Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

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Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted
Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, speaks during a press conference in Halifax on Monday, July 9, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Tutton

OTTAWA: The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for immigrants looking to reunite with their parents and grandparents and is increasing the number of sponsorship applications it will accept next year.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen will announce the changes today at an event in Vancouver.

The changes, which will take effect in 2019, will replace the random selection process for sponsorship applications with a first-come-first-served application process.

The so-called lottery system drew criticism when it was introduced last year after many potential sponsors said they felt it was unfair.

Hussen says his department is responding to the feedback he received and will have more improvements to the program to announce this fall.

Government will also accept more parent and grandparent sponsorship applications in 2019. The current cap of 17,000 applications will be increased to 20,000 next year.