The hugely popular Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) for Canadian immigration is expected to reopen in 2015. This family sponsorship program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their foreign parents and grandparents to Canada as Canadian permanent residents.
There was a cap of 5,000 applicants accepted for processing under the most recent PGP application cycle, which opened in January, 2014. This allocation was reached in just three weeks, and the program has since been closed.
The government of Canada has said that the PGP will reopen in 2015, though it has not said whether this will be at the beginning of the year or at a later date. The most recent application cycle opened in January, 2014 and it is quite possible that the next one will open in January, 2015. The government has not indicated that there will be any changes to the eligibility criteria of the 2015 program.
Given that last year’s allocation was snapped up in such a short duration space of time and that many prospective sponsors and their families have been waiting with anticipation for the PGP to reopen, it seems that demand will continue to outweigh supply if the government of Canada decides to implement a similar cap on the program for the next application cycle. Therefore, sponsors and sponsored parties may be able to maximize their chances of submitting an application before the 2015 program fills by preparing their relevant documents and having them ready to submit by January. Failure to prepare for the program in advance may result in applicants missing their opportunity to apply.
Successful parents and grandparents applying under this program will receive Canadian permanent resident status and be able to apply for Canadian Citizenship after fulfilling residence obligations. To be eligible for PGP sponsorship, the sponsor in Canada must meet the following requirements:
- Be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident;
- Be 18 years of age or older;
- Exceed the minimum necessary income level for this program 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. If married or in a common-law relationship, the income of both persons can be included;
- The sponsor must sign an undertaking to repay any provincial social assistance benefits paid to the sponsor and accompanying family member(s), if any, for a period of 20 years, if necessary. If the sponsor resides in Quebec, an additional ‘undertaking’ must be signed.
Another option for Canadian citizens and permanent residents hoping to bring their parents and/or grandparents to Canada continues to be the Super Visa. This visa is not a program for permanent residence, but allows parents and grandparents to come to Canada as long-term visitors. Successful applicants receive multiple-entry visitor visas that are valid for up to 10 years. Unlike standard visitor visas, which must be renewed every six months, a Super Visa remains valid for two years at a time.
To find out if you or your family members are eligible for the Parent and Grandparent Program based on the eligibility criteria for the most recent application cycle, please fill out a free online assessment today.