Canadian citizens and permanent residents can now apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents for Canadian immigration.
The Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) expression of interest window began on October 13 and will remain open until November 3.
The PGP enables sponsors to bring their parents and grandparents over to Canada. Parents and grandparents obtain Canadian permanent resident status.
After November 3rd, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will hold a lottery and invite up to 10,000 sponsors to submit their applications by early 2021.
Steps for the 2020 PGP
The first step is to submit an online sponsorship interest form. This will allow you to enter the pool of candidates who want to apply for PGP 2020.
From there it works like a lottery. IRCC will invite up to 10,000 people at random, and invite them to apply for parents and grandparents sponsorship. Invited candidates will need to pay their application fees to IRCC and submit their sponsorship applications within 60 days.
The current processing time for the PGP is 20 to 24 months, according to IRCC.
The steps are slightly different if you are applying in Quebec. If you are drawn from the lottery, you also need to submit your application to IRCC but in addition, you need to get a Quebec Selection Certificate from the Quebec government and then submit it to IRCC.
How can I submit my interest to sponsor form?
You must have a digital copy of your Canadian passport or of your proof of status in Canada (e.g., your PR card).
IRCC will then request information such as the number of people in your family, how many people you want to sponsor, and their personal information.
Once you submit your form, you will be provided with a confirmation number.
Am I eligible for the Parents and Grandparents Program?
Generally speaking, you are eligible if you meet the criteria set out by IRCC. You have to be over the age of 18, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada, and you need to have earned the necessary income over the past three tax years to demonstrate that you can support your family members, financially.
You are not required to provide your proof of income during the expression of interest phase.
However, sponsors and their co-signers must provide their Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment (NOA) if they are invited by IRCC to submit an application.
IRCC has stated it expects to receive the 10,000 or so applications in early 2021, which means it will need to assess the incomes of sponsors based on the 2020, 2019, and 2018 tax years. Given that sponsors will not have received their 2020 NOAs by the time they submit their applications, IRCC will allow sponsors to submit their 2020 NOAs later in 2021.
You must meet the minimum income requirements outlined below if you live in any province or territory other than Quebec. Quebec has its own income requirements (listed below).
You need to include the following people when determining the number of people you are financially responsible for:
- the sponsor;
- the sponsor’s spouse or common-law partner (they can be co-signers on your application);
- the sponsor’s dependent children;
- the sponsor’s spouse’s or partner’s dependent children;
- any other person the sponsor may have previously sponsored and whom they are still financially responsible for;
- the parents and grandparents their dependents that they want to sponsor (spouse or partner and dependent children);
- any dependent children who will not come to Canada with their parents or grandparents;
- the sponsor’s parent or grandparent’s spouse or partner, even if they will not come to Canada;
- the sponsor’s parent or grandparent’s separated spouse.
If you live in Quebec, your income will be assessed by Quebec’s immigration ministry. Sponsors and co-signers need to pass the financial capability requirements for the past 12 months, as shown below:
All sponsors across Canada need to submit a signed undertaking to IRCC and if you are in Quebec, to the provincial government as well. This is a legal declaration you will be financially responsible for your sponsored family members and they will not be able to claim social assistance. You will need to repay any claimed social assistance during the undertaking period.
The undertaking period is 20 years across Canada but 10 years if you reside in Quebec.
The 2020 PGP window closes on November 3rd. Up to 10,000 people will receive invitations from IRCC in a lottery draw at a later date. Even if you are not drawn, you have another chance during the 2021 PGP window. IRCC has said it will issue up to 30,000 invitations when it re-opens the window next year.