I submitted my spousal sponsorship application months ago. Why haven’t I heard anything back from IRCC Yet?
In March 2020, the covid-19 pandemic caused many problems with immigration applications being processed by IRCC, including:
- Staff working from home leading to reduced work capacity
- Case Processing Centres, Visa Application Centres, and Visa Offices closed until further notice or reopened with reduced staff
- Applicants unable to provide biometrics
- Frequent and significant increases in processing times
Most significantly, this has also led to a major delay in applicants getting the Acknowledgement of Receipt email from IRCC confirming receipt of family sponsorship applications.
CBC confirmed that IRCC did not open or process any family sponsorship applications between February 12, 2020 and Mid August 2020. Our office did not receive any acknowledgements of receipt for any type of family sponsorship application including In-Canada class, Family Class (overseas), or child sponsorship for applications submitted after mid-February until the first week of September 2020.
When can I expect to get my acknowledgement of receipt email?
AOR emails used to come in 6 – 12 weeks prior to covid. Now, it would be realistic to expect to receive the email approximately 6 – 7 months after you submitted your application in 2020 if you submitted later than the first week of February.
Can I call IRCC to check on my application?
Yes, you can call IRCC on the regular phone number of 1-888-242-2100. However, if you have not received the Acknowledgement of Receipt email with your 10-digit file number beginning with F, then IRCC will not be able to check on your application at all as it has not yet been entered into the system. Until you receive the AOR email with the file number, there is no way to track the application. Your only means of confirming that it has been received by IRCC is the delivery confirmation from the courier company you used.
Can my MP help?
Your MP will be unable to assist with your sponsorship application until a file number is issued by IRCC.
How long will it take to process my sponsorship application?
IRCC has stated that it is making efforts to finalize a large portion of the applications received this year by the end of 2020. However, given the fact that IRCC has admitted to a backlog of just under 50,000 applications, a much more likely scenario is that sponsorship applications received in 2020 will take longer than the official processing time on the IRCC website before a decision is made. A processing time of 12 – 18 months would not be out of the question for applications submitted in 2020.
IRCC is dealing with a scenario which has never occurred before. Every single Canadian immigration application in the world has been delayed in 2020. If your sponsorship was completed correctly and submitted with all of the necessary supporting documents, then you will eventually receive your AOR.
We are all in the same boat – all we can do is wait.