Canadian parent and grandparent visa waiting times cut

by Ray Clancy on May 13, 2013

Canadian parent and grandparent visa waiting times cut

Canadian parent and grandparent visa waiting times cut

The backlog and waiting times for visa under Canada’s Parent and Grandparent (PGP) programme are set to be cut in half by the end of this year. As a result Citizenship and Immigration Canada will re-open the PGP visa programme for new applications on 2 January 2014.

Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said that the country’s Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification is on track to meet the goals of cutting in half the backlog and wait times which have come under fire. ‘It is very important that we continue to make progress and not return to the old broken system with wait times as long as a decade, that would be unfair to families,’ he explained.

He also pointed out that Phase II of the Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification will provide even faster processing times, reduce the backlog further, prevent future backlogs, ensure that families have the financial means to support those their sponsor, and protect the interests of taxpayers.

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In 2012 and 2013, Canada will admit 50,000 parents and grandparents as permanent residents. This represents the highest level of parents and grandparents admitted in 20 years. In 2014, Canada will maintain high levels of admissions for parents and grandparents. Kenney also said that the Super Visa will become permanent and will continue to provide flexibility for families who access the 10 year multiple entry visa, allowing visa holders to remain in Canada up to two years at a time.

Over 15,000 Super Visas have been issued since the programme’s launch in December 2011 with approval rates averaging 86%. The Minister also said that new qualifying criteria for permanent residency sponsorship of parents and grandparents will increase the financial responsibility of sponsors to ensure they have the means to support those they sponsor. This will also limit the programme’s cost to taxpayers and Canada’s strained health and social programmes.

It is expected that 5,000 new sponsorship applications will be accepted in the programme in 2014. ‘By accepting 5,000 applications in 2014 while maintaining high levels, the government will be able to further reduce the remaining backlog so that families can be reunited more quickly,’ said Kenney.

‘These new criteria ensure sponsored family members are well supported by their sponsors throughout their time in Canada. The redesigned Parent and Grandparent programme reunites families faster while respecting Canadian taxpayers and the limited resources for health and social programmes,’ he added.

He also added that Canada has one of the most generous family reunification programmes in the world. The United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand do not allow grandparents to be sponsored at all or only in very limited circumstances, and they have very restrictive criteria for the sponsorship of parents.

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