Monday, November 07, 2011

Parents and Grandparents: NOT WELCOME TO IMMIGRATE (For now)

Effective November 5, 2011, a temporary pause has been placed on new Family Class sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents (FC4). Instructions are provided on what to do with FC4 sponsorship applications received before and after this date.


This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides guidance on FC4 sponsorship applications and the fourth set of Ministerial Instructions (MI-4) which come into force November 5, 2011.


On June 18, 2008, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was amended to give the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration authority to issue instructions that would ensure the processing of applications and requests be conducted in a manner that, in the opinion of the Minister, will best support the attainment of immigration goals set by the Government of Canada.
The MI-4 comes into force on November 5, 2011 and includes changes to the following programs:
  • Family Class Sponsorship Applications: A temporary pause on new sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents.
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program: Introduction of a new PhD eligibility stream (see OB 351 for more information).
The full text of these instructions can be found at:

Processing Instructions

Effective November 5, 2011, no new family class sponsorship applications for a sponsor’s parents (R117(1)(c)) or grandparents (R117(1)(d)) will be accepted for processing. This temporary pause is being implemented to allow for application backlog reduction in the FC4 category to begin in 2012. This measure is being implemented as part of a broader strategy to address the large backlog and wait times in the FC4 category, supporting the attainment of immigration goals set by the Government of Canada.
The temporary pause will remain in place for up to 24 months while a more responsive, sustainable, and long-term approach for the program is being considered.
It does not affect sponsorship applications for spouses, partners, dependent or adopted children and other eligible relatives.
Applications received on or after November 5, 2011
New FC4 Sponsorship applications for parents or grandparents received by Centralized Processing Centre- Mississauga (CPC-M) on or after November 5, 2011, will be returned to the sponsor with a letter (see Appendix A) advising them of the temporary pause. Applications which are postmarked before November 5, 2011, but are received at CPC-M on or after November 5, 2011 will also be returned to the sponsor. In both cases, processing fees shall be returned.
Applications received before November 5, 2011
Complete FC4 sponsorship applications received by CPC-M prior to close of business (5 p.m. EST) on November 4, 2011, should continue to be processed as usual. Cases where FC4 sponsorship applications have been submitted to CPC-M, but the applications for permanent residence have not yet been submitted to the visa office are not affected by the temporary pause.
Cost recovery fee payment made before November 5, 2011
In cases where an applicant has submitted their cost recovery fee payment but CPC-M has not received the FC4 sponsorship application before close of business (5 p.m. EST) on November 4, 2011, the applicant will receive a refund of the processing fees.
Humanitarian and Compassionate Requests
Requests made on the basis of Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds made from outside Canada that accompany any permanent resident application affected by Ministerial Instructions but not identified for processing under the Instructions will not be processed.
Updates to the IP 2 manual are forthcoming.
For further information outlined in this OB, please contact your supervisor or your Regional Program Advisor (RPA). RPAs may in turn contact Operational Management and Coordination Branch at

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