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

  • Randal Dooley's father set to appear before parole board today

    Canada News CTV News
    A man convicted of killing his son in what's been called one of the worst cases of child abuse in Canadian history is expected to appear before the Parole Board of Canada today. The hearing for Edward (Tony) Dooley is to take place at the Beaver Creek Institution, a minimum- and medium-security facility in Gravenhurst, Ont. Source
  • Mount Everest climbers asked to tidy world's tallest peak

    World News Toronto Sun
    KATHMANDU, NEPAL - Mountaineering expedition organizers in Nepal are sending huge trash bags with climbers on Mount Everest during the spring climbing season to collect trash that then can be winched by helicopters back to the base camp. Source
  • Strike averted as Purolator and Teamsters reach tentative agreement

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Purolator says it has reached a tentative contract agreement with Teamsters Canada ahead of today’s strike deadline. The company says it is returning to normal operations and again accepting shipments after stopping them on Tuesday. Source
  • Iranians, engines of U.S. university research, wait in limbo

    World News CTV News
    BOSTON -- Hundreds of Iranian students already accepted into U.S. graduate programs may not be able to come next fall because of the uncertainty surrounding President Donald Trump's proposed travel ban, potentially derailing research projects and leaving some science programs scrambling to find new students. Source
  • Timeline of events leading up to Brexit

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Here is a timeline of key events related to Britain's decision to leave the European Union: Jan. 23, 2013: British Prime Minister David Cameron promises a referendum on Britain's membership to the EU if the Conservative party is elected in the next general election. Source
  • Latest on Brexit: U.K. must be left worse off after split, EU presidency says

    World News CTV News
    LONDON - The Latest on Brexit (all times local): 11:05 a.m. The European Union presidency says it is "imperative" that Britain must be left with a worse option than membership once Brexit negotiations are over. Source
  • Latest on Brexit: PM May hopes for divorce deal in 2 years

    World News CTV News
    LONDON - The latest on Brexit (all times local): 12:50 p.m. Britain's prime minister is offering a broad outline of her plans for the process of leaving the European Union, saying she hopes for a deal for Brexit in two years. Source
  • Turkey wants to talk extradition of cleric living in U.S. with Rex Tillerson

    World News CBC News
    Turkey will discuss Syria and the extradition of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed for a failed coup last July, with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when he visits Ankara this week, Turkey's foreign minister said on Wednesday. Source
  • Purolator back to business as usual, as agreement reached with union

    Canada News CBC News
    Purolator will be accepting packages again Wednesday after the company has reached a tentative agreement overnight with its largest union, averting a strike.Purolator stops accepting new parcelsThe agreement must still be ratified by Teamsters Canada, the union representing more than 8,000 members who work at Purolator. Source
  • Raqqa residents trapped by militants ahead of assault

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT -- As U.S.-backed forces bear down on the de facto capital of the Islamic State group, the militants have taken their strategy of hiding behind civilians further than ever before, effectively using the entire population of Raqqa as human shields. Source