It has been sometime since IRCC issued temporary file numbers for sponsorship applications! Beginning of May 2022, we stopped receiving Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR) with temporary file numbers from IRCC for sponsorship applications.
The previous AOR also included that the applicant would receive a permanent file number once IRCC started processing their application. The temporary file number would start with an X with no allocation of a Unique Client Identifier (UCI) to either the applicant or the sponsor in the letter.
IRCC stopped issuing the temporary file numbers afterwards and would go straight to issuing the permanent file number in an email which would refer to the sponsor allocating them a UCI number.
Since the third week of February, we have noticed random cases that have received temporary file numbers in their AORs. Another change that we have seen is that the letter includes an additional section which places an emphasis on returning the application in case IRCC finds it to be incomplete.
Considering the increased speed with which IRCC has been processing online sponsorship applications, this might not necessarily mean that future applications will be processed as quickly.
This might not have an effect on Family class sponsorship applications as much, but this definitely will influence In-Canada class sponsorship applications that are submitted online.
As of September 23, 2022, the sponsorship applications can only be submitted online unless IRCC is contacted directly to accept paper applications for certain clients who are unable to submit their applications online.
For an In-Canada class spousal sponsorship applicant, this means that the Open Work Permit, that they are entitled to, cannot be submitted at the same time as the sponsorship as was the case with the paper applications. Therefore, the applicant must wait to receive the AOR first and submit their Open Work Permit application online afterwards.
Now with the new version of the AORs with the temporary file numbers, the applicant cannot submit the Open Work Permit until receiving their permanent file number for the sponsorship application. There is no indication of how long this new step will take and there has been no official announcement by IRCC on this matter.
Since the applicant must be in valid status to be eligible for the Spousal Open Work Permit application, please make sure that you renew your temporary status before it expires to stay eligible until you can submit your OWP and please continue to monitor this page for any updates!