Last Updated on January 24, 2019
The move comes after harsh criticism of the decision to change the system from first-come, first-served to a lottery.
A huge 95,000 families put their names forward for the draw at the start of 2017, with 10,000 names draw and invited to apply.
But figures quoted by an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada representative suggest only 700 applications have been submitted so far, with some of them incomplete.
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“Once we determine how many incomplete applications were received, the department will then notify the required number of additional sponsors using the original list and same randomized process that was taken to identify the first 10,000 persons invited to submit an application,” IRCC spokeswoman Nancy Caron told the National Observer.
“We expect this process to occur before the end of 2017.”
The IRCC changed the system for 2017 in an attempt to make it fairer. Previously, an application window would open in January and the first 10,000 received would be processed. This led to couriers lining up at processing centres and effectively meant all applicants required the help of a lawyer.
The first criticism of the IRCC change was that it was not announced until December 2016. Many families had already gone to the time and expense of preparing applications under the old system.
Then there was a feeling the method for entering the lottery did not go into enough detail. There are strict qualification requirements for the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program, including on income of the sponsor and on health of the parent or grandparent. These requirements were not listed on the basic form for entering the lottery. It seems families entered without realising they would not be eligible.
‘Adjustments for Next Year’
The IRCC’s Caron admitted the process may have to be tweaked.
“We are continuing to monitor results and will make any necessary adjustments for next year,” she told the Observer.
“The previous system resulted in a backlog of applications which progressively got bigger year after year given the popularity of the program. We felt that it was unacceptable for people to wait many years to be reunited with their parents or grandparents. The fact is that caps are needed to prevent unmanageable backlogs and long processing times.
“With the new process, we are giving everyone the same opportunity to apply in the program. Therefore the new process is fairer and more transparent for everyone. With the new process, a person can wait to see if they are invited to apply before spending time and money to prepare and submit their sponsorship application.”
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