A first-come, first-serve system for the 2019 parental sponsorship in Canada program received 27,000 applications in less than 11 minutes. The online system was designed to streamline the application process, but people claim that the new system is unfair and flawed.
The system hit its limit and was closed to applicants in less than 11 minutes, but many would-be applicants were not allowed to apply.
Many applicants claim that they cleared their schedule and tried to apply online, but the application was closed in minutes. Some would-be applicants likened the process to purchasing a concert ticket online.
The application is meant to help unite families.
Applicants claim that they were able to fill out the form an when they hit submit, the form window closed. “I feel so disappointed, so heartbroken, so stressed out. The words aren’t there to describe how disappointed I feel,” one person told CBC News.
Applicants are trying to get their families into Canada, and this requires many of the applicants to work hard to advance their education and get a good job to help support their family. Some applicants claim that the process is unfair to those that are disabled because the application process hit the limit before applicants were able to fill out their forms.
Legal teams are also investigating glitches in the system and also the blocking of access to certain applicant IP addresses. Many applicants were met with a message claiming that the form would be available shortly, but the form was never accessible.
The Immigration Ministry claims that the initial analysis of the system found that no technical glitches occurred. The Ministry claims that over 100,000 individuals did try to access the form with only 27,000 allowed to apply.
The family reunification program had the limit on the number of applicants raised from 5,000 to about 20,500 in 2019. The limit will be raised to 21,000 people next year. The previous system also led to a rush to the application process and featured a first-in system that many viewed as unfair.
Critics claim that the system is unfair and takes a “gamble” on the lives of many families.
An alternative to the process is to apply for the “super visa” program. The visa will allow family members to extend their visit in Canada for up to two years. There is a multiple-entry visa that allows for a 10 year visit, but neither of these options offer the reunification that many families are seeking.