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.
The interest to sponsor form for the 2019 Parent and Grandparent Program is now closed. If you successfully submitted the form, you should receive an email within 24 hours confirming we received it. Find out what happens next: https://t.co/4jRG4gnZBp
— IRCC (@CitImmCanada) January 28, 2019
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.
Terrible! I had 4 different computers available for this. By the time I submitted the application it said that the form it was closed!! Wow as a public figure in this country I am going to ask for answers for all the thousands of people that they never got a chance to even apply!
— 𝐏𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐈𝐂𝐈𝐀 𝐉𝐀𝐆𝐆𝐄𝐑𝐍𝐀𝐔𝐓𝐇 (@Patricia_J) January 28, 2019
@JustinTrudeau Mr Prime Minister can you please look into what happened here today? This is about hard working Canadians who need to be with family members, in some cases with their only family member. Thank you in advance.
— Zara Palevani (@zarapalevani) January 28, 2019
THREE YEARS. We’ve been trying to apply for three years. every time IRCC makes it more and more humiliating. This “Hunger games” looks likes the government waits until our parents die lonely and abandoned.
— Sergey K (@SergeyK1972) January 28, 2019
I was filling out the form starting at 12:00 and submitted it at 12:08 but the screen told me it was already closed. Could you please provide feedback?
— Veronica Druta (@Nicea9) January 28, 2019
hi, how long the form’s been open for? i got on once the form is available. after I fill out the info, submit and it told me the form is closed already? and it’s 12:09… i’ve been trying to apply for the past 3 years this is frustrating…
— Luby Lu (@Lubylululu) January 28, 2019
Wow, it was open for a whole 30 seconds. I sat here and hit refresh from 12 EST to 12:04 EST and when it opened, it immediately said closed. So having immigration lawyer bots clog your system is fair for average immigrants?
— Gretchen (@chargerbison) January 28, 2019
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.
We can confirm after a preliminary analysis there were no technical issues today & we have received maximum # of submissions for 2019.
Interest in the program will always be very high. More than 100,000 individuals attempted to access the interest to sponsor form.
— Ahmed Hussen (@HonAhmedHussen) January 29, 2019
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.