The following is an excerpt from Canada Countdown, How to Immigrate to Canada – A Guide Book.
On May 10, 2013, the Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney announced that the family class sponsorship program for parents and grandparents would be re-opening on January 2, 2014.
At the time the program was frozen, there was a backlog of approximately 165,000 cases pending for consideration. In November 2011, the government increased the processing levels to 25,000 parent and grandparent applications per year and also introduced the new Super Visa to allow parents and grandparents to come to Canada on a more flexible basis for up to 10 years and allow individuals to stay in Canada for up to 2 years at a time.
The Minister’s recent announcement introduces Phase 2 of the “Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification” and is targeting even faster processing times to avoid further backlogs in the future, and ensure that Canadian families have the sufficient financial resources to support their family members for a longer period of time.
This second phase of the “Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification” features the following:
- Processing levels increase: Phase 1 of the program saw processing levels for parents and grandparents increase from 15,000 to 25,000 per year, in Phase 2 these levels will increase to 50,000 parents and grandparents per year for 2012 and 2013 with a further commitment that processing levels will remain high for parents and grandparents in 2014.
- The Super Visa is here to stay: The super visa will become a permanent program allowing applicants to obtain a 10 year multiple entry visa and remain in Canada for up to 2 years at a time.
- Program Criteria Change: The qualifying criteria for sponsors of parents and grandparents will change increasing the necessary financial ability of sponsors in order to ensure they have the financial ability to provide for their sponsored family members.
Changes include an increase to the minimum necessary income (MNI) for sponsoring parents and grandparents by 30% from current levels and a lengthening of the period necessary for demonstrating minimum necessary income (MNI) from 1 year to 3 years.