Canada’s Immigration Minister Announces Changes to Family Sponsorship Program: Transcend Consultants

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Transcend Consultants has disclosed that Sponsored parents’ immigration program is the next program to have measures introduced to limit the inventory of applications in the system. The 4 measures announced today also contemplate introduction of a long-term visit visa, increase admissions, continue public consultations, and freeze the intake of new applications with immediate effect.

A long-term visa for parents and grandparents is a positive measure, as it helps re-unite families

According to Transcend, Canada’s Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Hon. Jason Kenney announced an immediate freeze on new applications for sponsoring Parents & Grandparents, while increasing the annual target and introduced a new ‘Super visa’ that would allow them to stay longer in Canada as visitors.

Canada’s problem of plenty emanates from two mathematically divergent facts: (a) Number of people wishing to come to Canada and (b) Number of people invited by Canada. Since (a) has consistently been higher than (b) for many years, Canada’s situation is that of managing abundance efficiently, while maintaining public support for immigration.

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has been grappling with the problem of abundance for many years now. In a nutshell, they receive more applications from people interested in immigrating to Canada then they can admit by issuing visas or even make a decision on. This leaves a substantial number of applicants waiting for a decision on their application, thus adding to the inventory (also referred to as the backlog).

Canada is probably the only country that has actually maintained or increased the immigration levels during the economic downturn since 2008. The annual admissions for the past few years are about 250,000, which amounts to 0.8% of the Canadian population. This is the highest level of per capita immigration level in the world.

Canada remains the top preferred destinations for immigrants. A global Ipsos-Reid poll conducted recently found that there are over 2 billion people around the world that wish to make Canada their home. Given that Canada’s total population is 35 million and that 80% of the Canadians do not wish to increase the immigration levels, Canada truly faces the problem of plenty.

The Department has handled this challenge by limiting the number of applications that it will accept under the particular immigration programs like Federal Skilled Worker and Immigrant Investor under Business Immigration. The rationale is that the inventory can be reduced if the incoming applications are consistent with the processing targets. This is also thought to be fair to the applicants, who are informed upfront whether their applications are going to be processed or not.

The Department now wishes to extend the same solution for the Applications received under the parental sponsorship. The current annual intake of applications for this category is in the range of 40,000, whereas the processing target is about 14,000 (down from 18,000 in previous years). The inventory is in the range of 100,000 which is expected to extend the processing time to about 8-13 years (up from current 4-6 years).

A long-term visa for parents and grandparents is a positive measure, as it helps re-unite families without burdening the Canadian healthcare system. Increasing admissions to 25,000 per year while freezing new applications for upto 24 months may not be helpful to applicants – either those who have already applied – as they will still wait many years for the result or those waiting to apply - as a wait time of at least 2 years from the start.

Transcend Consultants is a full-service Canadian Immigration Consultancy firm, operating from Brampton, Ontario and serving clients globally. Their practice areas cover economic and family immigration programs, and focuses on immigration for business or investment purposes. Their principal consultant, Deepak Kohli, a management graduate with training and wide ranging experience in various Canadian immigration programs fuses his experience with a variety of industries for successful immigration outcomes.

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Deepak Kohli
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