One of the objectives of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) is to ensure that families are reunited in Canada. In an effort to fulfill that objective, CIC has recently implemented measures to decrease the processing time of sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents coming to Canada as family class immigrants. In order to enable a reduction in processing times, CIC will add temporary duty officers and support staff at visa offices with the largest number of applications in the coming weeks and benefit from an investment by the Government of Canada of $36 million a year over the next two years to increase the number of parent and grandparent applications processed and to cover integration costs once they arrive in Canada. It is anticipated that the number of parents and grandparents immigrating to Canada will triple to 18,000 in 2005 /2006 from the current level of 6,000 annually.
In addition, CIC will be more flexible in issuing multiple-entry visitor visas to parents and grandparents. This will allow them to visit their families in Canada while their sponsorship applications are in process. The visitor visas will only be issued to those applicants who are able to prove that they will not remain in Canada beyond the period authorized by their visitor visa.