Dozens of recent immigrants in northern Ontario will throw their names into a government lottery starting today to be able to bring their parents or grandparents to Canada.
The federal government is re-starting its sponsorship program, which was shelved earlier in the pandemic. Last year it was first-come, first-served, but this year the government will accept applications for the next three weeks and then select 10,000 applications by lottery.
Sudbury immigration consultant Anthony Lawley says this is more fair than last year, when 20,000 spots were all taken within 10 minutes.
Canadian residents sponsoring family members need to show they make enough money to support their relatives in Canada and can be penalized if the people they sponsor end up on social assistance.
“There’s quite a few people in northern Ontario that are here, they’ve worked here, they’ve studied here, they’ve become permanent residents,” he said.
“And this has been part of their journey to Canada and their plan for immigrating to Canada is to eventually reunite with their family members.”
Lawley, who is president of the Sudbury firm Ivey Group, says he’s heard from dozens of recent immigrants, most of them from India, who are planning to apply. He notes reuniting families will keep skilled workers in the in the north and keep the population from shrinking.
“There’s people that were attracted to the north for different reasons. It could have been for study. It could have been for work. It just helps to retain people here. To have an opportunity to integrate and then stay here, because their family is here with them.”