This month the Department of Citizenship and Immigration announced that in 2013 it accepted more parent and grandparent (PGP) sponsorship applications than it has in two decades. This, officials say, is just part of a larger immigration strategy intended to prioritize family reunification.
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander says that his department has massively reduced the sponsorship application backlog and intends to continue the “aggressive” processing of this stream in 2014.
Before the backlog issue was addressed some families had to wait up to eight years for their applications to be processed. The government says that wait times are now down to about three years.
Starting in January of 2014, the government will begin accepting parent and grandparent reunification applications again, until they reach their quota amount of 5,000. The cap will allow CIC to continue to address the backlog of old applications and reduce waiting times even further.
In preparation for that date the government will be releasing new application forms in accordance with the new regulations, which include more financial responsibilities placed upon those relatives in Canada who are acting as sponsors.
“Our Government is keeping our promise to overcome the massive backlogs we inherited and reunite families faster,” said Alexander. “The modernized PGP program will mean faster processing times and shorter waits.”
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada