Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will now be inviting applicants who want to apply for the sponsorship of foreign parents and grandparents to submit an application under the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP).

The invitation rounds began on September 6 and these are expected to continue over a few days. This is the second round that took place in 2017. Potential sponsors who were not invited to apply in the first round, which took place in April, got a second chance of being invited to apply.

This invitation round was restricted to potential sponsors who had submitted an Expression of Interest through the PGP ‘Interest to Sponsor’ form in early 2017, but were not invited to apply. Invited sponsors will have to submit their application by December 8 in order for it to be accepted.

Individuals who were invited in the first round but who did not submit an application by the August 4 deadline and also those who did not submit a form in early 2017 will not be invited in the upcoming round.

IRCC has confirmed that the registrations for the PGP ‘Interest to Sponsor’ pool of potential sponsors will reopen in early 2018. This will allow more potential sponsors to plan on bringing their parent(s) or grandparent(s) to Canada as permanent residents.

The sponsors must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and must meet certain minimum income criteria.

The government of Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2017 had set a target to bring in 20,000 new permanent residents under the PGP this year whereby the applicants remaining in the backlog will be catered and new applications will be invited too.

The Interest to Sponsor’ method is a new initiative which was introduced in last winter to move the program from a first-come, first-served model to an invitation-based model, whereby potential applicants must first formally register their interest in applying.

In April, 10,000 potential applicants were chosen randomly from the registrants’ pool. However, when the 90-day deadline to apply elapsed, IRCC had not received 10,000 complete applications. Therefore, IRCC is conducted this second round of invitations in order to achieve the target.

More opportunity in 2018

Though the upcoming invitation round will be restricted to those who have already submitted an Expression of Interest, IRCC has confirmed that more potential sponsors will be able to submit a form in early 2018.

PGP sponsors must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Meet the minimum necessary income level by submitting notices of assessment issued by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) in support of their sponsorship. Sponsors must also demonstrate they have met the minimum necessary income level for three consecutive years (the requirements for sponsors residing in the province of Quebec are slightly different). If married or in a common-law relationship, the income of both persons may be included; and
  • The sponsor must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits him or her to provide financial support for the sponsored person(s).

Super Visa

The PGP is not the only option for bringing parents and grandparents to Canada. The Super Visa is a multiple-entry visa that permits parents and grandparents to enter Canada as long-term visitors. Super Visa holders may stay in Canada for up to two years on initial entry. The visa is valid for up to 10 years.

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