A New Direction In Canadian Immigration Policy On Sponsorship Of Parents And Grandparents

By Larry W.O. Smeets


Did you know that major changes are occurring in Canada in the way in which the Federal government

handles sponsorship applications submitted by Canadians involving parents and grandparents who are

citizens of another country? The previous government of Conservative leader Stephen Harper had

essentially frozen such family reunification applications, looking upon elderly family members who were

brought into Canada under such a program in particular as a drain on the country’s social security

system. The Harper government tightened the rules so much that it became almost impossible for

Canadians to bring family members into the country. Their best hope often was to bring such family

members in on a ‘super visa’, which allowed family members of such Canadians to stay in the country

for up to two years. This issue became a bone of contention in the Canadian Federal Election Campaign

of 2015. On September 25, 2015, the Liberals under Justin Trudeau pledged to make family

reunification easier for new immigrants. A plan to make it easier for families to reunite, they promised,

would be to double the number of sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents

processed each year. The Conservatives had capped such applications at 5,000 per year. On February

27, 2016, the newly-appointed Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in the Trudeau government, John

McCallum, delivered on that promise. He gave notice to Canadians in the Canada Gazette that in 2016

a maximum number of 10,000 new complete applications for sponsorship of parents and grandparents

of the Canadian family class will now be accepted for processing. The new quota level is described as

part of a new overall strategy to enhance increased family reunification in Canada.

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