Moratorium on Immigration for Parents and Grandparents

2011-11-05

Citizenship and Immigration Canada just announced a 2 year moratorium on immigration sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents.

This means the Canadian citizens and permanent residents can not submit sponsorship applications for parents or grandparents for at least 2 years.

CIC states that this moratorium is required in order to clear the huge 38,000 backlog of applications still sitting in the queue.

For those in the queue, I believe this is very good news.  They will be processed quickly and will not have to wait up to 10 years which was the processing time for many applications.

For those who were not able to apply for sponsorship before the moratorium was implemented, CIC will be issuing a parent and grandparent “super visa” which will be a multi-entry visitor visa valid for 10 years, and allowing parents and grandparents to live in Canada for 2 years at a time.  These “super visas” will be issued within about 8 weeks.

I have to applaud the government for finally doing something with regard to parent and grandparent sponsorship applications.  They wait times were absolutely unacceptable.  Now that they will begin processing the applications quickly, families can reunited in Canada in a reasonable time.  The “super visa” is a good option for those who can’t apply for sponsorship – it will allow parents and grandparents to live in Canada for extended periods of time, and visit with children and grandchildren and continue to build those all important family bonds.

CIC also states that it will consult with stakeholders on re-designing this sponsorship program.  That is welcome news – I know that immigration lawyers will have a lot to say on this issue.

I know one concern that people have is the costs of allowing older immigrants into the country.  Many claim that they put an undue burden on our health care system, as most health care costs and incurred in the final years of life.

While true, there are many benefits that parents and grandparents bring as immigrants.  Many perform paid work in the community, or unpaid work in the form of childcare in the home.  Also, in my experience, older immigrants sell houses, investments and businesses in their home country and spend and invest that capital in Canada.

Moreover, many older immigrants have pensions from their home countries that will be spent in Canada.

When speaking of costs, we must always be mindful that Canadian taxpayers did not fund 12 years of education for older immigrants – a significant savings in itself.

In my view, the sponsorship of parents and grandparents is a very positive program for Canada, and I look forward to seeing reforms that will ensure all families can live together in this great country if they choose to do so.

Click here for the CIC news release on the moratorium.

About the author

Gianpaolo Panusa Gianpaolo Panusa is a Canadian immigration lawyer, writer, and founder of the PanCanadian Immigration Law Group based in Vancouver, Canada. Google+ Profile