In less than a month the Canadian government will begin to accept applications for parent and grandparent sponsorship cases once again.
The reunification program was a main target in the government’s plans to streamline Canada’s immigration system. A backlog had pushed waiting times as high as eight years when officials stopped accepting new applications two years ago. Since then, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander says, the backlog has gone down by nearly 50 percent.
To ensure that the backlog does not build back up again, the government has announced plans to cap new applications for 2014 at 5,000. Officials at Citizenship and Immigration Canada say they will maintain acceptance levels near those of 2012 and 2013, during which time the country welcomed approximately 50,000 parents and grandparents.
Aside from the changes in numbers, the government has also altered requirements for sponsors, increasing their financial responsibility in caring for their newly arrived loved ones.
“These new criteria ensure sponsored family members are well supported by their sponsors throughout their time in Canada,” said former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, upon announcing the changes last May. “The redesigned Parent and Grandparent program reunites families faster while respecting Canadian taxpayers and the limited resources for health and social programs.”
New applications will be accepted starting January 2, 2014.
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada