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Canada Reopens Parent Grandparent Immigration Stream

04 Jan 2014


Immigration News

After a 2-year freeze on the famous Parent and Grandparent stream of migration, officials are have now reopened the program and are ready for an expected torrential inflow of applications out of which the processing will be done for the first 5,000 completed forms.

To deal with a backlog of over 165,000 applications and a waiting period of more than 8 years, the stream has been temporarily shelved with wait times as long as eight years. However, effective 2nd January, 2014, the program has been re-launched along with new stringent criteria.

Many people welcomed the reopening of the program despite the limited number of available spots.

Sharry Aiken, an immigration law professor at Queen’s University argues that the demand will far outstrip the cap as considering the total number of Permanent Residents landing in Canada every year — about 250,000 — and those many potential sponsors will inevitably end up being disappointed.

She rejected the stream of thought that parents and grandparents are not active contributors to the Canadian economy, noting many provide child care which allows the parents to return to or enter the workforce. Aiken also suggested that parents and grandparents are not more inclined to overburden the health system, as those who may do so will not meet the standard requirements of admission anyway.

According to the new criteria, Canadian sponsors family members need to show 30 per cent more income levels than the previous norm and must guarantee that they will look after their family’s financial needs for 20 years, instead of the previously norm of 10 years.

Canadian sponsors also need to submit their proof of income for 3 years instead of the previously-required 1 year and now sponsors cannot sponsor adult siblings.

During the freeze on new applications, CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) was able to reduce the backlog by half, and by 2015, the backlog is expected to be around 43,000 with waiting period of around 18 months. According to CIC, 50,000 parents and grandparents were admitted into Canada in the last two years, and this year, CIC is waiting to admit another 20,000.

A multiple-entry Super Visa with a validity of 10-years was introduced 2 years ago to allow parents and grandparents to visit their relatives for stretches of 24-months if they can submit proof of health insurance. Last spring, this Super Visa was also made permanent. Till date, around 28,000 Super Visas have been issued, and Richard Kurland, an immigration lawyer based in Vancouver suggests that this will dampen the demand for immigration as now it is simpler for people to visit than to migrate.

CIC is taking all the measures to stave off a mad frenzy like the previous one that occurred in case of the capped immigrant investor program. According to CIC, the sponsors of the parent and grandparent immigration stream can only submit their applications via courier or mail.

Also, at the case processing centre west of Toronto, applications will be considered in the order they are received, and on 31st December, the new application forms were made public.


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