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

  • Defeated Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh made off with government money, luxury cars

    World News CBC News
    Exiled Gambian ruler Yahya Jammeh stole millions of dollars in his final weeks in power, plundering the state coffers and shipping out luxury vehicles by cargo plane, a special adviser for the new president said Sunday. Source
  • Yes, size matters

    World News Toronto Sun
    Fun with numbers: A Mexican dude claims he possesses an 18.9-inch member, a world record. Bad news is, it chafes. Good news is, he’ll be able to pole-vault over Donald Trump’s wall. More fun with numbers: Trump says his inaugural crowd was HUGE, biggest ever, and he’s ticked that American mainstream media are cheating him out of a record. Source
  • Northern Ireland officer injured in drive-by shooting

    World News CTV News
    A road sweeper van passes Stormont, seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison) Source
  • Toronto's Humber College to stay open as mystery illness makes 215 sick

    Canada News CBC News
    Humber College officials say the school isn't closing its doors as Toronto Public Health races to determine the cause of a mystery illness that swept through a residence, making approximately 215 people sick. "The campus will be open tomorrow and will be in full operations," the college's Dean of Students Jen McMillen told reporters Sunday ahead of the school week. Source
  • Convicted killer asks court to stay his manslaughter charge for delay

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Sam Tsega was the inside man, the Ottawa link between three killers from Toronto and a Barrhaven teenager who was executed with a bullet to the heart. But now, more than six years after Tsega first set foot in an Ottawa courtroom — and more than six months after being found guilty of manslaughter for his role in the killing of Michael Swan — he is asking the court to stay his conviction and release him from jail because of unnecessary delay. Source
  • Parents of refugee boy who looked annoyed at Trudeau town hall say PM is 'hero'

    Canada News CTV News
    FREDERICTON -- A photo of a boy looking exasperated while sitting behind the prime minister has been making the rounds on social media, even giving Justin Trudeau a laugh, but the boy's family wants to set the record straight about the circumstances. Source
  • 'Experienced' backcountry skier killed in B.C. avalanche was from Alaska: police

    Canada News CBC News
    Police have identified the victim killed in an avalanche near Nelson, B.C. Saturday as a 32-year-old woman from Anchorage, Alaska. The avalanche was triggered when the woman was backcountry skiing with two others near Qua Peak in Ymir, about 20 minutes south of Nelson, according to a release from Kootenay Boundary Regional District RCMP. Source
  • Man found dead following explosion in tent

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    SQUAMISH, B.C. — Police in Squamish, B.C., say a man has been found dead after an apparent explosion in a tent. RCMP say a resident was walking home Saturday night and spotted a fire in a brush area, then heard an explosion and called emergency responders. Source
  • Man found dead following explosion in tent near Squamish, B.C.: RCMP

    Canada News CTV News
    SQUAMISH, B.C. - Police in Squamish, B.C., say a man has been found dead after an apparent explosion in a tent. RCMP say a resident was walking home Saturday night and spotted a fire in a brush area, then heard an explosion and called emergency responders. Source
  • More tornadoes ahead as death toll reaches 15 in southeast U.S.

    World News Toronto Sun
    ATLANTA — A weekend of deadly weather in the Southeast killed 15 people and injured dozens more, authorities said Sunday, while residents along the Georgia-Florida line were bracing for more intense, fast-moving storms — including unusually strong “long track” twisters. Source