Canada’s parent and grandparent visa scheme, which offers parents and grandparents of Canadian permanent residents the chance to join them permanently in Canada, has now reopened following a two-year freeze on the system.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) took the decision to halt the programme two years ago in order to clear an application backlog that had reached more than 165,000 and left applicants waiting more than eight years to have their applications assessed.
Late last year, CIC officials revealed that the backlog has been cut by half and that by 2015 the backlog is expected to be about 43,000 with wait times of about 18 months. It is estimated that Canada has admitted 50,000 parents and grandparents over the last two years and is poised to admit another 20,000 this year.
To ensure the now reopened programme does not spiral out of control once more, CIC have announced that only the first 5,000 completed forms will be processed – around 40,000 parent and grandparent applications are typically submitted each year.
However, it is believed by some Canadian migration experts that parent and grandparent visas may not prove to be as much sought after as they once were.
The launch of a ten-year, multiple-entry supervisa, introduced two years ago to allow parents and grandparents to visit their relatives for 24-month stretches if they could provide proof of health insurance, is likely to see many relatives opt for this option, rather than go through the rigamarole of the permanent route. Some 28,000 supervisas have been issued to date.
Article published 3rd January 2014