Liberals formally double size of immigration program for parents, grandparents

OTTAWA -- The Liberals have raised the cap on the number of applications the government will accept for the coveted parent and grandparent visa program.

See Full Article

The immigration minister issued formal instructions Friday that this year and in each year going forward, 10,000 applications will be accepted, up from 5,000 in each of the previous two years.

Raising the cap on applications was a promise the Liberals made during the election campaign.

The move signals that the broader Liberal plan on how many immigrants Canada will accept in 2016 is likely nearing release, as Immigration Minister John McCallum had previously said the two were connected.

The parent and grandparent visa program is one of the most popular immigration streams but in 2011, the previous Conservative government shut it down, citing problems with the program and a need to work through a massive backlog in applications.

When they reopened the program in 2014, they made a number of changes, including increasing how much money someone is required to have before sponsoring a parent or grandparent, and how long that support must be guaranteed.

But the most criticized step was a cap on new applications at 5,000. The Liberals had promised to increase it during last year's campaign.

They had signalled the move was coming in January, when rather than cutting off intake of new applications at 5,000, they accepted over 14,000.

The first 10,000 complete files will be processed on top of those already in the system.

According to information on the Immigration Department's website, they are still working through files received before Nov. 4, 2011.

"These instructions contribute to a strategy to facilitate family reunification and fulfil the Government of Canada's commitment to double new application intake to a maximum of 10 000 applications annually," say the ministerial instructions for the new cap, published online Friday afternoon.

While the instructions change the cap, they don't change any other elements of the program, including the applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

This has created a lucrative business for couriers who are charging hundreds of dollars to guarantee an application is first in the queue.

After a public outcry earlier this year, McCallum had said he would look into if any changes could be made in future years, but noted the increased cap would ease some of the crunch.

In 2014, the last year for which full figures are available, just over 18,000 people were admitted into Canada under the program.

How many people will actually come to Canada this year under the program will be contained in what's known as the immigration levels plan, a document the government is required to publish each year by Nov. 1.

Since the House of Commons was not sitting then because of the election, the Liberals now have until March 9 to publish the information.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Transgender people can enlist in the U.S. military on Jan. 1

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon is allowing transgender people to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's opposition. The new policy reflects growing legal pressure on the issue, and the difficult hurdles the federal government would have to cross to enforce Trump's demand to ban transgender individuals from the military. Source
  • Victory over Islamic State declared, worry is now guerrilla warfare

    World News CBC News
    Welcome to The National Today, which takes a closer look at what's happening around some of the day's most notable stories. Sign up here under "Subscribe to The National's newsletter," and it will be delivered directly to your inbox Monday to Friday. Source
  • Relatives of murdered seniors set to ask to take part in public inquiry

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Relatives of murdered seniors, along with advocacy and health-care groups, are among four dozen applicants seeking to participate in a public inquiry sparked by a nurse who killed eight elderly long-term-care residents in Ontario. Source
  • B.C. man charged with animal cruelty after dog nearly dies of fleas

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- An advocacy group says an animal cruelty charge has been laid against a British Columbia man after a dog nearly died of a serious flea infestation. The SPCA says in a release that an older terrier named Rascal was rushed to an animal hospital on Vancouver Island earlier this year after losing about 85 per cent of his blood to fleas. Source
  • 'Tis the season for doorstep stealing? Shoppers vent about delivery security

    Canada News CBC News
    Todd Bailey is fed up with delivery companies that drop his online purchases at his door. A few years ago, the Grande Prairie, Alta., resident was at the hospital for the birth of his child when a big-screen TV he had ordered was left on his front stoop. Source
  • Happy Valley-Goose Bay mayor made superhuman effort to get help after being shot

    Canada News CTV News
    HAPPY VALLEY GOOSE BAY, N.L. -- Friends of a Labrador mayor say he somehow got on a snowmobile and reached a nearby highway to flag down help after he was shot in the lower face while hunting. Source
  • Sask. man sentenced after threatening online to 'blow out' Justin Trudeau's brains

    Canada News CBC News
    A Saskatchewan man has received a two-year suspended sentence for making online threats against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Derek Hurrell, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of uttering threats earlier this year. According to the Crown prosecutor, Hurrell posted on Facebook stating he wanted to "blow out" Justin Trudeau's brains. Source
  • Women who accuse Trump of sexual misconduct call for Capitol Hill investigation

    World News CBC News
    Three women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment shared their stories Monday on NBC's Megyn Kelly Today. Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks told of alleged harassment by Trump spanning decades. Source
  • Ex-contractor says he shut Trump's Twitter account by accident

    World News CBC News
    The contractor who shut down Donald Trump's Twitter account has told Reuters he did so by mistake, but says he believes some of the U.S. president's recent tweets breach the social network's ban on hate speech. Source
  • Man, 24, arrested for trying to climb Buckingham Palace wall

    World News CTV News
    London police say they have arrested a 24-year-old-man who allegedly tried to climb a wall outside Buckingham Palace on Sunday night. The Metropolitan Police said Monday the suspect didn't have any weapons on him and "the incident is not being treated as terrorist related. Source