During a recent parliamentary session opposition MPs expressed dismay that Canada is has barely reached the low end of its target admission rate for sponsored parents and grandparents last year. At this time, there is a backlog of 150,000 applications.
In 2010, the department’s immigration levels plan had a target admission rate of 15,000 -18,000 in the parental sponsorship category, with Canada eventually accepting 15,324 applicants. By the end of 2010, 150,965 applications were waiting to be processed in parental sponsorship category. That backlog was 165,000 by March 2011. In 2011, the government lowered the bar for admission to 13,000 – 17,500. The progressively lower admission rates coupled with longer processing times suggest that the ministry is seriously considering either placing a moratorium on the parental sponsorship program or halting it altogether. A similar progress of lengthening processing times and low admission rates was seen in the Immigrant Entrepreneur program before the ministry announced that the program would be halted indefinitely – that announcement was made early this year. It remains to be seen whether this is the beginning of the end for the parent and grandparent sponsorship program.