Parent sponsorship program 'boils down to luck': Jeffery

By Kirsten McMahon, Associate Editor

While the federal government's new online form for its parent sponsorship program is a “definite improvement," Toronto immigration lawyer Matthew Jeffery tells the National Post it will still be difficult to weed out ineligible applicants.

The Post reports that the government updated its “problem-plagued lottery program for those wishing to bring their parents or grandparents to Canada” after thousands of applicants selected last year failed to follow through with their applications. As a result, the government only filled 9,500 of the available 10,000 spots for sponsors.

“Those interested had to submit only basic information using an online form between January and February, after which 10,000 names were randomly selected to submit complete applications,” the article states.

“The change was intended to make the system fairer for those living further afield and for those who couldn’t afford a lawyer to help them prepare the full application on time,” it continues

While last year’s online form didn’t ask for any information about income — which meant ineligible people were selected from the lottery — this year’s form asks “whether would-be applicants meet the income thresholds — but it doesn’t require proof,” the article says.

Jeffery, who operates the immigration-focused Matthew Jeffery Barrister & Solicitor office in Toronto, tells the Post that he considers the process “arbitrary and unnecessary.”

“It boils down to luck,” he says. “So someone who’s qualified to sponsor their parents and has been for a long time, if they’re unlucky, they may never be able to sponsor their parents.”

Jeffrey also tells the newspaper he believes the 10,000-person limit should be scrapped altogether and says the income threshold and other requirements are more than enough to limit the number of applicants.

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