The Canadian government has announced the reopening of family sponsorship immigration with several regulation changes.
Starting from January 1, 2014 Canadians will once again be able to sponsor parents and grandparents for immigration. However, the government intends to change several regulations in an attempt to prevent older relatives from becoming burdens on Canada’s health care and welfare systems.
“That’s an abuse of Canada’s generosity,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney with regards to the statistic that 25 percent of parent and grandparents of sponsors are living off welfare benefits after the first 10 years in Canada. “”If this was about family reunification, what’s going on? It seems to me that that sort of thing constitutes an abuse of Canada’s generosity.”
The government plans to raise the minimum income requirements by 30 percent as well as extend the commitment period from 10 years to 20 years. They will also be more stringent about proof of income as well as who, exactly, can be considered a dependent.
There has been a moratorium on parent and grandparent sponsorship cases since 2011, as the government has been trying to tackle a growing backlog that has resulted in wait times of up to eight years. Accordingly, the plan is to accept no more than 5,000 new applications in 2014.