Action plan for faster family reunification

Mississauga, Ontario
May 10, 2013

The Honourable Jason Kenney, PC, MP
Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism

Action Plan for Faster Family Re-unification: Phase I

  1. In 2012 and 2013, 50,000 parents and grandparents were admitted as permanent residents – the highest levels in 20 years
  2. The new Super Visa is valid for up to 10 years and allows parents and grandparents to remain in Canada for 2 years at a time
    • Over 15,000 issued since 2011 with high 86% approval rate
  3. A temporary pause on new permanent resident applications
  4. Consult with Canadians on how to redesign program to ensure it is fiscally sustainable and avoids future backlogs
    • Roundtables across the country, polling, focus groups, online consultations with highest response rate in CIC history

Results: Backlog and wait times on track to be cut in half in 2014


How backlogs are formed

How backlogs are formed. Description follows.
Text version: How backlogs are formed

This image shows that an airline selling more seats than there are available will create a wait list. (They are comparing it to Canada’s immigration system: the longer we accept more applications than we can process, the longer the backlog will become.)


Higher immigration levels are not a solution

Higher immigration levels are not a solution. Description follows.
Text version: Higher immigration levels are not a solution
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Backlog 925,717 998,298 946,476 1,003,716 1,009,430 616,269 546,063 485,840 436,027
Annual immigration at 1% of the population 925,717 1,005,563.5 1,034,414.33 1,088,098.5 1,142,616 1,202,133.5 1,261,651 1,321,168.5 1,400,686
If no action taken 925,717 998,298 1,174,414 1,348,099 1,522,616 1,702,134 1,881,651 2,061,169 2,238,686

Parents and grandparents (PGP) backlog

Parents and grandparents (PGP) backlog. Description follows.
Text version: Parents and grandparents (PGP) backlog
Year Backlog Backlog with no action taken Backlog inventory Future backlog
2000 29,603
2001 35,532
2002 41,415
2003 73,582
2004 105,594
2005 107,994
2006 108,261
2007 103,402
2008 110,689
2009 110,741
2010 150,964
2011 167,466 167,466 167,466
2012 187,604 125,600 125,600
2013 208,659 93,729
2014 228,714 64,068
2015 250,770 43,878

Assumptions for Actual PGP Inventory

  • PGP admission levels remain at approximately 25,000 in 2014
  • PGP intake of approximately 5,000 applications (9,000 persons) in 2014

Under a return to 2006 admission levels, with unlimited applications

Under a return to 2006 admission levels, with  unlimited applications. Description follows.
Text version: Under a return to 2006 admission levels, with unlimited applications
Year Backlog Backlog with no action taken Backlog inventory Future backlog
2000 29,603
2001 35,532
2002 41,415
2003 73,582
2004 105,594
2005 107,994
2006 108,261
2007 103,402
2008 110,688
2009 110,741
2010 150,964
2011 167,466 167,466 167,466
2012 200,390 125,600 125,600
2013 224,442 93,729
2014 248,494 64,068
2015 272,546 43,878

Assumptions for Actual PGP Inventory

  • PGP admission levels remain at approximately 25,000 in 2014
  • PGP intake of approximately 5,000 applications (9,000 persons) in 2014

Public opinion shows immigration restrictions popular

Do you agree or disagree: immigrants accepted to Canada should be allowed to bring their extended family with them, including parents and grandparents and grown children?

Do you agree or disagree: immigrants accepted to  Canada should be allowed to bring their extended family with them, including  parents and grandparents and grown children? Description follows.
Text version: Do you agree or disagree: immigrants accepted to Canada should be allowed to bring their extended family with them, including parents and grandparents and grown children?

This graph shows that 25 % of Canadians polled agree that immigrants accepted to Canada should be allowed to bring their extended family with them, including parents and grandparents and grown children. 63% disagree, and 12% do not know.

Source: Forum Research, “Immigration Restrictions Popular, Especially With Immigrants.” Interactive voice response telephone survey 1,755 randomly selected Canadians. Poll conducted from March 6th  to March 7th, 2013.


Do you agree or disagree: immigrants accepted to Canada should be allowed to bring their extended family with them, including parents and grandparents and grown children?

Do you agree or disagree: immigrants accepted to  Canada should be allowed to bring their extended family with them, including  parents and grandparents and grown children? Description follows.
Text version: Do you agree or disagree: immigrants accepted to Canada should be allowed to bring their extended family with them, including parents and grandparents and grown children?

The following table shows public opinion for respondents with both parents born in Canada, and with respondents with neither parent born in Canada.  The question posed was: do you agree or disagree: immigrants accepted to Canada should be allowed to bring their extended family with them, including parents and grandparents and grown children?

Level of Agreeance New Canadians: Respondents with neither parent born in Canada Respondents with both parents born in Canada
Agree 23% 13%
Disagree 66% 55%
Don’t know 11% 31%

Source: Forum Research, “Immigration Restrictions Popular, Especially With Immigrants.” Interactive voice response telephone survey 1,755 randomly selected Canadians. Poll conducted from March 6th  to March 7th, 2013.


