The Canadian government is taking drastic action to reduce the lengthy backlog of sponsored parents and grandparents waiting for as long as eight years for their family sponsorship applications to be processed.
Close to 165,000 parents and grandparents who applied to become permanent Canadian citizens are still waiting for a final decision. Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) receives nearly 38,000 applications in this class annually.
Beginning on December 1, CIC will issue new multiple-entry super visas valid for up to 10 years that will allow parents and grandparents to remain in Canada for up to two years at a time without the need for renewal of their status.
The visas will be issued within eight weeks of application and applicants will be required to obtain private Canadian health-care insurance for their stay in Canada.
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said the government is committed to helping families unite.
“We recognize that what parents and grandparents want most is to be able to spend time with their families,” he said. “If we do not take real action now, the large and growing backlog in the parents and grandparents program will lead to completely unmanageable wait times.
“Through this balanced series of measures, we will be able to dramatically reduce the backlog and wait times while the new parent and grandparent super visa will allow more family members to pay extended visits to their loved ones.”
The government will also increase by over 60 per cent the number of sponsored parents and grandparents Canada will admit next year from nearly 15,500 in 2010 to 25,000 in 2012 which will be the highest level in almost 20 years.
To prevent the build-up and reduce the 165,000 backlog, CIC is implementing a temporary pause of up to 24 months on the acceptance of new sponsorship applications in this class.
The pause came into effect last Friday.