How to Apply for the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program in Canada?
Did you know that you could sponsor your parents’ and grandparents’ permanent immigration into Canada through the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program? While sponsoring your parents’ and grandparents’ permanent residency is a bit more difficult as it is based on a random selection of applicants, as opposed to Express Entry or Spousal Sponsorship, it is an important opportunity to sponsor other members of your family who want to immigrate into Canada. In this article, we’ll touch on how the Parents and Grandparents Program works, who are eligible to apply, and other methods of bringing your parents and grandparents into Canada if you do not receive an invitation to apply.
Who is Eligible to Sponsor?
To be able to sponsor, you must be:
- Canadian citizen or permanent resident,
- currently live in Canada,
- over 18 years old,
- have enough money to sponsor your family,
One important point here about sponsoring your parents and grandparents is that you must already be residing in Canada when you send in your application, unlike the spousal sponsorship application where you could be living outside Canada but make a commitment to move to Canada after your spouse receives permanent residency. Another important distinction is that there are strict income requirements for sponsoring your parents and grandparents and if you don’t have enough income your application would be automatically denied.
What is the Process for the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program?
There are 3 major steps during the process of the Parents and Grandparents Program, these are:
- You send the interest to sponsor form (also known as the “interest form” for short) during the application period. These dates change every year so you have to constantly check the IRCC website and news outlets. For 2020 the dates to send the interest form were between October 13 to November 3 but IRCC has not stated what the dates will be for 2021.
- After the period to submit the form closes, IRCC randomly selects and invites potential sponsors. This is called an invitation to apply. We must emphasize that this does not mean your sponsorship is approved.
- If you are invited to apply, you must submit the application package which includes various documents such as your current financial status (to see if you’re eligible to sponsor your parents and/or grandparents), undertaking agreement and et cetera. If all the documents in your application package are in order, your parents will be eligible to receive permanent resident status.
How Many Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Applications Are Accepted to Canada?
You might have heard in the past the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program referred to as the “PGP Lottery”. This is because several applications are randomly selected each year by the IRCC. For 2020, the number of applications accepted was 10,000. The good news is that, for 2021, IRCC is planning to raise that number to 30,000! So if you were planning to submit an interest form, 2021 might just be your lucky year.
What Are the Minimum Income Requirements for Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program?
You need to submit information about your income for the last 3 tax years from the date you apply. So if you’re applying to sponsor your relatives, you’ll need the Notice of Assessment of 2020, 2019, and 2018. The amount of income you need to sponsor will change according to the number of people you’re sponsoring, the more people means more income, naturally. Below you can find the table for the minimum income requirements:
|Number of People You’re Sponsoring||2020||2019||2018|
|Each Additional Person||$7,121||$8,876||$8,740|
IRCC generally raises the income requirements by the rate of inflation each year; however, one interesting thing about the income requirements is that they are substantially reduced for 2020. Since the COVID-19 pandemic affected many people worldwide, the income requirements are lower than in the last two years.
You should also keep in mind that you would be signing an undertaking to sponsor your parents and grandparents for the next 20 years, whereas for a spouse you would be signing an undertaking agreement for only 3 years.
What if I Don’t Meet the Minimum Income Requirements?
If you don’t meet the income requirements you can still be able to sponsor your parents and grandparents. In order to meet it, your spouse or your common-law partner can be your co-signer. This way, you can show both of your income together so that you can meet the required level of income for the last 3 tax years. However, both you and your co-signer should be aware that both of you will be responsible for the undertaking, not just the sponsor.
What if My Application is not Selected from the Draw?
Since the PGP applications are randomly selected, there is a chance that your application won’t be among the lucky selected ones. In that case, you can still be able to bring your parents and grandparents into Canada with something called the “super visa”, explained in more detail below.
What is a Super Visa and Who is Eligible for That?
If you aren’t invited to apply, your parents and grandparents can apply for a super visa, which is a lot easier process than sponsoring your relatives with parents and grandparents’ sponsorship program. A super visa is basically a multi-entry visa that lasts for 10 years, however, it’s different from a regular visitor visa because it allows your parents to stay in Canada for 2 years after they entered Canada. With a normal visitor visa, they could only stay for 6 months, afterwards, they would have to leave and re-enter Canada to keep their visa valid. To be eligible for a super visa, your parents and grandparents need:
- a child or grandchild who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident,
- have received a letter of invitation from their child or grandchild which states they will be financially accountable for them during their visit,
- copy of their child’s or grandchild’s official document of citizenship or permanent residency.
- medical insurance with coverage of at least $100,000 for at least one year
How Can We Help You With Your Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Canada?
Even if you are invited to apply to sponsor your parents and grandparents, your application can still be rejected for varying reasons. If you’re not familiar with IRCC processes, the application package can be intimidating. If you don’t send all of the necessary documents, your application can take longer than it normally should, or it could even be rejected. Especially if you’re applying to sponsor many people (more than 4 or 5, including yourself) preparing all the necessary documents can be a confusing process. That’s why before you start your application don’t forget to reach out to our licensed immigration consultants for a free 15-minute consultation by filling out the evaluation form here.