02 Aug 2020

Sonia on Sunday: The One-Year Window

If you are a permanent resident of Canada who arrived here as a resettled refugee within the last year, but your immediate family members were unable to accompany you to Canada we may have a remedy for you. You might be able to avail of One Year Window application to bring your family to Canada.

One Year Window (OYW) application’s goal is to reunite family members who, for various reasons, were unable to travel to Canada together.

onia Krajewska is the ANC’s Community Settlement and Integration Counsellor (Permanent Residents).

Here is what you need to know about OYW applications.

Who can apply?
If you arrived in Canada less than one year ago as a Government Assisted Refugee, Privately Sponsored Refugee or Blended Visa Office- Referred Refugee you can apply for eligible non-accompanying family members to receive their PR status under this program.

Who are the eligible Family Members?
Only your immediate family members can be processed under this application. Those include a spouse, a common-law partner, dependent children, a dependent child of your dependent child, and dependent children of your spouse or common law partner. Your married children, siblings and parents will not be eligible under OYW applications as they do not meet the definition of a Family member in Canadian Immigration Law.

You must have declared eligible family members prior to coming to Canada. If your family member was not declared on your original permanent residence application, they will not be considered eligible and their application will be rejected on those grounds.

What if my child is older than the age of 22?
The definition of a dependent child refers to either a biological or an adopted child, but the child must be 22 years or younger, and unmarried. If the child is older than 22 years of age but depends financially on a parent due to a mental or physical condition, then they will also be considered a dependent child. If your child is older than 22 and does not rely on you financially for health reasons, they will not be eligible under OYW applications.

What is the process?
Association for New Canadians will help you with the paperwork. We will need to complete several forms together as well as attach supporting documents. At first you might be overwhelmed with the documentation required, but you can schedule an appointment with our staff member at the Association for New Canadians and we will explain everything you need to know. After the application package is ready, we submit it to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for processing.

How long will it take for my family to arrive?
Average processing time will vary by country, especially during the recent times of pandemic. Each case is different. Sometimes it is very quick to process documents; other times it takes longer. The best way to ensure quick processing of your application is to make certain that all the documents are in order and that nothing is missing from the application. If you do not have a birth certificate for your child, you might need to obtain a DNA testing. If you do not have a marriage certificate, you will need to show other proof that your relationship is genuine. Additionally, the family member will be reviewed for admissibility to Canada.

What can be done if my application is refused?
OYW applications are refused on various grounds. The most common reason for the rejection is that the family member was never declared on the original application. You can explore other IRCC programs to reunite with family members as well as Humanitarian and Compassionate considerations.

If you missed your deadline to apply and you have been in Canada for longer than one year, the Family Class Sponsorship Program is an IRCC program to consider. Alternatively, you can decide to sponsor a person who meets the definition of a refugee via Private Sponsorship of Refugees. Each program has its own eligibility criteria and you can explore which one best meets your needs.

To summarize…
As we know, family reunification is particularly important in ensuring safe and orderly migration between countries. The Canadian government does recognize it and that’s why OYW applications are such a popular route to bring families together.

The Association for New Canadians is here to help you with reuniting with your loved ones so do not hesitate to speak to our staff. We will support you through the application process.


If you have any questions about Settlement and Integration in NL, please contact me at skrajewska@ancnl.ca

You can read all Sonia’s blog posts here.