Canadians Now Able to Sponsor Parents and Grandparents After COVID-19 Delay
After a delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has begun accepting interest to sponsor forms for the newly re-opened Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP).
IRCC had planned to begin accepting applications earlier this year in order to meet its target of 21,000 accepted parents and grandparents, but was forced to delay it due to the pandemic.
IRCC began accepting “expressions of interest” to the program on October 13 from Canadian citizens and permanent residents looking to sponsor their family members. However, these forms do not count as official applications to the program and are only designed to inform the IRCC of an interest to sponsor parents or grandparents. Applicants have until November 3rd to submit the form.
From the pool of interested potential sponsors, IRCC will then randomly select individuals and send out email invitations to submit an application. Those that have been selected will have up to 60 days to submit their completed sponsorship application.
IRCC is only accepting a maximum of 10,000 applicants to the Parents and Grandparents Program this year, and will accept another 20,000 interested sponsors in 2021 in order to reach its target of 30,000 applicants.
“Now, more than ever, family reunification is an important component of Canada’s immigration system,” said Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino on Twitter. “It plays a key role in attracting, retaining and integrating the best and the brightest from around the world.”
IRCC will also introduce a temporary public policy to reduce the income requirement for the 2020 tax year to the minimum necessary income, instead of having it set at the minimum necessary income plus 30 per cent. The goal of this change is to accommodate people who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who Is Eligible To Sponsor Their Family Through The PGP?
Anyone who is a registered First Nation, a Canadian citizen, or permanent resident, and is over the age of 18, can apply to sponsor their biological or adopted parents and grandparents, along with step-parents in cases of divorce or separation.
They must also be living in Canada at the time of the application, and be able to financially support the family members they are sponsoring for at least 20 years, starting when they become permanent residents.
In Quebec, financial support is only required for 10 years.
Sponsors must also sign an undertaking with the government vowing to support the basic needs of their sponsored family members. The sponsored person must also make every effort to support themselves.
In some circumstances, a sponsorship application may be denied if the sponsor:
Is in jail;
Has not re-payed immigration loans, performance bonds, or court-ordered family support payments;
Has declared bankruptcy and has not yet been discharged.
Successfully sponsored parents and grandparents become permanent residents of Canada, and eventually, may become Canadian citizens.
Learn more about the eligibility requirements for the PGP on the Government of Canada website.