Klaudios Mustakas – Senior Immigration Advisor: This recent story in the press highlights the problems that need to be fixed in the Canadian spousal sponsorship system:
Canadians, including an Oshawa couple, caught up in Ottawa’s backlog in processing in-country spousal sponsorships are calling for an audit of the troubled program.
Processing times have tripled recently. Thousands of Canadians are now having to wait more than two years to acquire permanent resident status for their foreign spouses already living in Canada. That means living in limbo for the foreign partner, including not being allowed to take a job or access health-care coverage…
Jean-François Fortin, of Quebec City, sponsored his Peruvian wife, Silvia Dominguez, a microbiologist, last February after the two met in graduate school in Rutgers University in 2006 and later worked in California and Geneva. They have a three-year-old son born in the United States.
“If I had not been a Canadian, my wife would have got her work permit in a month from Paris. Now her career is stalled. It is really frustrating,” said Mr. Fortin, who teaches physics in a university.
“We planned to have another child. She is pregnant now but she is not covered by (provincial) health care. Her private insurance plan doesn’t cover pregnancy … Immigration is the worst place to be. It’s like a black box. You can’t get any answer and have no clue what’s happening.”
Unfortunately, this is typical in Canadian spousal sponsorship cases. Put your application in and wait 24 to 26 months before you get your Permanent Resident status. In the meantime, you cannot work, and your access to health care is limited.