New Application Process for Parent and Grandparent Immigration

Posted on January 05, 2017

The Parent and Grandparent Immigration Program has recently changed from a first-come, first-serve system to an invitation-based system. In 2017, the Parent and Grandparent Program will offer prospective immigration applicants the opportunity to submit an application, but only when invited by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The PGP offers Canadian citizens/permanent residents an opportunity to sponsor their parents and grandparents for immigration to Canada (as permanent residents). For those who want to partake in this sponsorship opportunity, they need to register their interest by first completing an online form (only from January 3, 2017 to February 2, 2017).

Following the 30-day registration period (January 3 to February 2), officials from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will randomly invite 10,000 applicants to submit an application. All online registrants will be notified, regardless of whether they received an invitation. Those who were not invited may indicate an interest to apply in 2018.

Candidates invited to apply have 90 days to complete and submit their application, along with the necessary supporting documents. These documents could be quite extensive, and would include income tax records, civil status documents, and the like. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will have the 2017 application package online by January 9.

Year after year, applicant demand for the Parent and Grandparent Program has well exceeded the number of spaces available, and the quota is very quickly filled. With the new application setup for 2017, the PGP has basically become a “formal lottery” that offers applicants 30 days to submit a profile. Improvements are designed to make the process impartial.

Based on demand levels from previous years, it’s expected that the number of applicants who will submit an online registration from January 3 to February 2 will exceed the number of invitations. Essentially the new PGP allows applicants the same equal chance to be invited. The Government of Canada has established a target total of 20,000 through the PGP.

Eligibility criteria for the Parent and Grandparent Program

Improvements to the PGP relate only to the application process, and not to any eligibility criteria. Sponsors must still meet the prescribed requirements as defined by IRCC:

  • Sponsors must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Sponsors must be 18 years of age or older
  • Sponsors must meet minimum income level requirements
  • Notice of assessment must be submitted (issued by CRA)
  • Sponsors in Quebec must satisfy more specific income limits 
  • Sponsors must ensure minimum income (for the last 3  years)

Importantly, both the sponsor and the sponsored must sign an agreement that ensures financial support for the sponsored for a period of up to 20 years. The agreement also confirms that after becoming a permanent resident, every effort will be made for self-sufficiency. Here again, Quebec sponsors have different requirements as defined by the province.

Sponsors applying under the PGP should thoroughly review all of the program requirements in order to ensure that minimum requirements are addressed. Application problems could result in unfortunate time delays and even application denial. 

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