Major Changes to Canada’s Immigration System for 2014

December 2013

The Canadian government has announced three major changes that will affect those interested in immigrating to Canada in 2014.


1. Parent-Grandparent Sponsorships

The first change is the re-opening of the parent/grandparent sponsorship program. This program was closed for two years while the government dealt with a backlog of applications. Sponsorship requirements will be much more difficult. Sponsors will have to show higher levels of income (for example, for a family of four it will be $54,684, whereas it used to be $42,065). They must show that they have been at this level of income for at least three years, and must have income tax statements proving this. In addition, the sponsorship period will now be 20 years, whereas it used to be 10. The sponsorship agreement covers food, clothing, shelter, fuel, utilities, household supplies, personal services, dental care, eye care, and “other health needs not covered by public health care.” Depending on the province, this could include home-care or admission to a nursing home.

Only 5,000 applications will be accepted in 2014, because the government has not yet cleared the backlog of previous application.

A media release on the parent/grandparent sponsorship program can be found at this link:

2. Canadian Experience Class

Only 12,000 applications will be accepted in 2014. As of November 9, 2013, the following occupations will no longer be accepted:

  • cooks (NOC code 6322)

  • food service supervisors (NOC 6311)

  • administrative officers (NOC 1221)

  • administrative assistants (NOC 1241)

  • accounting technicians and bookkeepers (NOC 1311)

  • retail sales supervisors (NOC 6211)

The announcement that these occupations will no longer be accepted came out November 8, 2013, one day before they stopped accepting applications. I had to pass on this devastating news to a client, who had just qualified for the CEC program as a retail sales supervisor and was starting to prepare his permanent residence application.

The link for the announcement about this program is here:

3. Qualifying age of Dependents is Reduced from Age 21 to Age 18

As of January 1, 2014, the maximum age of dependent children will be set at 18 years of age for all immigration programs. There will be an exception for dependent children over 18, who are financially dependent on their parents due to a mental or physical disability. Whether or not the dependent child is attending post-secondary education will no longer matter under the new rules. These new rules will not apply to those who make permanent residence applications prior to January 1, 2014.

This change was announced during the summer of 2013. The rationale for the change is economic – older dependent children do not transition as well to Canadian society. 

And Finally… Immigration Targets for 2014

The government’s targets for its various programs will be broken down as follows:

  • Economic (63.0% – 164 500)

  • Family (26.1% – 68 000)

  • Humanitarian (10.9% – 28 400)

 May I take this opportunity to wish you and your family all the best over the holiday season.