Canada will reopen its Parents and Grandparents sponsorship program next Monday to expressions of interest and invitations to apply to the program will be issued on a first-in, first-served basis.
This means the quicker you can get your complete Interest to Sponsor form submitted, the better your chances may be of getting an invitation to apply to sponsor your parents and grandparents for permanent residence in Canada through the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP).
IRCC says the Interest to Sponsor form should only take about 10 minutes to complete if you have all the necessary information and documents ready to go.
With this in mind, here’s a primer on how the expression of interest process works and the information that’s required so you can hit the ground running when the form goes live.
The first step in the sponsorship process is completing an Interest to Sponsor form. This is not an application to the PGP, but instead lets Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) know that you would like to sponsor your parents and grandparents for permanent residence in Canada.
The Interest to Sponsor form will be made available at 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time next Monday, January 28, on IRCC’s website and will remain available until a set number of completed forms are received.
Invitations to apply to the PGP will then be issued to eligible potential sponsors in the order Interest to Sponsor forms were received until IRCC’s 2019 cap of 20,000 complete applications is met.
Anyone who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada and who is over the age of 18 can sponsor their parents and grandparents.
All interested sponsors will have to confirm that they have the required income for the number of family members they’ll be supporting financially. For more on this, see the Minimum Necessary Income Requirement section below.
A complete Interest to Sponsor form requires the following information:
You cannot adjust your information once the Interest to Sponsor form has been submitted.
If IRCC invites you to apply, you can provide your updated information in your application. You will need to provide a letter explaining any changes along with proof of the changes.
The proof of status in Canada requirement has been added to the Interest to Sponsor process for 2019.
Along with the proof of status document number listed above, interested sponsors will have to upload an electronic (digital) copy of their proof of status document. IRCC says that requiring all potential sponsors to submit this document will help them “detect duplication and possible fraud within the system.”
IRCC will accept expired status in Canada documents for the purposes of the Interest to Sponsor form. The same document must be used if the interested sponsor is invited to submit a complete application.
The following document types will be accepted as proof of status in Canada:
IRCC advises interested sponsors to prepare their electronic proof of status in Canada document ahead of time and save it where it’s easy to find on their computer or mobile device.
Note that the maximum file size that can be uploaded is 2.5 MB. If the document exceeds this size, it won’t be possible to upload the document and submit the Interest to Sponsor form.
Only one file can be uploaded with the Interest to Sponsor form. If you are required to provide both sides of your proof of status in Canada document, they must both appear on a single document. IRCC advises that the easiest way to do this is to include both images in a Microsoft Word document.
The document must be saved as one of the following file formats:
When naming the file, be sure to leave out accents, numbers, spaces, hyphens and the following characters: / & , . – : \ ( ) * # ; @
The Interest to Sponsor form also requires potential sponsors to confirm that they meet the Minimum Necessary Income requirements for supporting their parents and grandparents.
While there is no requirement to prove they have the required income at the Interest to Sponsor stage, potential sponsors who are invited to apply and their co-signers (if applicable) will have to provide Notices of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency for each of the three taxation years immediately preceding the date of their application.
To confirm that they meet the Minimum Necessary Income requirement, interested sponsors will have to determine their family size, which includes all the people they’ll be financially responsible for once they become a sponsor.
Family size includes:
The following table applies to residents of all provinces except Quebec.
Sponsors who live in Quebec will have their income assessed by the Quebec ministry in charge of immigration based on the province’s income requirements.
After submitting the Interest to Sponsor form
Once your Interest to Sponsor form has been submitted successfully, you’ll receive an email from IRCC confirming that they have received your Interest to Sponsor form. This email will contain a confirmation number.
IRCC encourages you to record the confirmation number and keep it handy. You’ll need this number later to check if you’ve been invited to apply.
IRCC says interested sponsors who submit the form and receive a confirmation number will have their Interest to Sponsor form retained for consideration in 2020 if they do not receive an invitation to apply to the PGP this year.
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