It is unknown to many applicants that even when they are living in Canada, they can apply overseas and benefit from the shorter processing times offered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
In fact, for some couples this may be a sweet deal because their own plans fit perfectly with other advantages offered by processing their application outland. For example, if the applicant has the intention to travel back and forth, to and from Canada, having an application filed abroad may mean more freedom and mobility for the applicant. This is because when applying within Canada, it is not recommended to leave Canada while in process, and although some people can, certain factors must be taken into consideration.
Even though the processing times are significantly different between inland and outland, one must consider that when applying overseas, the applicant has no option but to become a visitor (or student) in Canada. If the person wishes to work in the meantime, then they need to qualify under a specific program for temporary workers because no work permit will be issued dependent on the sponsorship application. On the other hand, if applying within Canada, there is currently a pilot project to benefit from an open work permit while waiting for a decision to be made.
I often get asked if it is really worth applying from overseas and if the application would be, in fact, processed faster; my answer cannot be very straightforward because it depends on each specific case. What may work for some couples, may not work for others.
The reality is that either if applying within or outside Canada, there are legal ways to prepare a successful application and to have an application to be processed in the smoothest possible way. If the application is prepared properly it will have a processing time shorter than the average ones. In fact, the average processing time is created from the total number of applications processed within one year, for example, some may have taken 4 years, whereas others may have taken 6 months, therefore the published average processing time for that visa office would be 2 years.
I am sure you want your application to be processed quickly and if that is the case, then you have to prepare a second-to-none application that will have no other outcome but fast approval.
At GlobalAG we have an ample portfolio of applications under this category and we have developed a series of strategies to leave no loopholes during the process. The old-fashioned evidence of having joint accounts, photographs, etc; is not enough nowadays, with the evolution in technology and the new ways of living, more and more is required to prove that a couple is genuine. Remember that the onus is on the applicant to provide evidence and that when the officer is in doubt, even without going into procedural fairness, they may refuse. Consider that every couple is different and your habits are definitely not the same as your friends’ who filed a similar application a few months/years ago.
By: Maria Campos Ozaine LL.M.
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant