Parents/Grandparents Sponsorship Immigration Program and Its Impact on the Health Status and Well-being of Older Immigrants in Canada

By: Ivy Li  

Immigration program design/policy not only can bring foreign nationals to Canada but also may affect their settlement process and well-being after they immigrate to Canada. The policy change of Parents/Grandparents Sponsorship (PGP) immigration program has extended adult immigrant sponsors’ undertaking for their parents/grandparents such as food, clothing, shelter, fuel, household supplies and other personal needs from 10 years to 20 years, which means the sponsored parents/grandparents are not entitled for the social support or other welfare such as Old Age Security (OAS) pension, Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefit, and other welfare such as subsidized housing that other older immigrants may enjoy. Some problems from this forced dependency of parents/grandparents on their children/grandchildren such as neglect, domestic abuse, and violence may be serious and need urgent attention. However, no research and even no literature connects the immigration policy with older immigrants’ health and wellbeing. My paper examines the reasons and ideologies underpins the PGP policy design and its changes, discussed the possible issues/problems resulting from the policy changes through lens of social determinants on health, and analyzed the impact of immigration policy and its changes on the settlement and wellbeing of older immigrants especially those visible minority older immigrants.

Older Immigrants, Immigration Policy, Social Determinants of Health, Welfare, Canada
2019 Special Focus - Aging in Times of New Nationalisms: Inequalities, Participation, and Policies
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Ivy Li

Paralegal and Immigration Consultant, Sociology and Legal Studies, University of Waterloo

I am a PhD student of the department of Sociology and Legal Studies of University of Waterloo since September 2018. I also have been a licenced paralegal by Law Society of Ontario and a licensed immigration consultant by ICCRC since 2009.