More immigrants expected to reunite with family in 2014

Friday, November 15, 2013

Canadian immigrationOf the approximately 35.1 million Canadians currently living in the country, an ever increasing percentage of them are immigrants, deriving from all corners of the Earth. And by the end of the year and into 2014, many family members who ventured to the country on their own will reunite with those they left behind.

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the backlog of applications sent to the government by individuals wishing to come to the country - specifically parents and grandparents - is projected to be 50 percent lower in December versus the same time in 2011.

Chris Alexander, Canada's minister of the immigration division for the Government of Canada, made the announcement on Oct. 29.

"Our Government is keeping our promise to overcome the massive backlogs we inherited and reunite families faster," said Alexander. "These numbers represent the highest level of parent and grandparent admissions in nearly two decades and are a clear expression of our commitment to family reunification as a key part of our immigration plan."

Two years ago, the Government of Canada hoped to admit 50,000 grandparents and parents by the end of 2013. It said that it will not only reach this goal but likely surpass it. Additionally, come 2014, another 20,000 parental figures to men and women who are already in the country are expected to make the journey to Canada as well.

All of this was made possible through the Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification. Citizenship and Immigration Canada indicated that were it not for this program, backlogs could have risen by 250,000 people, many of whom would not be able to enter the country legally until 2015 at the earliest. Now, wait times are expected to be much more speedy.

"The modernized [Parent and Grandparent Program] will mean faster processing times and shorter waits," said Alexander. "It will also ensure that families have the financial means to support those they sponsor, while also protecting the interests of taxpayers."

A substantial portion of Alberta's population is represented by immigrants. According to the Government of Alberta, the province welcomed approximately 20,700 immigrants in 2006. That number rose to just under 32,650 by 2010.

As families reunite with their parents and grandparents, they'll likely have to help them adjust to life in Canada, which may not be too different from their home country. And one of these is helping them get their license, registration and car insurance information together so that they can drive. However, due to age-related decline, some individuals may have a reduced capacity to drive effectively, whether due to a mental or physical ailment.

Public Health Agency of Canada has put together some health factors that families should be aware of before a parent or grandparent drives on their own.

  • Ask about their vision. Seniors ability to see often declines rapidly as they grow older. Be sure to ask your parent or grandparent if they have noticed any changes in their ability to see things up close or at a distance.
  • Are they suffering from physical ailments? Though some aches and pains may be temporary, others are more long term and can compromise the way in which a person is able to grip a steering wheels or use the foot pedals. Be sure to inquire with them about injuries they've incurred that may be making every day living more difficult.
  • How quickly do they respond to stimuli? A person's reaction time often changes as they grow older, as they may not be able to respond as quickly to situations compared to when they were younger. This is also an issue to talk about with your parent or grandparent.