Canada will hold a lottery in 2017 for parents and grandparents seeking to immigrate and reunite with their offspring, the government announced Wednesday.
The new system, which would see winners moving in 2017, aims to level the applicant field and clear a processing backlog.
Immigration Minister John McCallum said it is fairer than the old oversubscribed first-come, first-serve visa program.
That system reportedly saw couriers charging hefty fees to get applications to the top of the pile for spots in January and others camping out for hours at immigration offices.
"We're listening to what past applicants had to say and making the process fairer for people who want to sponsor their parents or grandparents," he said in a statement.
"We're ensuring everyone can access the application process by giving them the same chance to have their name chosen."
Starting January 3 for 30 days, sponsors will be able to submit an online form.
The ministry will randomly select 10,000 individuals from those who filled out the form, and those people will be invited to send in a completed application package.