Refugees in Canada seeking to reunite with immediate family members overseas face very long processing delays. In December 2016, the government announced faster processing for Family Class spousal sponsorships. But no measures have been announced to expedite family reunification for refugees and caregivers even though processing times are much slower than for Family Class.
According to last available data, it takes on average 38 months for refugee dependants (“DR2s”) to be processed. We support the Canadian Council for Refugees’ recommendation to the federal government that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada introduce the same standard short processing times for family reunification for spouses and children, in all categories and regions.
Our staff lawyer, Toni Schweitzer, appeared before Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) – and asked committee members to pay special attention to this issue. In March 2017, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) recommended:
That Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada establish service standards of 12 months for applications under the One-Year Window family reunification program for resettled refugees and for processing applications for dependents abroad of protected persons.
We continue to use every opportunity to raise the unacceptable delays in processing applications of caregivers and refugees. For more information please see: http://ccrweb.ca/sites/ccrweb.ca/files/family-reunification-campaign-handout-2017.pdf