Parent Sponsorship 2014: A Lottery

By Author: Admin | January 15, 2014

02/01/2014 marked the reopening of the parent sponsorship program by Canada’s immigration Department. This followed a two-year freeze on sponsoring parents which dated back to November 2011.

During November 2011, the immigration department abruptly cut off the law to sponsor parents on the ground of an excessive backlog resulting in delays of sponsoring parents. It should be mentioned that the backlog was created by the Liberal party which allocated fewer officers to deal with the sponsorship of parents  from the year 2003. The backlog then grew as parent sponsorships accumulated with insufficient numbers of officers to deal with them. In 1993 out of a total of 256,641 immigrants, 47,267 were family class members. During the 2000s the number dropped to between23000-28000 family class members.  This is creating ‘facts on the ground’ – manufacturing a delay in sponsoring family class and using that manufactured delay to justify tougher criteria in sponsorships, as can be seen below.

The current  criteria for sponsoring is significantly different from the criteria in the past. Specifically, the Canadian wishing to sponsor their parents must have 30% more income than in the past. In addition, the evidence that must be marshaled to prove that income must go back three years ,and in the form of of verifiable tax evidence such as a CRA-issued Notice of Assessment. By contrast, under the old criteria, only one year of income was required to launch a sponsorship of parents. It must be kept in mind however that an additional hurdle lies in the visa officer’s request for further financial information years after the sponsorship has commenced. Thus, if you launch a sponsorship application for your parent during January 2014, and if the processing has not been completed in a couple of years, it is within the right of the officer to ask for additional proof of ongoing similar income from the sponsor i.e. for 2014 and 2015.

Another main criterion is the requirement that the sponsor undertake to support the parent for 20 years rather than 10 years. This in most scenarios indicates a requirement to undertake to support the parents until the parent passes away. Combine this with the fact that parents must be medically examined and not be a burden on Canada’s health or social services, means that one aspect of this lottery is that you must have healthy parents. If they are deemed to be “an excessive demand “ then they would be refused, barring a successful appeal on humanitarian grounds at a different venue, namely the Immigration Refugee Board Appeal Division. Such healthy parents would more likely be those whose morbidity would be brief and/or not financially burdensome at the end of their life.

Xenophobic nut jobs should also rest assured that parents being sponsored are screened for past affiliations to criminal groups and terror groups as well as criminality in general.

The other resemblance to a lottery includes the fact that there is a cap  5000 applicants per year. Given immigration Canada’s official insistence their website itself constitute sufficient information to file an application, they will no doubt be many disappointed would be sponsors who discover that the failure to file a properly constituted application would result in the application being returned. Once that application is returned, the would-be sponsor would likely be ineligible to re-file a sponsorship case and miss the 5000 quota for 2014.

It goes without saying that proper legal advice about what constitutes a proper application to sponsor parents, as well as the appropriate evidence would be essential given this era of quotas on parent sponsorship’s among other types of applications.


Call a Toronto Immigration Lawyer for any Canadian immigration issues or concerns you may have – Dial 416-447-6118 now!


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I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario Canada. I am an accomplished author and lecturer and am consulted by the media and other immigration lawyers and consultants on immigration matters and challenging immigration cases, appeals, and federal court matters.

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