Instructions from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) on the process to sponsor Parents and Grandparents (“PGP”) for permanent residence in Canada are generally issued in late November or early December and apply to the next year’s application intake process. There is a cap on the number of people who can be sponsored through this program each year. This leads to very high demand for the program, a demand which is expected to continue in 2020.
This year, we are still waiting for instructions from IRCC quite late in the calendar year. On December 16, 2019, IRCC released a statement saying:
“Family reunification is a top immigration priority for the Government of Canada. The Parents and Grandparents Program (“PGP” continues to be very popular, with high demand for sponsorship from Canadian citizens and permanent residents. More information on plans for the intake process for the program in 2020 will be available soon.”
So, as we approach the Christmas period, and wait for clear instructions on what will happen in 2020 what can Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents who want to sponsor Parents and Grandparents do to get ready for the upcoming sponsorship season?
Here are 10 tips to make oneself ready to submit the ‘expression of interest to sponsor’ in January 2020:
- Sponsors – Check your eligibility! There are at least fourteen (14) requirements that sponsors must meet in order to sponsor parents/grandparents. Most of the focus is on income eligibility, but it is important to remember the rest and to confirm that you are ready to engage in the process. (More fulsome list of eligibility criteria at the end of the Blog!)
- Be sure your taxes have been filed and you have access to all your taxation documents (Notices of Assessment, T4s etc.). If you are missing any key documents, or have outstanding tax filings – try to get them ASAP
- Be Ready! Confirm that your parents are ready and able to submit an application for permanent residence if they are invited to apply
- Get comfortable with waiting! Each step of this process can be stressful and take time to hear back from IRCC.
- If you are not invited – don’t despair! In 2019 there was a subsequent round of invitations to apply for sponsors who had not been initially selected.
- Understand who is included in the application If your parents are separated or divorced and remarried – who is included in the application? This impacts the Minimum Income Requirements and can make a big difference to admissibility issues if one parent has a serious medical condition or criminal record.
- What about your siblings? Are your parents including their dependent children (your siblings?) Are any of your siblings married or over the age of 22? Understanding who is and is not eligible to be included will impact your calculation of the minimum necessary income requirements.
- Have honest discussions with your parents about their health. Medical admissibility is manageable, but it is very important to understand your parents/grandparents medical situation at the outset of your application process. This will help to manage expectations on timing.
- Consider a Super Visa application. A Super Visa application allows parents/grandparents to remain in Canada as long-term temporary residents (up to two years per entry to a maximum of 10 years). This can be a way to join the family
- Understand the limits of a Super Visa . A Super Visa gives visitor status only – a parent/grandparent cannot work while in Canada on a super visa and has no access to public health insurance. Be sure to understand the different between this temporary status and permanent resident status and respect the limits.
Just like children are waiting for Santa this season, the anticipation of instructions for the sponsorship program is real. Sponsors and their family members would do well to pre-plan to the extent possible, to take some of the hurry and hustle-bustle out of the application process.
If you are interested in sponsoring a Parent or Grandparent for permanent residence in Canada, reach out to us – we get great joy from helping to reunite families in Canada.
The details – Sponsorship Eligibility:
- You are at least 18 years old;
- You live in Canada;
- You are a Canadian citizen, a Permanent Resident of Canada or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act;
- You have the financial means to support the persons you want to sponsor;
- You are able and willing to financially support the persons you are sponsoring for 20 years after they become Permanent Residents of Canada;
- You have filed your income taxes in Canada and for the last three consecutive your income meets or exceeds the minimum necessary income for the size of family (you, your dependents, and those your wish to sponsor);
- You are not currently in jail, prison or penitentiary
- You have not been convicted of certain criminal offences in Canada;
- You are not an undischarged bankrupt;
- You do not owe money to the Federal Government of Canada (immigration loan, performance bond);
- You are up to date on court-ordered family support payments such as alimony or child support;
- You do not receive social assistance for reason other than a disability;
- You are not the subject of a removal order from Canada;