Family Reunifications and Economic Prudence: Parent, Grandparent Immigration

which is hedged on emotional ramifications and economic considerations for a country that is battling its own economic woes in days of global slowdown.

A freeze on immigration of parents and grandparents had been implemented in the year 2011. This had created a backlog wait period of approximately eight years. Simply stating, the government had stepped in with the measure to contain the tax burden on the earning citizens of the country. It is will be pertinent to note here that citizens being considered here are not only those who are natural born but also those who have acquired it. So to say, the government insisted that the economic woes should not be doubled up with additional tax burdens and, therefore, a moratorium placed in the interest of the citizens.
The squabble against such an ‘imposition’ rallied against popular sentiments of the right to reunite with families. The wrangle when logically viewed extends beyond the understanding at first sight. The government never denied the right to reunifications. The curb was for a reasonable cause. It actually hurt the government and is supported by the fact that this measure to lift the moratorium is a populist measure. So, why would the government put a populist measure into hibernation for two years unless there is a raison d’être?

Yes, there are additional stringent norms that have to be complied with the next 5000 completed applications. Under the new parent and grandparent program in 2014 the minimum income of the sponsoring family has been increased to $45,039, a 30% increase to the previous earning requirement and should have been so in the last three years. The period of sponsorship has also been increased to 20 years against the existing 10 years. What do these measures imply? They underscore the fact that the government is not against reunification but arguably reunifications that are economically sustainable for both the country and the families in future.

It can be noted that the government has not withdrawn or imposed any limitations on Super Visa which grants multiple entries for a period up to 10 years and allows the individual to stay for a period of two years on each entry. In addition, 10 year multiple entry visas, which are over and above the Super Visa, permit a stay of 6 months on each entry. So, an implied understanding that the government may not viewing reunification as a family essential is fundamentally skewed. 5000 applications can be viewed as less but not an indication of complete denial. Yes, there is a backlog woe but all for reasons of economic prudence in times of financial adversity.

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