Canada Spouse Visa Processing Time 2021

By Ella Bergquist April 26, 2018 (Updated July 6, 2021) 4 min. read
spouse visa

Canada is still accepting and processing spouse visa applications, however, delays should be expected. IRCC has issued the following statement: “While we continue to serve our clients, service disruptions and restrictions due to COVID-19 may have an impact on processing times, and the current posted processing times may not be accurate.”For more updates on the Coronavirus, visit our page on the impact the Coronavirus has had on Canadian immigration.

Canada is one of the most popular places in the world to immigrate to so it is no wonder that they receive thousands of applications weekly from people hoping to live and work in Canada. A Spouse Visa is one of the more popular applications that come and go through the immigration office. The processing time for a spousal sponsorship 2021 application can vary from case to case depending on a few different factors. The most important factor that determines how long the Spouse Visa application will be processed is the number of applications that Canada receives and where your sponsorship application is being processed.

Recently, there have been a significant amount of protests going on in major cities of Canada. The families at these protests claim that the process of their Canadian spousal sponsorship application is taking too long and splitting the families apart during the Coronavirus pandemic. There are other options you have while your spousal sponsorship visa is processing. We recommend speaking to a licensed immigration professional about your best options for this matter.

Average Canadian Spouse Visa Processing Time

As of February 2016, the Canadian Spouse Visa Processing Time for both inland and outland has an average of 12 months. It is important to remember that this average processing time cannot be guaranteed and vary from case to case.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there have been complaints that Canada’s spousal sponsorship processing times are taking too long. However, there are other options and steps you can take in order to see your spouse sooner than the time it takes for this to process. 

Factors That Affect the Spouse Visa Processing Time 2021

1. Location of Application

The IRCC can vary the processing times for spouse visas depending on the applicant’s country of residence. You can use an IRCC tool that will help you find out your spousal sponsorship processing time:

2. Completeness of Application

It is always important to make sure that your application is absolutely complete with every document and response to what the IRCC is asking for. This is why hiring an immigration lawyer for a spouse visa applications is typically very beneficial to avoid delays and denial.

3. Number of Applications

Your spouse visa application may be processed much faster or much slower than expected all depending on how many applications Canada has received. If they have received fewer lately then your application may be processed faster than the average 12 month processing time.


Inland Sponsorship vs Outland Sponsorship

There are two different types of Spouse Visas: Inland sponsorship and Outland sponsorship. To qualify for the Inland sponsorship category, the foreign spouse or partner must have temporary resident status in Canada, which can be as a worker, student, or visitor. Applicants may be eligible for an open work permit, which ensures they can work for a Canadian employer while the application is processed. This may help prevent any issues that can arise if an existing visa expires before the sponsorship process is completed. The Outland sponsorship category applies to a situation where the foreign partner is living outside of Canada. While the sponsored individual may still be able to travel in and out of Canada during the application process, their application will be processed through the visa office in their country of origin or permanent residence.


Top Questions About Spouse Visa Processing Times

How long will it take to process my application?

Spouse visas in Canada processing times are difficult to predict. They vary depending on the type of application you submit and the number of applications currently being processed. Please note that processing times change depending on the number of applications received and may change during the processing of your application.

How are processing times calculated?

We calculate cic processing times from the day we receive an application to the day it makes a decision on the application. When estimating how long you will wait to receive a temporary visa, you must also take into account up to 10 days of transit or delivery time on top of our processing time. The time your application will spend traveling to and from IRCC will vary depending on where you live.

Why are there differences in processing times among regions and offices?

Visa offices face different challenges operating in different countries and regions, and even in different offices within the same region. Various factors can affect the time it takes to process applications, including:

How can I avoid delays or refusals in processing my application?

To help avoid delays or a refusal, make sure that you:

Things that can cause delays: