The status of Canada’s Family Reunification program has been called into question by a fax recently sent to a Member of Parliament’s office in Markham. The fax appears to have been sent in response to a sponsorship application submitted to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

The fax states “ As we are not currently processing any parental sponsorships at this time (new or returned cases), this case will be finalized once we get the go-ahead form management to start working on parental sponsorships again”

Senior government officials have insisted that Citizenship and Immigration Canada continues to process family reunifications visa applications and that the fax was in fact sent in error. However some in the immigration field believe that the fax is simply the result of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s previous decision to reduce the number of parental sponsorship application visas. While in 2010 about 16,000 family reunification visas for parent and grandparents were issued, the government is planning on issuing only about 11,000 visas this year. Experts in the immigration industry see a freeze as the logical result of the reduction in the amount of visas being offered and the large size of the backlog of applications. Estimates as to the amount of family sponsorship applications awaiting assessment, put the number above 140,000. With the current backlog, the estimated processing time is well over 14 years.

Despite the fax there has been no official announcement that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has stopped accepting sponsorship applications. At this point, Canadian immigration laws allow for individuals to continue to submit applications to sponsor their parents and grandparents.

While the sponsoring of parents and grandparents is an extremely long process, the sponsorship process for children and spouses continues to be prioritized and are generally completed much more quickly.

To get additional information as to the requirements of the Family-Class Sponsorship Program please visit the following link:

To view the fax in question please visit the following link: 

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