The Canadian government last week announced a new policy to expedite the approval of family reunification applications.
The new policy which is being hailed by most Nigerians whose wards are either schooling there or aspiring to go, is coming few days after the UK government barred students from Nigeria and other foreign countries on study visas from bringing their families into the country.
Sean Fraser, Canada’s minister of immigration, announced the news and said that the country had implemented new measures to support family reunification.
Canada, had also last year increased the number of hours students can work with the approval work permit by international students.
Consequently, the new system, it was gathered, will make it easier for spouses, children, and parents of recent immigrants to relocate to Canada.
He added that 98% of spouse and child applications for temporary residence visas (TRV) had been approved well in advance.
The new policy, according to the minister of immigration, processes requests for TRV for family members of citizens and permanent residents in less than 30 days by utilizing cutting-edge technology and analytics.
The implication of the new policy is that the new programme will grant open work permits to the spouse of applicants and their defendant children, regardless of whether they applied under the Family class as an overseas applicant, or as an applicant for a spouse or common-law partner in Canada.
The new measures also include: Faster temporary resident visa (TRV) processing times for spousal applicants; new and dedicated processing tools for spousal TRV applicants; new open work permit for spousal and family class applicants and open work permit extensions for open work permit holders expiring between August 1st and the end of 2023.
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However, the new policy from Canada is quite unlike the new one announced by the British government last week Tuesday to reduce migration.
The policy from the UK stipulated that Nigerians and other foreign citizens with study visas to the United Kingdom would no longer be allowed to bring in their families from January 2024.
Unfortunately, this means that only a small percentage of international students who go to the UK to study will be permitted to bring their partners or children with them starting from January of next year. PhD applicants will be given special consideration.
However, the policy is being criticised even by some universities and residents in UK, who argue that the measures would increase the hardship of international students who are currently being assisted by their spouses that are working, for survival.