Immigration Dept. not accepting new parent and grandparent sponsorship applications

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Toronto, January 15 (CINEWS): One of the many Liberal promises was to increase significantly the number of parents and grandparents admitted into the country every year. The Immigration Department stated that the process would be first come first serve basis and so when the program opened on January 4th, lines at the immigration processing centre in Mississauga, began hours before it opened. 
By January 7th, the Immigration Department said they received 14,000 applications altogether for the parent and grandparent program and were not taking any more.
But in a sign that change may be imminent, they say they are holding onto some of the excess applications rather than just returning them.
“Canada is committed to reuniting families and the government of Canada is seeking to increase the intake of parent and grandparent sponsorship applications from 5,000 to 10,000 per year,” the department said in a notice posted on its website last week.
People seeking to bring parents or grandparents to Canada this year were reportedly paying up to $400 to ensure their applications were at the top of the pile for the first-come, first served federal immigration program that was flooded with far more applications than available spots.
The appearance that it’s possible to buy a way to the front of the parent and grandparent sponsorship program is raising concerns about the program’s fairness ahead of planned changes to the system.
While there is a cap on the number of new applications the government will take in, it actually accepts far more people — an estimated 18,000 to 20,000 a year.
Those come from the backlog of files that had prompted the previous Conservative government to shut down the program altogether for three years and then re-open it with the cap, as well as other changes, in 2014.

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