Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced new criteria for sponsoring parents and grandparents to come to Canada today that are aimed at ensuring elderly immigrants don’t end up on welfare or in social housing.
The changes are part of “phase 2” of the government’s overhaul of the family reunification category of immigration. New applications for the program have been on hold since 2011 in order to cut down on a massive backlog that resulted in wait times of eight years.
Kenney said applications will resume Jan. 1, 2014, and will be limited to 5,000 per year. The applications will still take years to process because of the ongoing backlog. By the end of the year, the backlog is estimated to be around 80,000 applications.