Feds have year to review parent-and-grandparent sponsorship: McCallum

OTTAWA -- Immigration Minister John McCallum says there could be a better way to accept applications for a coveted sponsorship program other than the current system, which has some couriers charging hundreds of dollars to deliver files.

See Full Article

But McCallum is not committed to making any changes, saying only that the government has a year to review the process before the parent and grandparent program re-opens.

The Canadian Press reported this week that couriers lined up at a Toronto-area immigration office hours before the program opened for applications on Jan. 4 and, in some cases, they charged clients as much as $400 in order to guarantee their file would be among the first submitted.

Only 5,000 spots are currently available in the first-come, first-served visa program, though the Liberals have promised to raise the cap to 10,000.

Over 14,000 applications were received this year and the Immigration Department is holding on to the excess files pending that increase.

McCallum suggests the higher cap would come with the release of the government's overall plan for immigration in 2016.

The parent and grandparent sponsorship program only accepts applications by mail or courier to the processing centre in Mississauga, Ont., and since it re-opened in 2014 with a cap on applications, it has hit that ceiling within the first few days.

McCallum's department had said previously the first-come, first-served approach was an effort to ensure the program's fairness and the rates charged by couriers were beyond their control.

Some applicants have said the way the program is structured leaves them no choice but to pay what it takes to get their files in first, a system that particularly hurts applicants from outside Ontario, who have to pay higher delivery fees just to get them to the office.

"If you're telling me that we could find a better way to handle this so that people don't have to pay these high fees to couriers, then I accept the point," McCallum said Wednesday.

"The exercise has been completed now for 2016 but we will have a year to figure out ways in which we might improve that process for the next year."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Iran summons U.K. and Norway ambassadors amid violent unrest

    World News CTV News
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Iran's Foreign Ministry said Sunday it summoned Britain's ambassador to protest what it described as a hostile atmosphere created by London-based Farsi language media outlets. The move comes amid violent unrest in Iran triggered by the death of a young woman in police custody. Source
  • Flashes of bold UN talk on feminism, masculinity, patriarchy

    World News CTV News
    Few men in power have delved deeply into gender equality on the main stage of the United Nations this month, but the ones who did went there boldly: claiming feminist credibility, selling "positive masculinity" and resolutely demanding an end to The Patriarchy. Source
  • Winter's approach sets clock ticking for Ukraine, Russia

    World News CTV News
    KYIV, Ukraine - The onset of autumnal weather, with rains making fields too muddy for tanks, is beginning to cloud Ukraine's efforts to take back more Russian-held territory before winter freezes the battlefields, a Washington-based think tank said Sunday. Source
  • Nova Scotians take stock in aftermath of Fiona

    Canada News CBC News
    Many Nova Scotians will be spending part of Sunday in temporary shelters, making insurance calls, revving up chainsaws and wielding rakes as they clean up after post-tropical storm Fiona. The storm raged through the province on Saturday, downing trees and power lines, flooding homes and washing out roads, and leaving more than 270,000 Nova Scotia Power customers without electricity on Sunday morning. Source
  • Age and immigration: 'Very difficult' for applicants once they turn 40

    Canada News CTV News
    Canada is credited for having one of the world’s most immigrant-friendly policies, ranking fourth internationally in the Migrant Integration Policy Index. But the criteria used to prioritize applicants based on age leaves many at a disadvantage, even though they might have the qualifications Canada is looking for. Source
  • Polls open in Italy, where voters could bring far-right to power

    World News CBC News
    Italians were voting on Sunday in an election that could move the country's politics sharply toward the right during a critical time for Europe, with war in Ukraine fuelling skyrocketing energy bills and testing the West's resolve to stand united against Russian aggression. Source
  • Can new legislation help 'Lost Canadians' be found again?

    Canada News CBC News
    When Pete Giesbrecht was summoned to his local police station on Halloween 2015, he had no idea he was 30 days away from being deported. His crime? He had not reaffirmed his Canadian citizenship before the age of 28 under a complicated, confusing and not well publicized section of the Citizenship Act. Source
  • From HP sauce to Burberry, the future of the Queen's endorsements is up in the air

    World News CBC News
    Around the world, the kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms of the population have something in common with many of the United Kingdom's royal palaces. They are often stocked with the same items personally selected by Her Majesty The Queen and other members of the Royal Family, marked by what's known as a royal warrant. Source
  • Canada boosts capacity of key supply hub for weapons to Ukraine

    World News CBC News
    Defence Minister Anita Anand says Canada is boosting its capacity at a key transportation hub in Scotland, so weapons and other supplies can more easily be shipped to Ukraine and other countries in eastern Europe. Canadian forces have been responsible for delivering four million pounds of cargo since March, and the Prestwick, Scotland hub will now be expanded into an air mobility detachment with a third CC-130 aircraft and 55 Canadian Armed Forces members present. Source
  • South Korea says North Korea test-fired missile toward sea

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea's military says North Korea has fired at least one unidentified ballistic missile toward its eastern sea. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sunday did not immediately say what type of missile it was or how far it flew. Source