Summary: The author is criticizing the family class sponsorship program run by the Canadian government. They argue that the process of reuniting families should not resemble a lottery or a concert ticket sale, and that the relevant metric should be a sponsor's work ethic, not their tech savvy or internet connection. The author suggests that the government should make the application deadline in May or June, so that the sponsor's current annual income can be submitted, and that the system should be fair and transparent. They also argue that there should be a lower income requirement and that the process should not be limited to those with strong computer skills.
This joke of a parent/grandparent family class sponsorship opened and slammed shut within minutes.
Normally when you replace something, you try to improve upon it. Note to CIC: address shortcomings, don't add to them.
A cohort of moderately intelligent 12 year olds could have come up with something better than what we saw on January 28, 2019.
Reuniting families should not be akin to reserving campsites in Banff or scoring rush concert seats. An orderly immigration system should not resemble a Black-Friday-Door-Crasher Sale.
A Sponsor's work ethic should be the relevant metric, not their tech savvy, typing speed (nor the reliability or speed of their internet connection).
How hard would it have been to allow sponsors to submit expressions of interest over a 30 day period (like before) but after they've received and included their Notice of Assessment for the most recent year (like in June)? Shouldn't sponsors have to prove that they meet the income requirement before being selected?
You could then have a draw and in the future, perhaps weighted draws to adjust for individuals that have not previously been selected or perhaps even the age of the applicants.
In hindsight, there should have been lowered expectations given the government cannot even resolve their payroll system.
While we were able to assign staff and we succeeded on a few applications (we had the client information ready and simply did cut-copy-paste to speed up our input) we have heard from many of our clients that did it on their own.
We prioritized those clients that were not tech-savvy or had limited computer skills (those people still exist, CIC).
This is not rocket science. These problems were identified by many individuals. I shared my thoughts with Licia Corbella of the Calgary Herald last year:
“Family reunification should not be akin to a lottery or a Las Vegas game of chance,” said Sharma. “So it’s good that the government has gotten rid of the lottery system, but they are replacing it with a kind of TicketMaster online rush seating, where depending on how fast your internet connection is, you will be lucky or not.”
Sharma says neither system differentiates need. For example, you could have a situation where you desperately need to bring one remaining, vulnerable widowed mother who’s all alone in some country who should receive priority over wealthy parents who can fly back and forth to visit family in Canada.
“You could have a Canadian citizen that’s been here for 20 or 30 years, and he’s going to be in the exact same boat as someone who’s arrived here three years ago or four years ago,” added Sharma.
The first thing the feds should do to streamline the application system is make the application date — which fills up immediately — in May or June, rather than January, so that the sponsor’s current annual income can be submitted along with the two previous years. Having the deadline in January, means applicants have to go back four years to provide proof of adequate income.
Crafting a workable family class system is not rocket science. Einstein level insight is not required to improve the family class system. It simply needs to be fair and transparent. Canadians and PRs can accept not being selected in a random draw; it is a different thing altogether not to be able to even submit your interest in sponsoring loved ones.