Ottawa Moves to Increase Family Reunifications


The Canadian government has promised to speed up the process of family reunification through its immigration programs.

“Our Government is keeping our promise to overcome the massive backlogs we inherited and reunite families faster,” said Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. “These numbers represent the highest level of parent and grandparent admissions in nearly two decades and are a clear expression of our commitment to family reunification as a key part of our immigration plan.”

This came with the announcement that the backlogs within the Parent and Grandparent (PGP) program will be nearly 50 percent lower by the end of this year than they were two years ago.

Ottawa planned to admit to Canada 50,000 parents and grandparents between 2012 and 2013. It appears that they may reach that target and perhaps even surpass it. An additional 20,000 are expected for 2014 as part of the projected quotas recently unveiled by Citizen and Immigration Canada.

Without reforms the immigration process, backlogs were expected to grow and include 250,000 applicants who would be subject to wait times of 15 years by 2015. The government aims to shorten processing times to a fifth of the current estimate.

Within the Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification, Ottawa is looking to cut backlogs for sponsored parents and grandparents. The wait time before the advent of the plan was as long as 8 years. The PGP program will accept new applicants beginning in 2014, with conditions for sponsors and a limit of 5000 people annually. This quota is in place to allow a grace period for officials to process the current backlog.

“The modernized PGP program will mean faster processing times and shorter waits,” said the minister. “It will also ensure that families have the financial means to support those they sponsor, while also protecting the interests of taxpayers.”

Other options for families include what is called the “Super Visa,” which has accepted 26,000 applications to date. It allows parents and grandparents admittance to Canada within a period of 10 years and is valid for stays of two years at a time.

To learn more about the Action Plan for Faster Family Reuinfication click here.

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