Cost to taxpayers

Average health care cost for an individual, age 65-84: $200,000

Canadians age 65 and older consume 44% of all provincial health care spending.

Sources:

  • Patrick Grady, “The Parent and Grandparent Immigration Program in Canada: Costs and Proposed Changes,” from the Centre for Immigration Policy Reform - February 6, 2012,
  • Canadian Institute for Health Information, “Health care spending to reach $192 billion this year” – October 28, 2010

Health care systems are already strained

Median Wait Times By Province, 2012 – Weeks Waited from Referral to Treatment

Median Wait Times By Province, 2012 – Weeks Waited from Referral to Treatment. Description follows.
Text version: Median Wait Times By Province, 2012 – Weeks Waited from Referral to Treatment
Province Weeks
British Columbia 17
Alberta 20.7
Saskatchewan 23.1
Manitoba 23.2
Ontario 14.9
Quebec 16.6
New Brunswick 35.1
Nova Scotia 28.1
Prince Edward Island 29.3
Newfoundland 26.8

Source: Bacchus Barua and Nadeem Esmail, “Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2012 Report,” from the Fraser Institute. Released December 2012, pp 5.


Reducing social assistance use

Under the existing system, sponsors are financially responsible for 10 years

Under the existing system, sponsors are financially  responsible for 10 years. Description follows.
Text version: Under the existing system, sponsors are financially responsible for 10 years
Years since arriving to Canada Incidence of social assistance (%)
1 1.7
2 3.4
3 3.9
4 3.6
5 4.8
6 5
7 7
8 7.1
9 7.9
10 9.6
11 24.8
12 27
13 29.5
14 30
15 28.8
16 28.4
17 26.8
18 26.6
19 26.7
20 26.5

Year shown: 2010

The end of the current period of responsibility is at 10 years.


Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification: Phase II

  1. Maintain High Levels of Admissions
  2. Make Super Visa Permanent
  3. New Qualifying Criteria for Sponsorship
  4. Accept 5,000 Sponsorship Applications in 2014

Parents and Grandparents Admissions, 2003 – 2013

Parents and Grandparents Admissions, 2003 – 2013. Description follows.
Text version: Parents and Grandparents Admissions, 2003 – 2013
Year Admissions
1998 14,401
1999 14,487
2000 17,771
2001 21,341
2002 22,246
2003 19,385
2004 12,733
2005 12,475
2006 20,005
2007 15,813
2008 16,600
2009 17,178
2010 15,326
2011 *Action plan for faster family reunification 14,080
2012 21,778
2013 25,000

2012 and 2013 were the years with the highest level of admissions in 20 years.


New Qualifying Criteria for Sponsorship

Increasing Minimum Necessary Income

  • Current Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) does not accurately reflect the increased costs of providing financially for elderly parents and grandparents.
  • An increase of 30% to the Minimum Necessary Income will ensure sponsors can adequately provide for their sponsored parents and grandparents and would reduce the net costs to Canadian taxpayers.
Size of family unit, including applicants Current Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) MNI, plus 30%
2 persons $28,182 $36,636
3 persons $34,646 $45,039
4 persons $42,065 $54,684
5 persons $47,710 $62,023
6 persons $53,808 $69,950
7 persons $59,907 $77,879
For each additional person $6,099 $7,928

Requiring more objective proof of income

  • Only CRA notices of assessment will be accepted as proof of income
  • Sponsors will be required to provide CRA notices of assessment for a 3-year period, instead of just a 1 year period
  • Changes will ensure sponsors have income stability and have contributed through paying taxes

It will also result in less time being spent during processing verifying income documents.

20-year Sponsorship Undertaking

  • Moving from 10-year to 20-year sponsorship undertaking
  • Very few parents and grandparents engage in paid employment, and the few who do only make an average income of $15,696
  • Lengthening undertaking period will ensure that sponsors – not taxpayer – remain responsible for any welfare or supplementary health care costs

Changing Age of Dependents

  • Maximum age of dependents will be 18 years of age and under
  • This is in line with the standard age of majority in Canada
  • Those over 18 years of age can apply to visit or immigrate to Canada independently

Parents and Grandparents (PGP) Backlog

Under a return to 2006 admission levels, with unlimited applications

Under a return to 2006 admission levels, with  unlimited applications. Description follows.
Text version: Under a return to 2006 admission levels, with unlimited applications
Year Backlog Backlog with no action taken Backlog following implementation of Action Plan for Faster Reunification
2000 29,603
2001 35,532
2002 41,415
2003 73,582
2004 105,594
2005 107,994
2006 108,261
2007 103,402
2008 110,689
2009 110,741
2010 150,964
2011 167,466 167,466
2012 200,390 125,600
2013 224,442 93,729
2014 248,494 64,068
2015 272,546 – 16 year wait time 43,878 – 1.5 year wait time

Assumptions for Actual PGP Inventory, 2013-2015

  • PGP admission levels remain at approximately 25,000 per year.
  • PGP intake of approximately 5,000 applications (9,000 persons)
    per year resumes in 2014.
Date Modified: