Group Urges Ottawa to End Backlogged Applications

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Applications to sponsor Chinese parents are backlogged

chinese parents

Image source from CLF on flickr

The applications for Canadians to sponsor their parents and grandparents is not getting processed at a reasonable rate.  At the peak in 2002, Canada accepted 11,400 sponsored parents and grandparents.  Those numbers were down in 2009, with only 9000 accepted.

In China, the backlog of applications to sponsor parents is growing.  Currently, there are 7000 parental sponsorships that have not been processed.

Olivia Chow, an NDP Member of Parliament who is an immigration critic, explains that the backlog in China is due to inadequate resources and an annual quota imposed by Ottawa on individual visa offices.  The quota limit for China is 1,000.

“It is not good government policy. It is not good government practice,” she said. “It is discriminatory to have some Canadians wait longer than others.”

Chow also pointed out that the parents would benefit Canada, as they would look after their grandchildren and wouldn’t qualify for a Canadian pension in their first ten years in Canada.

Group wants Ottawa to fix parents sponsorship issue similar to India

Sponsor Our Parents is an 800-member self-advocacy group that was established last year to reduce the processing times of parental immigration at Canadian visa offices overseas.  They are urging Ottawa to send representatives to the immigration office in Beijing to affect change.

Five years ago, officials when to India to reduce a sponsorship backlog.  It was successful, as 10,516 applications were processed in New Delhi in 2005.

Sponsor Our Parents petitioned government

Last April, Sponsor Our Parents began a petition to the House of Commons.  They addressed the issue of processing times of immigration applications for parents and grandparents.  It pointed out that the times vary from less than one year to more than four years, depending on where the applications originate.

They remind the House that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has a responsibility to ensure that all applications are processed under the legal requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.  Parents of sponsors shouldn’t be discriminated against due to the country in which they live.

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