Tens of thousands of Canadians and permanent residents of Canada are expected to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents as the federal government relaunches its controversial lottery system on Tuesday.
After several months of hiatus, the federal government announced last week that it is reinstating the lottery system to distribute coveted sponsorships to reunite immigrant families.
The program will open at noon EDT on Oct. 13 and close at noon EST on Nov. 3, 2020.
During this three-week window, eligible Canadians and permanent residents can fill out online forms to express interest in bringing their relatives to Canada.
People with disabilities who cannot fill out the online application can request the so-called interest to sponsor form in an alternative format, such as paper copy, Braille or large print, officials said.
After the three-week period ends, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will randomly select potential sponsors and invite them to submit applications.
Those selected will have 60 days to submit their applications. Normally there are 20,000 spots available, but due to the suspension caused by COVID-19, there will be 10,000 available spots this year and 30,000 in 2021.
Those who do not get selected may be eligible to apply for a so-called super visa for their relatives, which would allow them to come to stay in Canada for up to two years at a time and apply to extend their stay by up to one year at a time.
The new lottery system, which was delayed because of the pandemic, replaced a first-come-first-serve system that the Liberals had introduced last year, but one that proved even more unpopular than the lottery system that existed prior to 2018.