Immigration Canada is Introducing a New Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program to Replace the Controversial Lottery System
Immigration Canada will soon be unveiling a new family immigration policy that will make it easier for families to reunite and come to Canada. At the end of January, the 2019 Parents and Grandparents Program will be open for applications based on a first-come-first-served basis instead of the previous lottery system.
While the controversial first-come-first-served system had its problems in the past, this year’s change is supposed to be an improvement. However, concerns remain with the quota system and the ability of the applicants to gain access and submit their applications.
The Controversy of the 2016 Lottery System
The lottery system introduced in 2016 gave out family class visas to randomly selected applicants. The random lottery draw was deemed unfair to families who had been waiting years to sponsor their parents and grandparents since it based their reunification on the luck of the draw.
This system was introduced to replace the controversial first-come-first-served system that existed prior to 2016. While Immigration Canada has decided to go back to the first-come-first-served system, the system is supposed to be improved this time around. However, immigration lawyers have warned that as soon as the online system opens, there will be a huge surge of demand and it will not be realistically possible for all the applicants to access the system.
Concerns for the First-Come-First-Served System
The previous first-come-first-served system was deemed unfair because only those who could afford to get their applications in on time would be eligible for visas. To be one of the first applicants when the application program opened, applicants either had to travel to and camp outside the Mississauga immigration office—the only office in the country where applicants could apply—or have their applications hand-delivered by couriers.
The application forms had to be hand-delivered by couriers the moment the application lines opened. As a result, courier companies charged hundreds of dollars for this service.
So if applicants could afford to pay for this courier service, or afford to travel and take time off work to camp outside the Mississauga office, then they had a chance to apply.
How Changes are Expected to Benefit Canada’s Immigration Process
While some changes to the new system are still unknown, one known change is the quota for the number of applications accepted. Compared to the old first-come-first-served system, the quota for applications has increased from 17,000 to 20,000.
According to Canada’s immigration and citizenship website, the 2019 Parents and Grandparents Program will open at 12 pm EST on January 28, 2019. And Immigration Canada will announce when the 2019 application package becomes available via their Facebook and Twitter pages.