Minister, Make Mine a Double

January 6th, 2016

If you visit the government of Canada’s website and search for current processing times under the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) for immigration to Canada, you are informed that they are working on applications received on or before November 4, 2011.

Fifty months is a long time. (In 2011, the iPhone had only just begun to outpace the BlackBerry in Canadian sales.) Moreover, the government is now only working on these applications. These are not closed files; mom and pop and grandmother and grandpa are still abroad, waiting on an answer.

And yet, 2016 is meant to be a year of change with respect to this family sponsorship program, which allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents after satisfying some onerous eligibility criteria that includes a minimum income requirement.

The new Liberal government had generated a lot of buzz over recent weeks with respect to the PGP, with Prime Minister Trudeau issuing the following mandate to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, John McCallum: As part of the Annual Immigration Levels Plan for 2016, bring forward a proposal to double the number of entry applications for parents and grandparents of immigrants to 10,000 a year.

But so far there is no Immigration Level Plan for 2016, and when the PGP reopened this week potential applicants were faced with bold text on the government of Canada’s website that the number of applications remains at 5,000 — the same cap as under the Conservatives. In addition, during the election campaign the Liberals pledged to significantly increase the budget for family class immigration processing — but there has been no sign, at least publicly, of that extra funding having been allocated.

For anyone not familiar with this subject matter, the previous Canadian government, after a hiatus of two years, reopened the PGP in January, 2014. Given that the government is only now working on files received in November, 2011, it follows that not a single applicant who has submitted a file over the last two application cycles has had that file processed.

No doubt, given the fact that many of the sponsored persons are in their Autumn years, we face the rather grisly prospect of permanent resident status eventually being granted to many individuals who have already departed this life.

Minister McCallum has this week gone on record and stated that the government remains “committed to reuniting families and we intend to meet the commitment to double the intake of PGP sponsorship applications from 5,000 to 10,000 per year,” but there is no mention of when or how this may occur. There is also no mention of any efforts or means to decrease processing times.

Most Canadians agree that Canada faces a demographic challenge and that the strategic intake of skilled immigrants forms part of any solution to our aging population. We want the best and brightest from around the world to choose Canada as the place where they lay down roots and build their careers. However, we’re not alone in this desire. Canada, along with other developed countries such as the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, is in the international marketplace for the cream of the crop. All of the aforementioned countries allow for parental sponsorship in one form or another, and Canada will have to vastly improve the attractiveness of its family reunification programs to remain competitive.


 
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28 Responses to “Minister, Make Mine a Double”

  • On January 6th, 2016, Ahmed said ...

    My heart sank after reading this article. I too have aging parents waiting for an answer. Feeling really awful.

  • On January 7th, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    It’s a shame to know that previous liberal government has done great things for Immigrants and one great thing that they use to enjoy when they live to retirement was to return back home for one day less a year it has been taking away from them they need it back if they had more time with parents and grandparents the wouldn’t try to bring them here I migrants should be the younger generations like after five years a seasonal farm worker should be able to apply for permanent resident and and bring there family to Canada.

  • On January 7th, 2016, fawaz slim said ...

    in fact i am a 67 year old grandfather but i am still employed & fit to continue working for sometime.my wish is to join my daughters family who is living in north york.i have a quiet good working experience & i have worked in montreal for 2 years.settling again in canada is dream for me. thank you

  • On January 7th, 2016, fawaz slim said ...

    in fact i am a 67 year old grandfather but i am still employed & fit to continue working for sometime.my wish is to join my daughters family who is living in north york.i have a quiet good working experience & i have worked in montreal for 2 years.settling again in canada is dream for me. thank you

  • On January 7th, 2016, sajid said ...

    There is a delay of almost 11 years which I calculated recently,taking into consideration the applicants from the UK[where I live].First is the evaluation of the sponsor and the second is the evaluation of the sponsored[applicant].Total time was 10 years and 11 months!!!The figures speak for themselves!

  • On January 7th, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    good Evening
    Thanks for mail

  • On January 7th, 2016, J. R. Herrera said ...

    Fully Agree. Something drastic must be done or we will die waiting in cue.
    Our application was dated June, 2011 and we were finally given a Case number in January 2015. However, the estimated time from now through approval is nine more years! This is simply Absurd (laughable? Pathetic?). What application to the government for anything takes this long? When we heard about the nine years we thought it was a joke. Another topic: In our case (parents), we can sustain ourselves and do not intend to be financially a burden to anyone anywhere as we will support ourselves with our means. Also, we have private health care insurance for life in the U.S. This is one of the benefits to us retired partners of KPMG, where I spent 33 years before retiring at 57 after being Managing Partner from 1985 to 2005. An alternative to not becoming a health problem for Canada could be to make a deposit, say CAN$40,000 to CAN$50,000 to cover health problems of recent immigrants. This deposit would be reimbursed if unused after after x number of years.
    These are only ideas from the top of our head. I am sure that professionals in these fields (Health Insurance, Finance, Statistics) can think of remedies around these lines.
    Thank you for the opportunity to put in our two cents.

