Canadian Advantage
Skilled Worker
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Immigration Assessment
 
 
 

2005-11

CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION MINISTER JOE VOLPE ANNOUNCES TRIPLING OF THE NUMBER OF PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS IMMIGRATING TO CANADA IN 2005

OTTAWA, April 18, 2005 — The Honourable Joe Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced measures to speed up the processing of sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents coming to Canada as family class immigrants. With these new measures in place, it is expected that in both 2005 and 2006, the number of parents and grandparents immigrating to Canada will increase by an additional 12,000 each year. This triples the original 6,000 forecasted for 2005.

Minister Volpe is also announcing that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will be more flexible in issuing multiple-entry visitor visas to parents and grandparents. This will allow them to visit their families in Canada while their sponsorship applications are in process, as long as they are able to prove that they are visiting temporarily. Regular security and health screening will still apply and some parents and grandparents may require health coverage to be admissible to Canada.

“Today’s announcement will help CIC ease inventory pressures in the short term while working with the provinces, territories and communities on finding longer term solutions,” said Minister Volpe. “I would like to thank stakeholders and the members of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration for their support of our efforts to improve processing times for the reunification of family members.”

CIC has welcomed over one million permanent residents since 2000 and has consistently met its annual immigration targets since that time. However, the number of sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents is growing and more applications are received each day than CIC can process. To address this concern, the Government of Canada is investing $36 million a year over two years to increase processing of parent and grandparent applications and to cover integration costs once they arrive in Canada.

“We are taking action now to address one of the most pressing issues for CIC and to make our processing system as efficient as possible. Reuniting families is a commitment of the Government of Canada as well as a key priority of Canada’s immigration program,” added the Minister.

Additional processing will begin immediately. In the coming weeks, CIC will add temporary duty officers and support staff at visa offices with the largest number of applications.

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For more information (media only):

Stephen Heckbert
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
(613) 954-1064

Maria Iadinardi
Media Relations
Communications Branch
(613) 952-0740

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Processing Times for
Parents and Grandparents

Q1. How long will it take before my parents or grandparents will be admitted to Canada if my application was submitted before the April 18 announcement?

As a result of the Minister’s April 18, 2005, announcement, the oldest applications received at all visa offices will benefit from this initiative. Throughout 2006, visa offices will be working to finalize the immigration applications submitted to the visa office abroad prior to May 2004. While it is difficult to project processing times for cases received in May 2004 or later, it is unlikely these will be finalized in 2006.

Sponsors who wish to know whether or not their parents’ or grandparents’ application will likely be processed this year should refer to the date of the Acknowledgment of Receipt for the immigration application at the visa office, and not the date of the sponsorship application sent to the case processing centre in Mississauga.

Q2. How long will it take to have my parents or grandparents admitted to Canada if I apply now?

It is not possible at this time to give an accurate projection of how long it will take. There are currently approximately 110,000 people in this category waiting to be processed. With the new measures announced on April 18, 2005, it is expected that in both 2005 and 2006, the number of parents and grandparents immigrating to Canada will increase by an additional 12,000. This triples the original 6,000 forecast for 2005. The incremental target levels will be particularly assigned to missions with the oldest inventories to bring their processing times more in line with the rest of the world. The number of sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents is growing and more applications are received each day.

CIC is deploying temporary duty officers and hiring additional administrative support staff to accelerate the processing. However, it is important to remember that program integrity cannot be compromised. Sponsors and applicants must meet all the eligibility and admissibility requirements for a visa to be issued.

Find information on the Department’s current processing times at the case processing centre in Mississauga for sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents.

Find information on the Department’s current processing times at visa offices for immigration applications submitted by parents and grandparents.

Q3. How can I apply for a temporary resident visa? Is every parent and grandparent seeking to visit Canada eligible for one?

Anyone is eligible to apply for a temporary resident visa. However, the decision to issue a visa is taken by a visa officer after an individual review of each application. Applications are available on CIC’s Web site. The fee for a single-entry visa is CAN $75. A single-entry visa allows an applicant to enter Canada once. The person must leave Canada at the end of the period authorized for their stay.

Q4. How will an officer decide if I qualify for a temporary resident visa?

