Canadian Government to reduce immigrant visas by 5%

Cut to immigrant visas may affect parents and grandparents

The Canadian Government announced this week that they were seeking to cut immigration to Canada by 5%, and most of these cuts would be to family reunification visas. CBC used the Access to Information Act to find that parents and grandparents who want to join their children who are already in Canada are the most likely to not get visas.

Normally, Canada issues 16,000 family reunification visas to parents and grandparents, but this number would drop to 11,000.

Immigrant visas cut to ensure spouses and children get them first

According to Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, the reduction in visas is necessary to ensure that those who need visas most – spouses and children – get them first.

“There have to be choices made,” said Minister Kenney, while he was announcing that Canada admitted 280,636 permanent residents in 2010, the highest number in 50 years. “I know that the most popular thing they could do politically would be to say that this year, we’re going to go from 14,000 to 100,000 parents and grandparents…but it wouldn’t be responsible because that means fewer economic immigrants coming and paying taxes, or fewer refugees to save from refugee camps,” he said.

One Vancouver immigration lawyer was quoted by CBC saying, “Frankly, there’s a better chance of the parents seeing a coffin before a Canadian visa.”

Other categories are also seeing a significant drop according to the documents obtained by CBC. For example, the normally 70,000 federal skilled worker visas will drop 20% to 56,000. However, one positive aspect of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s new plans is that skilled worker applicants are receiving answers within a year of applying, as opposed to 5 years previously.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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