Canada Immigration officials on Friday announced a new two-year, multi-entry "super visa" for parents and grandparents of immigrants settled in Canada.
The move came after wait times for sponsorship of "family class" applications had grown to an unwieldy seven years or longer.
"Without taking action, those times will continue to grow, and that is unacceptable," said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney in announcing the move.
"Action must be taken to cut the backlog, reduce the wait times, and ensure that the parents and grandparents program is sustainable over the long run," Kenney said.
The multiple-entry "Parent and Grandparent Super Visa" will be valid for up to 10 years, officials said, and allow applicants to remain in Canada for 24 months before needing seek visa renewal.
The new visas will begin on December 1 and the will be issued, "on average, within eight weeks of the application," officials said.