In November 2011, the Federal Immigration Department of Canada announced a 2 year freeze on sponsorship for grandparents and parents. The main reason for the moratorium decision was the present backlog in this immigration class.
According to the Office of the Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, the present backlog has become so severe that they have to resort to this measure just to close the gap. The records at the department shows that some of the applications for this class have wait times of 7 years in the worst case. “Action must be taken to cut the backlog.” was the Immigration Minister’s words.
Official record of the department puts the number at 165,000 parents and grandparents application for sponsorship still waiting for their papers to be processed. Kenney said that quick action is needed to correct this. “Taking no action, for me, is not an option.” He added that should the rules kept the same, the backlog to process parents and grandparents will climb to 300,000 within 10 years and this is unacceptable, according to him.
To alleviate the concerns of those who are waiting in queue to sponsor their parents or grandparents, Immigration and Citizenship Canada have imposed an alternative – the Super Visa Program for Parents and Grandparents.
Under this program, parents or grandparents will be allowed to have a 10 year, multiple entry visa so they can come and visit their families in Canada. Under the program, the maximum that will allow them to stay is 2 years for each visit without renewal.
It sounded like this is good alternative to the parent and grandparent sponsorship program but there are certain requirements to be met to be eligible for the program for both the sponsor and the applicant:
1) Sponsors must meet the required income requirement
2) The sponsor must purchase a medical insurance coverage for visitors to Canada
3) The applicant must complete and pass the immigration medical examination
4) The applicant have to prove that he or she will leave Canada after the maximum stay
The new program is in effect December 1, 2011 and will take at least 8 weeks to process, assuming all the documents are filled correctly and the above requirements are met.
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada this new program is just one of the measures the department is implementing to alleviate the immigration needs of the country. Other matters that the department is presently reviewing is the increase in immigration application for some immigration class of service. The increase in some will also affect other class of immigration, though.
For example, Minister Kenney wanted to increase accepting applicants for white-collar workers or those who have PhD’s in a Canadian university and those who have trained and studied inside Canada. Foreign Skilled Workers or the Foreign Independent Immigrants are also getting a boost in numbers in the following years.
Meanwhile, if the new target of immigration applications will be implemented, the Immigration Department wanted to slash the Business Class Immigration Service, Spousal Sponsorship (certain cases) and the Live-in Caregiver program. Reduction in numbers indicated are 3,500 for the Business Immigration, for the live in caregiver its 3,600 and 4,000 for the spousal sponsorship. Althought the department showed this numbers, they said that those are merely “projections” and not the actual tally.
But many of those closely watching Canada’s immigration program are quick to criticize Kenney’s latest move. They said that family reunification must be given priority among all the other immigration classes because it is not only “healthy” but “economical” for those who are already in Canada.
They said that families are the source of happiness and stability and that Canadian residents who have children need the help of relatives in their day to day life. In addition, instead of spending their money here in Canada for their relatives, Canadian permanent residents and citizens will be forced to send their money to their homelands to support their relatives.
Disclaimer: The immigration article posted above does not substitute as a legal advice on immigration issues. Consult or get the services of a qualified Toronto or Alberta immigration attorney to look into your case or you may choose a qualified immigration professional in your city or country. Use due diligence in doing so.