Feds should switch to points system for parent, grandparent visas: Ghazy Mujahid

Interesting alternative.

But any new system would also likely result in criticism and questioning the relative weighting of the factors being accorded points, as well as likely longer processing times:

Equally important, the lottery system fails to meet the family-reunification goals to which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alluded during the last election campaign: “Making it easier for families to be together here in Canada makes more than just economic sense. When Canadians have added supports like family involvement in child care, it helps productivity and drives economic growth and it brings in skilled workers we need so badly.”

These objectives can’t be met through an open lottery system. They must take into account differences in relevant capabilities of the sponsored family members and the needs of their sponsors.

For instance, grandparents who have no grandchildren needing child care would not have the same impact on the Canadian economy as those who can contribute to child care of grandchildren that may enable the non-working parent to re-enter the labour force. Giving them an equal chance of being selected is neither fair for the family nor is it in the best interests of Canada.

To fix this drawback, Canada could base the parents and grandparents selection on a points system similar to the one the country pioneered in the mid-1960s for selecting applicants eligible for applying as economic migrants.

Those wishing to apply as economic migrants are given points according to characteristics such as education, age, and language proficiency. Those planning to apply are advised not to if their total score falls below a certain minimum.

Similarly, for the parent/grandparent program, prospective applicants can be given points for relevant individual and family circumstances. In March, the Immigration Committee’s report on family reunification documented the positive and negative impacts of PGP immigration. This assessment could serve as the basis for a points system.

Here are some main characteristics of the sponsored to be taken into account, and the rationale for including them:

  • Age (as a general indicator of active status);
    Proportion of offspring in Canada (will entry really contribute to family reunification?);
  • Number of grandchildren under six years old in Canada (possibilities of contributing to child care);
  • Proficiency in official language (extent of risk of isolation in Canada);
  • Assets and pension transferable to Canada (likelihood of financial independence).

The government should consider setting up a multi-disciplinary expert panel to devise a comprehensive points system. A minimum score should be specified and prospective applicants advised not to apply if their score falls below it. This would reduce the application load.

The highest scoring 10,000 above the specified minimum should then be invited to submit completed applications.

An added advantage would be that if in any year some applicants are not approved for entry, the next highest scorers could be immediately invited to submit applications to fill the gap. This would avoid the long process of those in the waiting list being put through another round of lottery, as was done this year.

via Feds should switch to points system for parent, grandparent visas – The Hill Times – The Hill Times

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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