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Spousal sponsorship process now moving faster: immigration minister

Last Updated Feb 15, 2018 at 6:40 am PST

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen speaks during a Mid-Autumn Festival celebration in Ottawa on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. Hussen says the government has met its goal of shortening wait times for those hoping to sponsor their spouse from abroad. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA – Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says the government has met its goal of shortening wait times for those hoping to sponsor their spouse from abroad.

Hussen says the backlog of applications now sits at 15,000, down from 75,000 in 2016.

Processing times are 12 months for those who filed an application prior to December 2016, while applications after that date take about 26 months.

The Liberals had made family reunification programs an immigration priority upon coming to office in 2015 and have been gradually increasing the number of newcomers admitted in those programs since.

In 2018, admissions are projected to hit about 66,000.

Hussen says the government understands how important it is to reunite couples and it also makes for a stronger country.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said applications before December 2016 take 26 months.