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Immigration Alert: Changes to Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Application Process

In November, the Government of Canada has announced a new plan to reduce the backlog and wait times for sponsored parents and grandparents.  Current processing times for parent and grandparent sponsorship applications exceed seven (7) years.  This plan involves a temporary pause of up to twenty-four (24) months on the acceptance of new parent and grandparent sponsorship applications effective immediately. This new government plan means that any new applications received at the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario will be returned in their entirety.  Please note that applications already submitted to the Case Processing Centre will continue to be processed using current procedures and will not be affected by this temporary pause.

In order to enable the interim visitor entry of parents and grandparents, the Government of Canada is introducing the new Super Visa, which will be valid for up to ten (10) years.  This multiple-entry visa will allow an applicant to remain in Canada for up to twenty-four (24) months at a time without the need for renewal of their status. The processing time for Super Visas is expected to be approximately eight (8) weeks.

Over the next two (2) years, the Government of Canada will be consulting Canadians on how to redesign the parents and grandparents program.  In an effort to assist our clients who missed the opportunity to file permanent residence for their parents and grandparents, our office is designing immigration strategies for Parents and Grandparents to immigrate to Canada. Our office is concerned that this program redesign will result in either a complete elimination of this category or reduced eligibility.

The Government of Canada indicated that it is doubling the number of sponsored parents and grandparents it will admit to Canada in 2012.  Citizenship and Immigration Canada will admit 25,000 applicants under this category, however, applications filed in 2011 are still expected to take approximately seven (7) years to process.