Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced on Tuesday a 15 percent increase in the number of individuals admitted under the family class immigration program in 2012 over the year before.
In the announcement, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney promoted CIC’s faster processing of family class applications:
“By reducing the backlog through increased admissions, we have dramatically reduced wait times so that parents and grandparents no longer have to wait close to a decade to be reunited with their loved ones.”
The increase in admissions occurred despite CIC having stopped accepting new applications under the Parent and Grandparent stream of the family class program in November 2011. The moratorium on new Parent and Grandparent sponsorship applications likely contributed to the reduction in the program backlog.
CIC is targeting a 50 percent reduction in the family class application backlog and in the processing time of applications in 2013.
The department has been moving away from sponsorship of Parent and Grandparents for permanent residence, and moving toward extended temporary stays, with the creation of a new ‘Parent and Grandparent Super Visa’ in December 2011 that allows unlimited re-entries for parents and grandparents of Canadians for up to ten years, and allows them to stay in Canada for two years on each visit.