“Pause” on New Parental Sponsorship Applications

On November 4, 2011, the federal government introduced its plan for reducing the backlog in parent and grandparent sponsorship applications.  With more than 165,000 applications in the queue, and a wait time approaching a decade, it was clear that something had to be done.

The government’s plan involves numerous phases:

One – Increase by over 60 percent the number of sponsored parents and grandparents Canada will admit next year, from nearly 15,500 in 2010 to 25,000 in 2012.

Two – Introduce a new “Parent and Grandparent Super Visa,”which will be valid for up to 10 years. The multiple-entry visa will allow an applicant to remain in Canada for up to 24 months at a time without the need for renewal of their status. The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa will come into effect on December 1, 2011. Parent and Grandparent Super Visa applicants will be required to obtain private Canadian health-care insurance for their stay in Canada.

Three  The government will consult stakeholders on how to redesign the parents and grandparents program to ensure that it is sustainable in the future.

Four – There will be a temporary pause of up to 24 months on the acceptance of new sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents. The pause comes into effect on November 5, 2011.


For those who have never thought about the issue before, the following points are worth considering:

  • Is it fair to the Canadian taxpayer to pay for the costs of healthcare of individuals who have paid less into the system than those who have lived here all their lives?  The statistics are clear that the elderly consume a disproportionate share of health care dollars compared to younger individuals.
  • Should naturalized Canadians, who pay taxes, and often earn above what the average Canadian makes, not have the choice to take care of their parents just like Canadian-born Canadians can?
  • In terms of the economic arguments, what about the fact that for immigrants with children the presence of their parents and/or grandparents can allow those immigrants to work?
  • Would potential immigrants still choose Canada if they know that they cannot sponsor their parents to move here permanently?
So what do you think?  If you were designing a new parental / grandparent sponsorship program what would it look like?

2 thoughts on ““Pause” on New Parental Sponsorship Applications

  1. People visiting Canada on visitor visa are not eligible for any social or health care benefits in Canada. Visitors always had to get health insurance before they could get the visitor visa and it’s sponsor’s responsibility to take care of the visitors. Since the visitors are not eligible for any benefits there won’t be any burden on the government medical care or social assistance.
    2012 will be 200 years since the War of 1812. The Canadians look very closely at the events from which evolved this country we now called Canada. Canada is a sparsely populated huge country and to maintain our vast infrastructure cost us enormously. The best way to lower our tax burden and maintain our standard of living is to drastically increase immigration. If Canada abolishes the Immigration completely, then we will not have adequate tax payers to pay taxes to support our elderly and those on social assistance.
    Conservatives have preached and berated the Liberals on family values. The Conservative mantra “families that pray together stay together” will seem a contradiction if the sponsorship of parents is not allowed. Conservatives want foreign workers to come to Canada and pay taxes to supporting our old age pension, health care, and social assistance programs, but conservatives don’t want the foreign workers to live in Canada permanently.
    Education and skill training of those immigrants from poor countries were paid by those poor countries. Those poor countries also pay the health care for the aging parents of the immigrants. In the mean time Canada takes advantage of the immigrants’ education, skills, experiences and taxes. Those visiting parents on Super Visa will need to travel back and forth maintaining a home here and in their country, making it difficult for the aging parents to feel at home in either place. This is also a challenge at any age and surely not easier the older aging parents. The ultimate outcome of the visitor visa is likely that the parents will end up alone back in their countries.
    But this tide will turn soon. China, India and Brazil will discuss this same immigration concerns by 2040. Aging Canadians will join the crowd waiting in line for parental immigration to China, India and Brazil in few decades. In few decades Chinese, Indian or Brazil government may think that aging Canadians will be burden on their system and they should only accept young Canadian workers on temporary work visa so that foreign workers pay taxes to support their own elderly and their citizens who need social security.
    – Nalliah Thayabharan

  2. @Nalliah Thayabharan:
    Who do you think your kidding? The Conservative “mantra” has never been, “families that pray together stay together”. In addition, do you have any idea what a Canadian would have to go through and the time period they would have to wait if they wanted to get a permanent resident designation or become a citizen in China? Try to own property in any of the countries mentioned? Next to impossible!
    A parent may have to travel back and forth to visit their children? Is that our concern? Am I supposed to feel sorry for them? Why are you trying to make that our problem? Can their children not visit them ? Why should I be responsible for their medical? I don’t know about India or Brazil so much , but in China, people are retiring as young as 45 years of age. Common for fifty to fifty -five year old people. Government workers own government subsidized housing , millions of people have very lucrative pensions from private firms as well as government. Sure they have poor—-so do we! These people who who have children working in Canada or have student children here, have more ability and funding to care for themselves and their children than most Canadians do.The pause is great. What other country even allows this “Super Visa”?
    The immigrant comes to Canada mainly to make money.If the Conservatives want foreign workers to pay our pensions,and social assistance programs, (which I think they don’t) it would only be because these foreign workers and their families are having a huge financial impact on these systems.Why should a new Canadian , here for ten years, receive a pension of any sort?Because they pay taxes while they worked? The little bit of taxes they paid does not entitle them to lifelong support as they haven’t paid enough into the system. Do I want immigrants to work here? Yes. Do I want them to live here? Yes. Do I want their parents, grandparents and siblings to live here too simply because of their relationship to the foreign worker? Emphatically—NO!
    It gets harder to visit their children as the parent ages? They will end up alone in the end? How do you know these things? Why is this a concern for Canadians? Is it because we have a reputation as soft touches?Is it because we have such a good reputation for being humane and compassionate? Well, it’s about time we Canadians ask other countries including those immigrants from the countries you mentioned to show some humane and compassionate concessions to us and to their own people in their own lands.
    England is now changing their immigration rules too.Their system is overwhelmed with the demands made on it from their lax immigration rules.
    Canada is big…you say. So huge! you say. In those parts of this country that have the greatest open spaces, their is hardly an immigrant to be found.They all want to live in the big cities. So forget about Canada being so huge when in fact , most people treat it as though it were the same size as England or France .
    Believe it when I tell you that contrary to what you claim, aging Canadians will never be waiting in line to get a parental visa to visit their children living in China, India or Brazil. So, the only fear we have is that we will end up like England or France and yes, in a few hundred years……maybe like India or Brazil.
    I’m in favor of fair parental immigration rules when it comes to parental visas and as they are for the visitors, the visitors should pay for themselves and have enough financial resources to pay for their plane fare, medical insurance, medications, and any other expenses they may have.

    John Duguay

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