Sponsoring your Loved Ones in Canada—Understanding the Parents and Grandparents Program

Sponsoring your Loved Ones in Canada—Understanding the Parents and Grandparents Program

If you are a skilled worker seeking a life in Canada or an international student planning to settle here after graduation, then you need to keep in mind that your immigration journey will come to an end only after your family members too become Canadian permanent residents.

The biggest difference between working in Canada on a temporary work permit and becoming a permanent resident is that you can sponsor your loved ones to join you in living in the Canadian dream.

This is why it’s very important to understand how the Parents and Grandparents Program works. There is no separate program for spouses and children because your partner and dependent children can be added to your PR application and will be granted permanent residence at the same time you become a Canadian PR.

But this automatic inclusion does not cover parents and grandparents, which means you need to sponsor them separately if you wish for them to you join you and live with you in Canada.

The Parents and Grandparents Program

All Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their parents and grandparents to immigrate to Canada. Once sponsored, these persons will enjoy all the rights and privileges that you enjoy, including the right to live and work in Canada, to obtain healthcare, and to enjoy all protections granted under Canadian law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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Further, just like you and your family, they too can apply to become a Canadian citizen once they have lived in the country for the specified period and fulfill other eligibility requirements.

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Sponsoring your Parents or Grandparents—Your Eligibility Requirements

To qualify as a sponsor, you must-

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident,
  • Be of age 18 years or older
  • Live in Canada
  • Have an annual income higher than the minimum necessary income level required under this program.
  • Have proof of such annual income in the form of notices of assessment issued by the Canadian Revenue Agency. Due to the pandemic, IRCC is assessing sponsors based on average incomes in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
  • For the 2021 program, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident seeking to sponsor two persons must have income of CAN $40,379, 41,007,and $32,270 for 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively.
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If you fulfill these requirements, then you can sponsor your parents or grandparents by submitting an Interest to Sponsor on the government’s immigration website before the application window closes.

The Sponsorship Process

Unlike skilled immigration programs that issue Invitations to Apply based on your CRS score or points score under the program you are applying, sponsors for the PGP program are selected through a lottery.

The government announces the window for submission of all Interest to Sponsor for the PGP program at the beginning of the year. If your submission goes through during this window, then you become a part of the pool from which the applicants will be selected.

If you are selected in the lottery, then you need to complete the process ahead to get permission to sponsor your parents and/or grandparents.

The process primarily involves submitting an undertaking to financially support the sponsored person for a period of 20 years after such sponsored becomes a Canadian permanent resident.

Further, this undertaking extends to repayment of any social assistance benefits that may be paid to the sponsored for 20 years. Obviously, this undertaking will be activated only if the person you sponsor actually receives any social assistance from Canadian authorities.

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2022 PGP Quota

The quota for PGP for 2022 is 23,500 parents and grandparents. The intake included around 10,000 applications carried forward from 2020. For 2022, the government is likely to permit around 20,000 citizens/permanent residents to apply.

What If You Don’t’ Get Selected in the Lottery?

Since lottery-based selection works on plain luck, there is a possibility that you just don’t get invited to apply to sponsor your parents or grandparents. To prepare for this possibility, you should explore the Super Visa program.

This is a long-term visa that allows the parents and grandparents of citizens or permanent residents to stay in Canada for up to two years at a time. Normally, you can stay for up to six months in Canada on a tourist visa, which means the Super Visa is a significant plus for your relatives.

Further, this visa is valid for a period of ten years, which means you don’t need to apply for this visa again and again.

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