Prospective sponsors have 3 weeks to fill out online form expressing interest before random draw for 10K spots
Today marks a day of both hope and anxiety for immigrants desperate to bring their parents or grandparents to live permanently in Canada, as a controversial lottery process opens for family reunification.
Beginning at 12 noon ET today, prospective sponsors can fill out an online form to express interest in sponsoring a relative, and they will have three weeks to do so.
After that, about 10,000 coveted spots will be selected randomly through a lottery. Those 10,000 applicants will then be allowed to formally apply – a process that has been widely panned for leaving family reunification to the luck of the draw.
Grace Sorenson is the only child of a widowed mother who is now 87 years old and has no family left in the Philippines. She said it’s becoming increasingly difficult for her mother to come to Canada on a visa.
“I will be so heartbroken not to be picked this time as my mom is getting older and with diabetes,” Sorenson said, adding her mother has trouble walking and is not “safe anymore to travel.”
She is among tens of thousands of immigrants who have been disappointed each year by the sponsorship program.
This year, the government is returning to the contentious lottery system after last year’s first-come, first-served online system was plagued by problems. The lottery system itself had replaced a first-in process which saw applicants sprint to get their documents to processing centres.