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

  • Meghan Markle's father says he talked about Trump, Brexit with Prince Harry

    World News CBC News
    The father of Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, says he talked politics with her husband Prince Harry over the phone before the couple married — and that Harry argued he should give U.S. President Donald Trump a chance. Source
  • Republicans on defensive over Trump's border separation policy ahead of immigration vote

    World News CBC News
    The emotional policy of separating children from their parents at the border is starting to divide Republicans and their allies as Democrats turn up the pressure in the U.S. Laura Bush, wife of the 43rd president, called the policy "cruel" and "immoral. Source
  • Halifax military officer expected to face sexual assault charge at court martial

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- A court martial for a Halifax-based military police officer charged with sexual assault is scheduled for today. Military police Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, of Canadian Forces Base Halifax, faces one count of sexual assault in connection with an alleged 2015 incident in Glasgow, Scotland. Source
  • Spanish king's brother-in-law begins prison term for graft

    World News CTV News
    MADRID -- The brother-in-law of Spain's King Felipe VI has begun serving a nearly six-year sentence for fraud and tax evasion, Spanish prison authorities said Monday. An official with the Interior Ministry's prison management division said Inaki Urdangarin arrived Monday morning at a prison near Avila, about 100 kilometres north of Madrid. Source
  • Thomas Markle wishes he had walked daughter down the aisle

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- The father of the former Meghan Markle says he wishes he could have walked her down the aisle during her wedding to Prince Harry. Thomas Markle told broadcaster ITV on Monday that his daughter cried when he told her he wasn't well enough to attend the ceremony last month, but was honoured to be replaced by Prince Charles. Source
  • Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested in Volkwagen emissions investigation

    World News CBC News
    German authorities on Monday detained the chief executive of Volkswagen's Audi division, Rupert Stadler, as part of a probe into manipulation of emissions controls. The move follows a search last week of Stadler's private residence, ordered by Munich prosecutors investigating the manager on suspicion of fraud and indirect improprieties with documents. Source
  • Caster Semenya files legal challenge against 'discriminatory' IAAF rule

    World News CBC News
    Olympic champion Caster Semenya is challenging a recently introduced IAAF regulation, calling it "discriminatory." The two-time Olympic gold medallist in the 800-metre will file a legal case today before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, challenging the IAAF's recently introduced Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification. Source
  • Migrant issue hot button in Europe, but EU says asylum requests dipped in 2017

    World News CBC News
    The European Union's asylum office says the number of people applying for international protection in Europe has plunged but remains higher than before 2015, when more than one million migrants entered, many fleeing the war in Syria. Source
  • Corruption whistleblower calls for ouster of Quebec Liberals

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - The Liberals must be defeated in October's election in order to properly clean up Quebec politics, says a former star witness in the province's corruption inquiry. Most of the people convicted in the high-profile cases investigated by Quebec's anti-corruption unit have pleaded guilty and served no jail time, while high-level actors at the provincial level have barely been touched, says Lino Zambito. Source
  • Indigenous protesters in Washington state declare Trans Mountain won't be built

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - Cedar George-Parker remembers the moment he decided to devote his life to defending Indigenous people and their traditional territories. It was the one-year anniversary of a shooting at his high school that killed four of his classmates in Marysville, Wash. Source