Canada has a first-come, first-served parental sponsorship program. On January 28th, 2019 at 1200HRS EST, the program went live. Within just eleven minutes, the 2019 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) target of 27,000 expressions of interest had been reached. IRCC put out a tweet indicating that it had reached its annual target and that the form had been closed.
As expected, this sparked a flood of protests on IRCC’s Twitter handle and other social media platforms. Naimul Khan, a frustrated Twitter user wrote: “This is not a concert ticket you are selling, this is about uniting families. The whole process is atrocious”.
In a recent interview with AdvocateDaily.com, Matthew Jeffery called this an “absurd and unfair farce.” Mr. Matthew of Matthew Jeffery Barrister & Solicitor office is also against the now scrapped rotary system, saying, “If you have a person who is wanting to reunite with their parents in Canada and you are reducing their opportunity to a lottery, it’s making the opportunity to be with their parents into a game of chance, a roll of the dice, and that’s obviously arbitrary and unfair.”
Mr. Matthew is advocating for an open system with stringent criteria that runs throughout the year. He proposes that the IRCC should raise the employment requirement to 5 years to reduce the number of applicants, even as it ensures the program is still accessible across the entire social-economic spectrum. He states that making the system all about the money people have “would create an unfairness where only the wealthy or relatively wealthy would be able to sponsor their parents or grandparents.”
The parental sponsorship program is a federal program that seeks to re-unite Canadians with their parents and grandparents. To sponsor a parent or a grandparent, you must be over 18, you must live in Canada as a citizen, a permanent resident, or a person registered under the Canadian Indian Act, and you must prove you have enough money to sponsor the parent/grandparent by providing proof of income.