Great news if you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is looking to sponsor your parents or grandparents to join you in Canada.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada IRCC has expanded the Parents and Grandparents Program PGP.
IRCC has worked hard to reduce the application backlog, as well as to shorten processing times.
In 2015, only 5,000 applications were accepted under the PGP. Starting 2019, IRCC will be accepting up to 20,000 PGP applications.
IRCC has also made the application intake process a little easier for everyone involved.
Effective January 28, 2019, form submissions will be accepted on a first-come, first-first served basis after the Interest to Sponsor form is made available on the IRCC website.
After the form is taken down and no longer available on the IRCC website, no further PGP submissions will be accepted.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents who wish to sponsor their parents and grandparents will receive invitations in the order in which IRCC received their applications.
All about sponsoring your parents and grandparents
1. About the process of sponsoring your parents and grandparents
If you’re thinking about sponsoring your parents and grandparents, you must first submit an interest to sponsor form.
You have to be able to support your parents and grandparents financially, making sure that they won’t be needing any social assistance from the provincial and federal governments.
After receiving an invitation to submit a complete application, you can sponsor your parents and grandparents to join you in Canada as permanent residents.
2. Check to see if you’re eligible
You can sponsor your Parents and Grandparents if you are at least 18 years old, live in Canada, are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or a registered Indian. You’ll also need to show proof that you have enough money to support your parents and grandparents.
If you live outside the province of Quebec
You’ll have to commit to taking care of your sponsored family members for 20 years, starting when they are granted permanent residency.
Undertaking: If your sponsored family members access provincial social assistance within those 20 years, you’ll have to pay back any money they received.
Sponsorship Agreement: Your sponsored family members basic needs are your responsibility. They will have to commit to make every effort to support themselves and any other dependents they might bring with them.
If you live in the province of Quebec
You have to meet the minimum requirements of the province of Quebec’s immigration sponsorship program.
After you are approved as a sponsor, the province will check to you income.
You’ll also have to sign an undertaking.
Who is disqualified from sponsoring Parents and Grandparents?
You can’t sponsor parents and grandparents if you are less than 18 years old, won’t be living in Canada when your sponsored family members are granted permanent residency, or don’t have a primary residential address in Canada when you submit your application.
If you’re not a Canadian citizen, nor a permanent resident, nor an Indian, you CAN NOT sponsor parents and grandparents under this program.
If you are a temporary resident visiting Canada as tourist, or studying as an international student, or working as an OFW, you CAN NOT sponsor parents and grandparents under this program.
Also, you CAN NOT sponsor parents and grandparents if you have been imprisoned, didn’t not pay back immigration loans, or performance binds or court-ordered alimonies or child support.
If you previously signed a sponsorship agreement, but did not provide financial support, you CAN NOT sponsor parents and grandparents.
If you declared yourself bankrupt, and weren’t discharged, you CAN NOT sponsor parents and grandparents.
If you receive social assistance, You CAN NOT sponsor parents and grandparents, unless you do so because of a disability.
If you were convicted of a violent criminal act, or any office against a relative, whether or not the conviction was in Canada, you CAN NOT sponsor parents and grandparents.
If you’ve ever been deported from Canada, you CAN NOT sponsor parents and grandparents.
3. Who can you sponsor under the Parent Grandparent Program?
You can sponsor your own parents and grandparents, whether they are related by blood or adoption.
If your parents or grandparents are separated, you can sponsor their spouses, conjugal partners or common law partners.
If you are submitting an application under the Parent and Grandparent Program, you can sponsor your brothers and sisters if they qualify as dependent children.
You can sponsor more than 1 person if you meet the minimum income requirements for the program.
Don’t forget, your sponsored family members must also meet the minimum eligibility requirements for the program.
Sponsored family members must submit all the forms and supporting documents during the application process, as well as any additional information requested such as medical examination results, police clearances and biometrics.
You CAN NOT sponsor your spouses’ parents and grandparents (although you can be a co-signer in your spouse’s application).
You CAN NOT sponsor any individuals who have been deemed inadmissible to Canada.
4. Submit an Interest to Sponsor Form
If you are interested in sponsoring your parents and grandparents, the first thing you have to do is fill out an interest to sponsor form.
Unfortunately, the interest to sponsor form is currently not available for 2019. Additional slots may be opened again in 2019.
27,000 interest to sponsor forms were submitted on January 28, 2019.
Announcements for additional slots will be made on the official IRCC website, as well as Facebook and Twitter pages.
The form was available for a limited time on January 28, 2019, but the number of submissions allowed have already reached the maximum.