  • On January 7th, 2016, J. R. Herrera said ...

    No problem with editing or wordsmithing to make my comment less offensive to anyone. It is not our intention to insult or pick a fight. But please try to make these comments convey our feeling of frustration. Thank you.

  • On January 7th, 2016, Ron beardon said ...

    our application was put in on 5/11/2011 our money was taken then.we still have no number or receipt or any idea how far our application has progressed your comments will hell thank Ron

  • On January 7th, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    Mr. Trudeau & Minister McCallum have bitten off more than they can chew! Soon it will start taking a decade before parents and grand parents will land a PR’s. More resources need to be deployed to this else families will not enjoy unity in Canada.

  • On January 7th, 2016, Marian said ...

    Actually I am really surprised when it is said that governmwnt is committed and keen on family reunion and then we find that processing time for spouse sponsor is 20 months for sponsor and applicant files and for parents and grand parents around 50 months. A postponed family reunion. You can never imagine how cruel and harming this fact is. It is sometimes ruining lives of people. I am waiting for my spouse sponsor file. Frankly I regretted getting married to a person living abroad because of this status

  • On January 7th, 2016, Rodolfo Laconico said ...

    I would like to ask if there is such possibilities that we could apply the PGP or as an immigrant in Canada,me & my wife came here to visit our daughter,& we are given 3 yrs.multiple visa,our daughter been here for almost 6 yrs.and I’ved heard that she applied for PR.& still shes waiting for the result from Cad.Immigaration,is it possible for me & my wife to apply for PGP/Immigrant.while my daughter is waiting for the result of her PR?Pls. kindly give me an anwer for this & some advise to make my request possible.Thank you very much!

  • On January 8th, 2016, Sam said ...

    Dear Sir,

    What about the other people, who have the sponsorship from family friend?
    Really very disappointed as now hope is seen for express entry profile whose score is less but still in the race of PR.

  • On January 8th, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    They can bring 25,000 refugees into this country in 2 months. But they are 50 months behind on allowing people in who have family here. That is appalling to say the least. The money this government is losing because of the people sending money to another country to support there families. The refugees are doiung nothing but costing us millions and probably billions when it’s all said and done. Money out of our pockets to bring terrorists and street gangs into this country.

  • On January 8th, 2016, Dr OM PRAKASH GUPTA said ...

    Attorney Cohen…Plz accept my congratulations for your blog pleading for “Double Double” w r t PGP …..a kind gesture for a noble cause of reuniting families …..

  • On January 8th, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    Our son sponsored us in january 2014. The fees were collected 2 weeks later. After that, not a word anymore. We are hoping they will eventually start looking a our files. We are in our early 70 et would like to live some years near our children and grandchildren.

  • On January 8th, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    PM Trudeau as said already gave a marching order to double the intake to 10K, and nothing came up. Is the Minister of Immigration too occupied with other agenda to set the mandate aside?

  • On January 11th, 2016, one of hundreds called Gary Grant said ...

    NOW after reading of the many difficulties and silence of our government – Brings to mind an article I read somewhere that roughly quoted > “members of parliment spend less than 1/4 of their time running the country – the more than 2/3ds of their remaining ‘work time’ spent soliciting money to prepare for the next election” SEEMS TO BE IN TUNE WITH THESE ASTRONOMICAL PROBLEMS – IN ONLY THIS SMALL AREA OF OUR great canadian furture. I SHUDDER AT THE THOUGHT THE MANY VETERANS – (some who were my friends and comrades at arms who paid the ultimate price to give us and those we went forward to protect and allow the freedoms we enjoy in Canada) WHO MUST BE TURNING OVER IN THEIR GRAVES at some of the political mess occuring here.

    these many comments by people in much better situation than ours makes the future look very bleak for us to ever be able to be together – I concur with the following :

    Then there is the comment by anonymous sender says “They can bring 25,000 refugees into this country in 2 months. But they are 50 months behind on allowing people in who have family here. That is appalling to say the least. The money this government is losing because of the people sending money to another country to support there families…… ” etc…..

    and others who “regret marrying” ……. seems very destructive to the whole of our human herritage on this so called tiny community of planet earth.

    my heart goes out to those suffering these difficulties – where is the fault? is it the government or the overall degenerative condition of these times we see ocurring all across the globe?