A visa officer must be satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of the period for which you will be permitted to stay in Canada. Although each case is different, the kinds of questions that officers may ask include whether you are able to support yourself financially while in Canada, and whether you are covered for possible medical expenses during the time that you are authorized to stay in Canada.

Before issuing a temporary resident visa, officers are required to ensure that you and any accompanying family members are admissible to Canada, including on health and security grounds. With these ideas in mind, officers are being encouraged to give special consideration to the particular circumstances of parents and grandparents.

Q5. What kind of supporting evidence should I include with my application for a temporary resident visa?

At a minimum, you must provide evidence that you will be able to support yourself and any accompanying family members financially while visiting Canada. You may wish to provide evidence that your family members in Canada are willing and able to provide financial support if necessary.

You should also provide evidence that you and any accompanying family members would be adequately covered for any possible medical expenses for the duration of your visit in Canada.

You will also have to demonstrate to the officer’s satisfaction that you and any accompanying family members will leave Canada at the end of your authorized period of stay. The policy is aimed specifically at parents and grandparents wishing to visit family members in Canada. Accompanying children must continue to meet the normal rules.

Find information on the application for a temporary resident visa.

Q6. What is a multiple-entry visa and how does is work?

The multiple-entry visa allows foreign nationals to visit Canada one or more times over a set period of time without having to request a new visa each time they travel. The fee for a multiple-entry visa is CAN $150. The duration of a multiple-entry visa is at the discretion of the visa officer assessing the application. A multiple-entry visa can be issued for up to five years or one month prior to the expiry date on the passport or re-entry visa, whichever is earlier. If a multiple-entry visa is approved, it will allow you to enter and leave Canada repeatedly during the validity period of the visa.

Q7. Does the five-year multiple-entry visa mean that parents and grandparents can stay for up to five years at a time?

No. The five-year multiple-entry visa gives foreign nationals the ability to visit Canada one or more times over a five-year period without having to request a new visa each time they have to travel. On each entry into Canada, the port of entry officer will normally give visitor status for six months, or longer in some cases. Once in Canada, a foreign national may request an extension of their visitor status provided they can still demonstrate that they will leave Canada at the end of the authorized period of entry.

Q8. I want to visit my family in Canada but I have also applied for permanent residence in Canada. Will I be eligible to come to Canada temporarily?

Yes. You may apply for a temporary resident visa (either single- or multiple-entry) to visit Canada while your application for permanent residence is being processed. At a minimum, you will need to demonstrate that you will leave Canada at the end of the period authorized for your stay. You must also demonstrate that you have the means to support yourself and any accompanying family members financially, and that you and any accompanying family members are adequately covered for any possible medical expenses for the duration of your visit in Canada.

Before issuing a temporary resident visa, officers are required to ensure that an applicant is admissible to Canada, including on health and security grounds.

Q9. I am inadmissible to Canada but wish to visit my family members there. Am I eligible for a temporary resident visa (either single- or multiple-entry)?

No, you cannot be issued a temporary resident visa. However, in exceptional cases, officers may, at their discretion, consider that it is justified in the circumstances of a particular case to reunite families sooner, through the issuance of a temporary resident permit.

Q10. I came to Canada to visit my family but now wish to stay permanently. Can I apply for permanent residence from within Canada?

There is no class for parents and grandparents to apply for permanent residence from within Canada.

As a visitor, you are required to leave Canada at the end of the period authorized for your stay. If you fail to leave Canada when required, you will become inadmissible and could be removed from Canada.

If you are issued a departure or deportation order due to your failure to leave Canada, you may also be rendered inadmissible to return to Canada in the future.

Q11. Why did the Government of Canada decide to increase the number of parents and grandparents who can become permanent residents of Canada and be more flexible in the issuance of temporary resident visas for them?

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is responding to concerns raised by Canadians and permanent residents about how long it takes to sponsor their parents and grandparents to immigrate to Canada. There is currently a large inventory of applications in this category. We hope that this measure will facilitate the permanent or temporary reunification of parents and grandparents with their family in Canada. These measures are in place for two years and will be evaluated to determine whether they are working as intended or whether adjustments are required.