Canada's 27k applications to sponsor family immigrants fill up in 11 minutes

Jan 28 2019, 11:55 pm

Thousands of permanent residents and Canadian citizens were left disappointed on Monday after application forms required for the parent and grandparent immigration sponsorship program filled up within minutes.

At 12 pm ET, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) opened up the sponsorship application system for the 2019 Parent and Grandparent Program.

In about 10 minutes, the IRCC announced on Twitter that the application process was closed after 27,000 ‘interest to sponsor’ forms were received.

In August 2018, the federal government announced that it was scrapping the previous lottery system selection process.

It was replaced with a “new and improved intake process” that would take applications on a “first-in-first served” approach.

This new system requires interested sponsors to fill out a digital form, which remains online until IRCC receives a specific number of complete interest to sponsor forms.

Monday’s shortlived time slot had those wanting to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada questioning the new system.

Many claimed that their forms were denied after submitting it within minutes of the application opening.

The federal NDP released a statement calling the new process a “colossal failure.”

“Just 11 minutes after the quota was opened, IRCC announced that the annual limit had been reached and the application process was closed. Frustrated family members are once again left out in the cold,” said the party, in a statement.

“The Liberal government has managed to dehumanize and devalue the important role parent/grandparent sponsorship can play for Canadian families and the Canadian economy. Treating families this way is more than an insult. ”

In a follow-up statement, Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, said that there were no technical issues during today’s application process.

Hussen said that over 100,000 individuals tried to access the interest to sponsor form on Monday.

An online petition has been set up calling for the 2019 sponsorship program to be cancelled.

“We would like to cancel this year program and wants to have it redone again in future date with a better mean of sponsorship. We would also like to request an investigation on which agency/organization was able to have most access to the form,” reads the petition’s online description.

By Monday evening, over 3,010 people had signed the petition.

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