Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will invite more sponsors of foreign parents and grandparents to submit an application under the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP).
The upcoming round of invitations, which will begin on September 6 and continue over a few days, is the second round to take place in 2017. Potential sponsors who were not invited to apply in the first round, which took place in April, now have a second chance of being invited to apply.
The upcoming invitation round will be restricted to potential sponsors who submitted an Expression of Interest through the PGP ‘Interest to Sponsor’ form in early 2017, but who have not yet been 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, will not be invited in the upcoming round, nor will individuals who did not submit a form in early 2017.
However, IRCC also confirmed that registration to enter the PGP ‘Interest to Sponsor’ pool of potential sponsors will reopen in early 2018, allowing more potential sponsors to plan on bringing their parent(s) or grandparent(s) to Canada as permanent residents.
Sponsors must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and must meet certain minimum income criteria.
Meeting 2017’s target
The government of Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2017 sets a target to bring in 20,000 new permanent residents under the PGP this year. The government planned on bringing to a completion some of the applications remaining in a backlog, while also inviting new applications.
The ‘Interest to Sponsor’ method is a new initiative, brought 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 at random from the pool of registrants. However, when the 90-day deadline to apply elapsed, IRCC had not received 10,000 complete applications. Therefore, and in order to achieve its annual target, IRCC is conducting this second round of invitations.
IRCC advises individuals who may be invited to check their email, including the ‘junk’ folder, next week while invitations are being issued. Only those who are invited will be contacted.
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.
Under the current criteria, 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).
At this time, it remains unknown whether these criteria will remain the same for the 2018 version of the PGP.
The PGP is not the only option for bringing parents and grandparents to Canada. The Super Visa is a multiple-entry visa that allows 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, and the visa is valid for up to 10 years.
If you receive an invitation to apply to the PGP, you may contact us to learn more about the next steps regarding your application.
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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