Changes to Be Made to Popular Immigration Program Following Suspension
For the foreseeable future, Canadians will no longer be able to sponsor parents and grandparents so they can immigrate to Canada, as the federal government has suspended a popular immigration sponsorship program.
According to the Canadian Press, the parents and grandparents sponsorship program which accepts applications once a year – typically in January – was recently postponed following a notice from new Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino.
Until its suspension, the program would admit around 20,000 people every year under the parent and grandparent category, and the processing time for an application was around two years.
Mendicino indicated that the decision to suspend the program was made to allow the government to revise its application intake process.
“These instructions will allow the department sufficient time to complete the development of a new application intake management process for the parents and grandparents sponsorship program, to be implemented in 2020,” Mendicino said in a written set of instructions from December that were just recently made public.
This isn’t the first time this has happened, as the application process had already been reworked several times over the past few years after the government had received criticism over alleged problems with the system.
For example, the original process of accepting applications on a first-come, first-serve basis was abandoned years back after people had been found to be hiring couriers to ensure their applications went to the top of the pile.
Instead, the government replaced this with a lottery system, which was again scrapped due to criticism, and replaced with an online program in 2019. The latest system would also experience issues, as all the spots were taken within just a few minutes.
After the most recent wave of criticism over the sponsorship program, the Liberal government vowed to review the system yet again, but were delayed due to the October 2019 federal election.
However, the recent suspension of the program would indicate the government is taking action in an effort to have the program re-opened at some point in 2020.
It’s unknown how long it will take to re-open the program. However, according to the Canadian Press, Mendicino will issue further instructions relating to the program’s intake management process by April 1, 2020, at the latest.