  • On January 11th, 2016, one of hundreds called Gary Grant said ...

    My fiance of 4 years and I, are in the preparation process of a wedding later this year – she has been working in slave like conditions in Hong Kong like many hundreds to thousands there – but at the same time thankfully able to be supporting her own parents and 3 of her 4 sibblings from her home country, only to a very small degree.

    Our first attempt to bring her to Canada on a work visa was rejected on the basis that she was too poor and there was no incentive for her to return to her home country. Her Brother-in-law was successful to come to Canada because he borrowed > “many thousands of dollars” > to show he was well off – but no richer than most people attempting to come here – Her sister has now been allowed here, and they are now in process of adopting a baby from their home country. For them a Story of Success.

    My first thougt was to make a plea to ask a question re: I will be starting to prepare for our wedding and then spousal sponsorship of my new wife later this year, and wondered if there are any special things I need to include in the sponsorship application that will enhance bringing her to Canada.

    I am fairly well situated financially but my sole proprietership company has now taken a plunge since these last 15 months of recession, with no let up for the future.

    NOW as I stated in article above – it makes me wonder if there is any hope at all for us to be together.

  • On January 11th, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    My fiance has 5 years university with a degree in agricultural engineering, over my grade 12 level of education and her application for a work visa was rejected because “she is too poor” to come to Canada to work here and wants to become a tax paying member of our society ?

  • On January 20th, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    When read all these facts its remind me when we talk about demographic, i (Entrepreneur) have three children and a wife applied for immigration and wish to get settled rapidly but still waiting a CSQ, since a long time, for my children to get a job in Canada and work for the progress in that country. When it will be realized this dream? we are ready to come to Canada, so why too much time taken, every year same back log.

  • On January 21st, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    im just concerned for the 4 years duration that only allowed for TFW to stay and work in Canada . we are asking to change the rules for the favor of thousand migrant worker which they a lot of years to contribute for better econic in the Canada . we are knocking our PM Justin Trudeau for humanity of all migrant who love to stay and live in Canada. thank you and more power to all of us.

  • On January 22nd, 2016, Anonymous said ...

    im just concerned for the 4 years duration that only allowed for TFW to stay and work in Canada . we are asking to change the rules for the favor of thousand migrant worker which they spent a lot of years to contribute for better economic in the Canada . we are knocking the hearth our PM Justin Trudeau for the humanity of all migrant who love to stay and live in Canada. thank you and more power to all of us.

  • On January 22nd, 2016, Ammar said ...

    Nationality: Syrian city of Aleppo 08/03/1994
    My family is made up of six members, my father 63 years old he can not find jobs because my father old man and my mother 48 years also she can not work .
    My sick was caused by lack of oxygen during birth I was cerebral palsy underwent several operations
    cut off from physical therapy because of the war I was able to learn and obtain a certificate junior high despite my status and aspire for scientific collection in the future
    I can walk but with difficulty and my abilities mental natural
    Now live with my family in Turkey under the minimum living but all what I ask and I hope to get asylum in your generous country
    Regards
    Ammar

  • On January 22nd, 2016, fawaz slim said ...

    After reading all of the above comments i think the Canadian government should show no hesitation in in speeding up this very important issue .most applicants are sincere not to be source of burden on Canada plus the majority are capable of supporting their living in including myself..Canada has been the dream country for the majority who wants to settle in Canada. i never lose the hope.thank you brothers

  • On January 23rd, 2016, Craig said ...

    If the govt can screen and admit refugees in 2 months, they can easily do the same for parents and grandparents.

  • On January 24th, 2016, Dans said ...

    Gov is not stupid. They accept applications to cash the fees, then they slip on them 10 years or more.
    Canada can bring refugees in few weeks with all expenses covered by tax payers, but take its time when is about family reunification.
    I am in the situation of abandoning my canadian life and going back to my former country to take care of my alone mom.
    Canada makes my life imposible.

  • On February 1st, 2016, Maggi said ...

    Firstly, I commend the government on taking in refugees. it is our responsibility as a race to take care of each other. It is easy to make all these remarks about these refugees, however what would we want other nations’ response to be if we were the people in need? Compassion should be part of our dialect as Canadians. Having said this, it is however heartbreaking knowing that the applications for sponsoring parents and grandparents will take 10 years to process. Liberal government, this is not acceptable, not because you created the problem, but I really am hoping that you have a solution to the problem. Why is it that we can process 25 000 refugees in two months but the parents of your citizens have to wait 10 years and in some cases even longer? My parents have been here for three years now, their application has been in for a year, we have received not even a letter to say that our application is being processed nor have we received case number to track, nothing. We just know the application fee was processed.

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