Over the first six months of 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) admitted 45,000 permanent residents to Canada in the Family Class (FC). This represented an increase of 40 per cent over the first six months of 2012.
The increase has been attributed by CIC to a doubling of admissions in the Parent and Grandparent (PGP) category over that time period.
Canada has one of the most generous family reunification programs in the world, but growing backlogs in the PGP program meant families could expect to wait eight years or more to bring their loved ones from overseas.
A pause on new applications, combined with high admission levels was instituted to help reduce the backlog.
The PGP program has now re-opened, with new qualifying criterion that includes increased financial responsibility of sponsors to ensure they have the means to support hose they sponsor.
Five thousand new applications will be accepted in 2014 to further reduce the remaining backlog and improve wait times for families.
Application forms, guides and information on how to apply to the new PGP program are available online at cic.gc.ca.