The Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion (MIDI) has recently updated its website with information clarifying the status of the sponsorship suspension which was announced in January of this year. To read the original suspension notice, click here.

We have summarized the highlights of this update in the content that follows. You can find a complete list of Frequently Asked Questions on the MIDI website.

General Information & Processing Applications

From January 27, 2017, until the anticipated end of the suspension on December 31, 2017, Quebec is not accepting any new sponsorship applications. Quebec will continue to process applications and welcome refugees whose applications were submitted before the suspension. The suspension does not affect government-assisted refugees.

Processing Time

The current processing time for MIDI’s sponsorship program is approximately five months. Currently there are 19,000 refugees whose files are being processed. MIDI estimates that these individuals’ arrivals will extend to 2021.

There is a backlog with the federal government due to increased applications, longer processing times in Canadian visa offices abroad, medical examinations and security investigations. MIDI notes that they are unable to intervene with applications while they are processed by the federal government.

Reform of Sponsorship Program

MIDI states on its updated page that due to consultations with stakeholders and refugees and an increase in applications in the last couple of years, there is a need to review and update the sponsorship program. MIDI notes that the suspension in accepting new applications will avoid future delays and allow organizations to focus on welcoming new arrivals during the course of this year.

MIDI has published the following Helpline for refugees and sponsors who have questions: 1 (844) 307-2433 (AIDE).