Canada will take in 10,000 parent, grandparent sponsorship applications this year

January 11, 2016

Immigration Minister John McCallum says 10,000 applications for reunification of parents and grandparents will be accepted this year, despite a notice posted on the government's web site earlier this week cautioning applicants that a 5,000 annual cap was still in place.

In an interview Friday on CBC News Network's Power & Politics, McCallum said the government received over 14,000 new applications from Canadians who want to sponsor their parents and grandparents after it re-opened the program on Monday.

McCallum said the government will accept 10,000 applications in keeping with the Liberal Party's pledge to double the 5,000 cap previously put in place by the Conservatives.

"We've kept the first 10,000 — so those 10,000 will be up and running," McCallum told host Rosemary Barton.

"So we are certainly honouring that commitment."

A notice posted on the government's web site Thursday said the application period is now closed and that the Immigration Department will retain the first 10,000 "complete" applications. 

"More information on this increase will be forthcoming, including information on when we will be returning applications not added to the inventory," the notice said.

Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel said earlier this week it was "irresponsible" of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to promise more than the government can deliver.

"Keeping a realistic goal of 5,000 applications a year was part of our Conservative government's initiative to be prudent managers of government," Rempel said in a post on Facebook Monday.

In 2011, the Conservatives put a freeze on new applications in an effort to reduce a massive backlog of eight years. An annual limit was introduced when the program reopened in 2014.

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