Moratorium on Immigration for Parents and Grandparents


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

  1. November 7, 2011

    People visiting Canada on visitor visa are not eligible for any social or health care benefits in Canada. Visitors always had to get health insurance before they could get the visitor visa and it’s sponsor’s responsibility to take care of the visitors. Since the visitors are not eligible for any benefits there won’t be any burden on the government medical care or social assistance.
    2012 will be 200 years since the War of 1812. The Canadians look very closely at the events from which evolved this country we now called Canada. Canada is a sparsely populated huge country and to maintain our vast infrastructure cost us enormously. The best way to lower our tax burden and maintain our standard of living is to drastically increase immigration. If Canada abolishes the Immigration completely, then we will not have adequate tax payers to pay taxes to support our elderly and those on social assistance.
    Conservatives have preached and berated the Liberals on family values. The Conservative mantra “families that pray together stay together” will seem a contradiction if the sponsorship of parents is not allowed. Conservatives want foreign workers to come to Canada and pay taxes to supporting our old age pension, health care, and social assistance programs, but conservatives don’t want the foreign workers to live in Canada permanently.
    Education and skill training of those immigrants from poor countries were paid by those poor countries. Those poor countries also pay the health care for the aging parents of the immigrants. In the mean time Canada takes advantage of the immigrants’ education, skills, experiences and taxes. Those visiting parents on Super Visa will need to travel back and forth maintaining a home here and in their country, making it difficult for the aging parents to feel at home in either place. This is also a challenge at any age and surely not easier the older aging parents. The ultimate outcome of the visitor visa is likely that the parents will end up alone back in their countries.
    But this tide will turn soon. China, India and Brazil will discuss this same immigration concerns by 2040. Aging Canadians will join the crowd waiting in line for parental immigration to China, India and Brazil in few decades. In few decades Chinese, Indian or Brazil government may think that aging Canadians will be burden on their system and they should only accept young Canadian workers on temporary work visa so that foreign workers pay taxes to support their own elderly and their citizens who need social security.
    – Nalliah Thayabharan

  2. November 10, 2011

    Hi, My mother is already in Canada for 5 years multi-entry (just one month less to passport expire date), with maximum 6month in one stay. I just complete her immigration file and found that there is 2years hold on it.

    I want to know that how can she convert her visa to super visa, so she can stay 2years at a time on her 5years muilt-entry visa?

  3. November 17, 2011

    this is good for everybody.I like it.Thank you. But I don’t have a job in Canada ,but my husband have a job in Winnipeg.Can I apply for super visa for my parents.

  4. December 15, 2011

    The super visa is intended for parents of permanent residents and citizens who can not sponsor parents. I don’t think it will be issued for those who have temporary residence using work permits, but it is a new process and nobody has had any experience with it yet.

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