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New ‘Interest to Sponsor’ Form for Parent and Grandparent Program Goes Live

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grandparents-canadaImmigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has unveiled the new ‘Interest to Sponsor’ form for the popular Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP). The form, which went live on January 3, will be available until 12 p.m. EST on February 2, 2017.

Through the PGP, Canadian citizens and permanent residents may sponsor their parents and grandparents to immigrate to Canada as Canadian permanent residents. Last month, IRCC announced that the PGP was to move from a first-come, first-served system to an invitation-based system for the 2017 application cycle. As part of this switch, potential applicants who wish to sponsor their parent(s) or grandparent(s) are required to complete the new online form indicating their interest in the program.

New PGP ‘Interest to Sponsor’ form

Individuals looking to sponsor their parent(s) or grandparent(s) must provide the following information on the new form:

  • Last name(s) (also known as family name, surname);
  • Given name(s) (also known as first name);
  • Date of birth;
  • Country or territory of birth;
  • Main home address;
  • Postal Code; and
  • Email address

Once this information is provided, the potential sponsor may then electronically sign and submit the form.

Individuals completing the form are not asked to provide any information about the parent(s) or grandparent(s) they are looking to sponsor. Moreover, individuals completing the form are not asked to provide any information relating to their income, or any other financial questions. As a result, the form does not evaluate for program eligibility, and potential sponsors are encouraged to have their eligibility assessed by other means before moving forward with completing the new form.

Submitting the form is not an application to the program. The 2017 PGP application package will be available as of January 9, 2017.

pgp-form1
This is what the new PGP ‘Interest to Sponsor’ form looks like.

After submitting the form

After the form has been submitted, a confirmation page will be presented. This page will include a confirmation number, which should be noted and kept by the potential sponsor who completed the form for his or her records.

Sponsors will be chosen at random from among those who complete the online form. On or after February 2, IRCC will select up to 10,000 individuals from the pool of potential sponsors who submitted the form. These individuals will be notified by email and will have 90 days to submit their complete application, including supporting documents. The range of supporting documentation may be extensive, with IRCC requiring that sponsors submit income taxation records, documents relating to civil status, and other material.

Individuals who are not selected for this application cycle will also be contacted, and will have the option to indicate their interest in applying in 2018.

PGP eligibility criteria

Although the PGP application process for 2017 has changed, stakeholders should note that no change in eligibility criteria has been announced.

Therefore, sponsors under the program 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 for this program by submitting notices of assessment issued by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) in support of their sponsorship (sponsors in Quebec must satisfy particular income requirements, different from sponsors in the rest of Canada). 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; and
  • The sponsor and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits the sponsor to provide financial support for the sponsored person for up to 20 years. This agreement also states that the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support themselves. Again, sponsors in Quebec have different requirements (see below).

Potential applicants are encouraged to review the latest minimum income requirements to ensure that they meet the program requirements.

Sponsors in Quebec

Sponsors residing in the province of Quebec must satisfy particular criteria set by the government of Quebec. This includes income requirements that are unique to the province, as well as the signing of a sponsorship agreement with the government of Quebec binding the sponsorship for 10 years.

Potential sponsors residing in Quebec are encouraged to contact a legal expert about the exact requirements and processes required for PGP applications.

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.

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