In November, the government of Canada announced a new plan to reduce the backlog and wait times for sponsored parents and grandparents. Current processing times for parent and grandparent sponsorship applications exceed seven years. This plan involves a temporary pause of up to 24 months on the acceptance of new parent and grandparent sponsorship applications effective immediately. This new government plan means that any new applications received at the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, will be returned in their entirety. Applications already submitted to the Case Processing Centre will continue to be processed using current procedures and will not be affected by this temporary pause.
In related news, to enable the interim visitor entry of parents and grandparents, the government of Canada is introducing the new Super Visa, which will be valid for up to 10 years. This 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 his or her status. The processing time for a Super Visa is expected to be approximately eight weeks.
Over the next two years, the government of Canada will consult Canadians on how to redesign the parents and grandparents program. This program redesign may result in either a complete elimination of this category or reduced eligibility.
The government of Canada indicated that it is doubling the number of sponsored parents and grandparents it will admit to Canada in 2012. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will admit 25,000 applicants under this category, but applications filed in 2011 are still expected to take approximately seven years to process.