Update: Canada begins Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship 2021 Lottery on September 23
Update: Canada has begun to hold its Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) 2021 lottery. Click here for the updated story.
The original story continues below:
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will draw 30,000 candidates from the lottery over a two-week period beginning the week of September 20. Those who receive an invitation will have up to 60 days to submit their completed sponsorship applications to IRCC.
Only those who submitted an interest to sponsor form to IRCC between October and November 2020 will be considered in the lottery. Last autumn, Canadian citizens and eligible permanent residents had the opportunity to complete an online form to notify IRCC of their interest to sponsor their parents and grandparents.
Those sponsored under the PGP receive Canadian permanent resident status and associated benefits such as access to free health care. After meeting the eligibility criteria, parents and grandparents can then go on to apply for Canadian citizenship.
Eligibility Criteria for the PGP 2021
As noted above, a key eligibility criteria for the PGP 2021 is that sponsors submitted an interest to sponsor form on IRCC's website last autumn.
In addition, sponsors must be at least 18 years old, and Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or be status First Nations.
Sponsors need to show IRCC they have enough money to support their family members and the individuals they are sponsoring. This requirement is called the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI). IRCC will evaluate your MNI for the 2020, 2019, and 2018 tax years. You must submit your Notices of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to demonstrate you meet the MNI.
If you reside in Quebec, the provincial government requires that you and your co-signer (if applicable) demonstrate your income over the past 12 months. This income must meet the province's requirements to go ahead with the PGP sponsorship application.
Both IRCC and the Quebec government require that sponsors sign an undertaking agreement. The undertaking period is 20 years for residents across Canada while it is 10 years for residents of Quebec. During this period sponsors are financially responsible for their parents and grandparents. This means that any social assistance obtained by parents or grandparents during the undertaking period would need to be repaid to the government by the sponsor.
What if you do not receive a PGP 2021 invitation?
If you are not among the 30,000 invited by IRCC during the lottery, you may wish to consider the Super Visa as an alternative. It enables Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada for a multi-year visa that is valid for up to two years upon the first trip to Canada. Under the Super Visa, parents and grandparents can enter Canada multiple times over a 10 year period.
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