de vol plus strictes et peuvent même être infectées par Covid-19.

Au milieu de l'incertitude, accorder la priorité au regroupement des familles est un droit humanitaire.


Citoyens canadiens et résidents permanents


#immigrationmatters #immigrationca #canada #covid19 #permanentresident #PrioritizeFamilySponsorship #SpecialTemporaryResidentVisa