If you managed to submit an interest to sponsor form on January 28, 2019, you received a confirmation number as well as an email acknowledging your submission.
This confirmation number will be used when you receive an invitation to apply.
5. Determine if you’re invited to apply
IRCC will send email to selected sponsors by rounds.
If you submitted an interest to sponsor form and are selected to submit a complete application, you will receive an email.
Check the official IRCC website, as well as Facebook and Twitter pages for announcements.
If you are selected, you have 60 days to submit a complete application.
If you submit a complete application late (that is, it does not arrive at IRCC before the indicated deadline), the application will be returned and your invitation will cancelled.
If you change your mind after receiving an application to apply, your application will be removed and you will have to submit another interest to sponsor form the following year.
IRCC will send out invitations to apply by rounds. If you are not invited during the first round, you might receive an invitation in succeeding rounds.
Check your email after succeeding rounds are announced.
6. How to submit an application under the Parent Grandparent Program
When you receive the email from IRCC to submit a complete application, you and your sponsored family members must each submit applications.
One is your application to become a sponsor, the other is your sponsored family member’ application for permanent residence.
First, get an application package. Do not prepare an application using old forms before receiving an application.
The application package will include a document checklist and a detailed instruction guide to make sure you don’t miss out on anything, and all the forms you need to complete the application.
Before you submit an application, make sure you’re eligible to sponsor family members under the PGP, make a complete list of all your family members, make sure that everything in your application is correct, and that before submitting the application, its complete.
If you are going to be helping your parents and grandparents with their application for permanent residency, you will have to act as their representative, which will allow you to check on their application status.
You have to pay an application fee, for yourself as well as the family members you will be sponsoring.
Your sponsored family members will also have to pay for the Right of Permanent Residence Fees as well as the biometrics fees.
Complete applications must be received by IRCC within 60 days after receiving your invitation. The use of a courier or other mailing service which uses tracking information is recommended.
Applications will be returned if its incomplete, or if any fees are not paid, or If you submitted an application but did not receive an invitation to do so, or if you were late in submitting your complete application.
If your application is refused, you will received a letter from IRCC explaining the reason for the refusal and how you might be able to appeal IRCC’s decision.
The family members you are sponsoring will be asked to submit biometrics, medical exam results and police clearances. You will receive instructions on what to do.
If there are any changes, such as birth or adoption of dependent children, marriages or separations, or the death of an applicant or qualified dependent, you must inform IRCC immediately.
7. What happens after you submit an application?
It currently takes anywhere from 20 to 24 months to process an application under the PGP.
IRCC will process your application if you are sent an application number and an acknowledgement of receipt.
You will be assessed to determine whether or not you are eligible to sponsor family members under the program.
Your sponsored family members will also be assessed to determine their eligibility to apply for permanent residency.
If your application is refused, IRCC will not refund your sponsorship fee. All other fees will be returned to you.
Once you are approved to sponsor family members under the PGP, IRCC will assess the eligibility of your family members.
IRCC will send a letter bearing the application number to your family members.
The principal applicant can use the application numbers to link each individual application on their online account.
IRCC will ask for additional documents, including biometrics, medical exam results as well as police clearances.
At any point during the application process are any children are born or adopted, married or separated, deaths or any other pertinent changes must be reported to IRCC immediately.
Your sponsored family members will submit their passports, as well as photocopies, two photographs and a printed copy of the receipt of payment for the Right of Permanent Residence Fee.
After IRCC has received this information, they will send a document called the Certificate of Permanent Residence COPR and / or a permanent resident visa.
Don’t forget, if your sponsored family members are approved under the PGP, they must travel to Canada before their COPR and permanent resident visa expire.
Using your online profile, you can check the status of your PGP application, update your mailing address if you move or assign a representative if you engage one.
If you decide to withdraw your PGP application, you can also do so online.
You will also pay the Right to Permanent Residence Fee online. If you need a refund, this can also be done online.
You can check the status of your application to sponsor family members under the PGP online. You can also check the status of your family members’ applications after you have been approved as a representative.
If your application has taken longer than expected, contact IRCC.
8. Preparing for the arrival of your Parents and Grandparents
When your sponsored family members arrive in Canada, they will need to give the following documents to the Canada Border Services CBSA officer at their port of entry, including: the Certificate of Permanent Residence COPR, a valid passport bearing the valid permanent resident visa, and other documents that may have been issued to you.
Your sponsored family members will be presenting these documents and answer questions presented by the CBSA officer.
If satisfied, the CBSA officer will allow them entry into Canada as permanent residents.
In certain cases, your sponsored family members may already be in Canada. If this is the case, they will need to meet an IRCC officer for a landing interview to receive their permanent residency.
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