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Did you hear? On January 2nd, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be re-opening
the Parent and Grandparent (PGP) program for new applications. The wait times in the program
and the backlog are expected to be cut in half. CIC had stopped accepting applications on
November 5th 2011.
Nearly after two years of waiting, parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be able to sponsor their loved ones. With the new re-opening of the PGP Program, CIC has enacted a new 4 step Action Plan to ensure applicants that their family sponsorship applications will continue to be processed at high levels. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said “The Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification is on track to meet the goals of cutting in half of the backlog and wait times in the Parent and Grandparent program. It is very important that we continue to make progress and not return to the old broken system with wait times as long as a decade – that would be unfair to families.”
The following are the four steps to the plan:
Step 1: In 2012 and 2013, Canada admitted approximately 50,000 parents and grandparents as Canadian Permanent Residents, the highest level in 20 years. This has helped reduce backlogs and waiting times.
Step 2: The popular Super Visa program, which allows parents and grandparents to enter Canada as long-term visitors, has been made a permanent. Since its launch in December 2012, over 15,000 Super Visas have been issued to qualifying family members.
Step 3: New qualifying criteria (detailed below) will be implemented to increase the financial responsibility of sponsors. This ensures that they have the means to support their family member(s) while minimizing costs incurred by the Canadian public for needs such as healthcare and social services.
Step 4: For 2014, a strict cap of 5,000 new applications will be accepted for processing in the Parent and Grandparent stream.
Qualifying criteria has been added and amended for the coming year. They mostly focus on ensuring that the sponsors, who bring family members to Canada, will indeed be cable of supporting these family members.
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