June 11, 2018 – Experts have launched the most stinging criticism yet of Canada’s Parent and Grandparent Program lottery system.
Statisticians say qualified candidates could sit in the lottery pool for a decade and never get selected.
Meanwhile, other candidates who do not qualify for the program get selected, but see their applications fail after being invited to apply.
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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has revealed it used Excel to operate the lottery system, with experts saying the program uses old technology open to manipulation.
The problems stem from IRCC’s move to switch the system from first-come, first-serve to a lottery at the start of 2017.
Officials, backed by Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, say the new system is fairer as everyone is considered equally. Under the old system, candidates would pay extortionate fees to couriers to wait in line at the application centre to ensure they were part of the annual quota.
But the new system has resulted in some major unforeseen problems.
What are the Problems with the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship System?
- Impossible to know if you will ever get selected
There were nearly 100,000 entries in the first intake period in 2017, of which 10,000 were selected.
- Anyone can enter the lottery pool
Although IRCC added pre-lottery questions in 2018, the information is still self-declared. It is impossible to know whether those entering the pool are serious potential candidates.
- Huge drop-off from lottery selection to complete application
Of the 10,000 candidates picked to apply in the first draw of 2017, just a few thousand submitted applications. Under the old system, the application quota would be met every year.
- Outdated system for selecting candidates
Statisticians say the method for selecting candidates is open to manipulation
The ongoing problems with the operation of the system are compounded with how it was introduced.
IRCC left it until December 2016 to inform candidates the program was changing. By then, many had spent time and money on completing applications in anticipation of the old system continuing.
A petition was launch early in 2017 calling for a return to the old system. Now there is a whole website aimed at urging the federal government to reconsider the changes.
The controversy grew when the IRCC admitted it had not filled its quota for 2017, forcing another draw to be completed later in the year. So far in 2018, one draw has taken place after the window to enter the lottery was opened in January.
How do you Sponsor Parents to Canada?
- Families fill in an initial online form expressing interest in the program to enter the lottery. This usually happens in January of each year.
- The allotted quota (10,000 for 2017 and 2018) is drawn from all those expressing an interest.
- The 10,000 drawn must submit a completed application within 90 days.
What Are the Requirements To be a Sponsor?
- You must be 18 years of age or older.
- You and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits you to provide financial support for your relative, if necessary. This agreement also says the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support her or himself.
- Demonstrate, for a period of 3 consecutive years prior to sponsorship, income greater than the annual Minimum Necessary Income published by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
- Sign an undertaking to financially support the parent or grandparent, and reimburse the government for any social assistance paid out to the relative, for a period of 20 years from the date of permanent residence.
How Many Parents and Grandparents Does Canada Plan to Accept?
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
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