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A new application kit was also launched on December 15, 2016, which is simpler and easier to understand and use.

These changes apply to all applicants, whether they are in the outside-Canada family class or the spouse or common-law partner in-Canada class. More than 64,000 applicants are expected to benefit from these changes within the first year.

The Government is doing this by:

increasing funding to bring down the backlog and reduce processing times;
welcoming more spouses, partners and dependent children to Canada through increased admissions space in the annual immigration levels plan; and
processing cases faster, while maintaining program integrity. All applications will continue to receive full criminality, security and medical screening.
These important changes will help ease some of the uncertainty faced by Canadian citizens and permanent residents and their spouses and partners being sponsored for permanent residence.

Source: IRCC news, http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/enewsletter/#toc1

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The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council