Parent and Grandparent Program Closed

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) opened up the parent and grandparent sponsorship program on January 2 for the first time since placing a hold on new applications in late 2011. While this may be good news for those wishing to bring their parents or grandparents to Canada, the 5,000 cap on new applications for 2014 meant that applicants had to be quick if they wanted to get their place in line. CIC announced on February 3 that the cap had been reached and closed the program for new applications until the cap resets in January of 2015.

Although the announcement was made on February 3, the cap was likely reached much, much easier (think first week of January). CIC specifically referred to 5,000 completed applicants when announcing the cap, which means that they had to go through all the applications received in early January and send the applications back that were missing documents. Because sifting through thousands of applications represents a significant amount of work, it took them a month to announce that they had hit 5,000.

What does this mean for next year? Those who do not have their applications at CIC with all the required documents when the program opens are likely to be disappointed. While it is possible that CIC will increase the cap for next year, it seems unlikely with the current backlog of applications. While spending the holidays finalizing a permanent residence application may not be everyone’s favourite way to celebrate, that may be in the cards for quite a few people.