Here’s to Hoping

January 6th, 2014

There has been a lot of buzz and some mixed opinion regarding the decision by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to re-open, ever so slightly, the door to parent and grandparent sponsorship.

For anyone unfamiliar with this subject matter, the Canadian government, after a hiatus of two years, is once again permitting a limited number of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents/grandparents. As of January 2, 2014, a total of 5,000 sponsorship applications in this category will be considered for visa issuance.

Some Canadians feel that granting permanent resident visas to elderly and soon-to-be elderly individuals makes no sense at all. They argue that these new arrivals are unlikely to contribute to Canada’s economic well-being and are quite likely to become net takers from our already overburdened healthcare system.

Others complain that there is a basic inequality built into the parent sponsorship program. These folks argue that eligibility is limited to the well-heeled and they have a point. The average annual income in Canada is around $46,500 and therefore many would-be sponsors will not be able to demonstrate that their total annual income meets the minimum necessary income to support themselves, their immediate family members residing in Canada as well as the parents they intend to sponsor. Are hard working Canadians, who earn a lower salary, any less deserving of family re-unification? There’s no simple answer.

At the end of the day, most Canadians will agree that we are demographically challenged and that the strategic intake of immigrants will be 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. However, we’re not along in this desire. Other developed countries like the U.S., Australia and New Zealand are also looking to attract the cream of the crop, when it comes to young productive immigrants. All of the aforementioned countries allow for parent sponsorship in one form or another, and to remain competitive Canada will have to do the same.

Just before the New Year, one of my clients and I were interviewed for the Daybreak Show on CBC Radio. These issues and others were discussed.

Here’s hoping we get it right.

Previous Blog : Citizenship Takes a Back Seat
Next Blog : Time to Change the Rules

3 Responses to “Here’s to Hoping”

  • On January 7th, 2014, DBelitsky said ...

    Granting permanent residency to elderly can be a benefit to Canadians. I am applying so that I can be close to family but also, so that I can qualify for seasonal, temporary, or part-time work. These positions are not available to temporary VISA holders and are not feasible for younger candidates because accepting the employment costs them, (Child care, commuting expense, etc.) as much as the salary. I am lucky to be retirement age and healthy. To stay healthy, I will stay in the work force as long as I can. My pension will cover basic living expense and part-time employment will provide extra income (to be spent at Canadian retailers/service providers). Good for the economy, and the employers who seek employees for less-than-full time work.
    The generalization that all PGPs will, inevitably, be a burden for social programs is not accurate.

  • On January 24th, 2014, Joice said ...

    “We want the best and brightest from around the world to choose Canada as the place where they lay down roots.”
    This is what makes me love Canada even more!

  • On June 18th, 2014, A N M Yeahia said ...

    FSW program is very helpful for immigrant around the world

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