The Canadian Immigration Minister has revealed that it will double the intake rate for parents and grandparent visa applicants this year.
In an interview with CBC News Network’s Power & Politics on Friday, Immigration Minister John McCallum confirmed that 10,000 applications for reunification of parents and grandparents will be accepted this year instead of the previously stated 5,000.
Having re-opened the parent and grandparent reunification visa scheme last Monday, the government had received more than 14,000 applications for visas by the week’s end, prompting calls for the previous limit of 5,000 to be raised.
“We’ve kept the first 10,000 — so those 10,000 will be up and running,” McCallum revealed on Power and Politics. “We are certainly honouring that commitment.
Having far exceeded the target limit, the window for accepting new applications has now closed.
Speaking on the programme, Minister McCallum also stated that his department would be looking to reduce the time it takes for parent and grandparent visa applications to be processed. “That’s a huge item on our agenda, which we will be addressing in the coming months,” McCallum said.
According to the latest data posted on the Immigration Department’s website, the wait time for reunification of parents and grandparents is upwards of four years with the government working on processing applications received on or before 4th November 2011.
The Minister has also pledged to reduce the amount of time spouses of Canadian citizens have to wait receive a permanent residency visa. The current wait time for sponsoring a spouse or common-law partner is over two years if they live in Canada and upwards of 17 months for those living outside the country.
“Over the years, there have not been enough resources devoted to the spouses,” McCallum said. “I think that’s unacceptable and that is another one of the things we are determined to address.”