Canadian citizens and permanent residents will soon be able to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents to immigrate to Canada.
Canada’s immigration department says that it will accept interest to sponsor forms for the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) between 12:00 p.m. EDT on October 13 and 12:00 p.m. EDT on November 3. These are not applications for the PGP itself, but rather, are an opportunity for people to express their interest in sponsoring their family members for Canadian immigration.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will then randomly select potential sponsors and send them an invitation to submit an application. Selected applicants will have up to 60 days to submit their completed sponsorship application.
IRCC will accept a maximum of 10,000 applications in 2020. It will open a new intake of interest to sponsor process in 2021 to accept a total of 30,000 new applications.
IRCC is also introducing a temporary public policy that will reduce the income requirement for the 2020 tax year to the minimum necessary income, rather than the minimum necessary income plus 30 per cent. This is to accommodate those who have been negatively affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, more than ever, family reunification is an important component of Canada’s immigration system. It plays a key role in attracting, retaining and integrating the best and the brightest from around the world.
— Marco Mendicino (@marcomendicino) October 5, 2020
Registration opening was supposed to take place earlier this year, but was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
IRCC aimed to welcome 21,000 new immigrants through the parents and grandparents program this year, as per the departments immigration levels targets. The targets were announced just days before Canada imposed coronavirus travel restrictions in March. Since then, Canada’s immigration levels have fallen significantly.
Who is eligible to sponsor family through PGP?
Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and registered First Nations are able to sponsor their own parents or grandparents, according to the government’s webpage.
Sponsors must be at least 18 years old, living in Canada, and they must have enough money to support the people who they want to sponsor.
Eligibility criteria differs for sponsors living in the province of Quebec. People in the rest of Canada need to have enough financial means to support sponsored family members for 20 years starting when they become permanent residents. In Quebec, it is 10 years and the province also assesses sponsor income.
In either case, sponsors must sign an undertaking with the government meaning that they’ll provide for the basic needs of the sponsored family member, and that the sponsored person will make every effort to support themselves.
There are also certain cases where people will not be eligible to sponsor their parent or grandparent such as: people who are in jail; who didn’t pay back immigration loans, performance bonds, or court-order family support payments; or who declared bankruptcy and are not discharged among other circumstances.
Who can be sponsored?
The biological or adopted parents and grandparents of eligible Canadians are eligible for sponsorship, as well as step parents in cases of divorce or separation. Brothers, sisters, and half siblings are only eligible to be sponsored if they are dependent children under age 22.
If applicants want to sponsor more than one person or couple, they must meet all the income requirements for everyone on the application and their dependants.
Sponsored family members will need to provide all the required documents for the application and any additional information such as medical exams, police certificates, and biometrics.
The PGP is not for Canadians to sponsor their in-laws, their spouse’s parents and grandparents, though they may be a co-signer on their in-laws’ application. Parents and grandparents who are inadmissible to Canada are also ineligible for sponsorship.
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