December 22, 2017 – Canada immigration authorities announced a new lottery system for selecting candidates under the Parents and Grandparents Program, as it reopens on January 2, 2018.
More questions have been added to the ‘Interest to Sponsor’ form to try and ensure only those eligible to sponsor their parents and grandparents enter the lottery.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has faced criticism over the PGP, first for introducing the lottery system so late in 2016, then after nearly 100,000 people expressed an interest in the program, and finally when very few of the 10,000 names picked from the hat submitted applications. As a result, a second draw had to take place later in 2017.
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IRCC promised to act, and changes have come in the shape of the extra questions on the ‘Interest to Sponsor’ form.
An IRCC statement said: “To help ensure the efficiency of the system and to allow as many eligible sponsors as possible to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada, it is important that only those who meet the sponsorship eligibility requirements submit an ‘Interest to Sponsor’ form.
Canada Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said: “Family reunification is a priority for the government of Canada. On January 2, I invite those who are eligible to sponsor to express their interest to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada. Helping more people reunite with their parents and grandparents in Canada demonstrates the government’s commitment to keeping families together, leading to successful integration and stronger ties to Canada.”
When Does The Lottery Open?
The lottery reopens on January 2, 2018 and closes on February 1, 2018.
What Is The Process Under the PGP?
A draw will be made from all those who fill in the ‘Interest to Sponsor’ form later in 2018, with successful candidates notified by email. They then have to complete a detailed application form within 90 days of being notified of their selection.
What Are The Requirements?
To qualify to sponsor parents and grandparents, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident must meet, in addition to the general requirements for sponsorship, the following enhanced criteria:
- Demonstrate, for a period of 3 consecutive years prior to sponsorship, income greater than the annual Minimum Necessary Income published by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada;
- Sign an undertaking to financially support the parent or grandparent, and reimburse the government for any social assistance paid out to the relative, for a period of 20 years from the date of permanent residence;
To establish whether a sponsor meets the income requirements, the following rules apply:
- Only official documents issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will be accepted to demonstrate income for the three years prior to submission;
- If a co-signer is included in the sponsorship application, the combined income of the co-signer and the sponsor will be considered;
- Any amounts from the following sources will be deducted from the sponsor and co-signer’s income for the purposes of financial eligibility:
- Provincial allowances received for a program of instruction or training;
- Social assistance received from a province;
- Financial assistance received from the Government of Canada under a resettlement program;
- Amounts received under the Employment Insurance Act, other than special benefits;
- Monthly guaranteed income supplement received under the Old Age Security Act;
- Canada child tax benefit received under the Income Tax Act.
What Is The Alternative?
Parents and grandparents of qualified applicants, who do not meet the annual application intake threshold, may continue to apply for temporary admission to Canada. Parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents intending to obtain temporary residence to visit their close relatives may apply for extended visitors’ visas known as Super Visas.
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Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
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Parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents intending to obtain temporary residence to visit their close relatives may apply for extended visitors’ visas known as Super Visas. The maximum validity date for the multiple entries Super Visa is ten years, or one month prior to the applicant’s passport’s expiry, whichever is earlier. Within that time, Super Visa holders can remain in Canada for periods of up to 2-years. In comparison, a regular visitor visa is usually valid for a maximum period of 6-months.
For individuals who are citizens of visa exempt countries, the Super Visa program can still be useful. Persons from visa exempt countries are ordinarily permitted to enter Canada for 6-months without obtaining a visitor visa. Under the new program, a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident from a visa exempt country can apply, from outside of Canada, for a Letter of Introduction, which they can then present to a border official upon arrival to Canada. When presented with a Letter of Introduction, the Canadian border official will normally allow the individual to enter Canada for a period of 2-years.
Another advantage of Parents and Grandparents Super Visa is its relatively short processing time of approximately 8-weeks.
The application for this visa is made to a visa office outside of Canada. The applicant for a Parents and Grandparents Super Visa must meet certain criteria.
Firstly, the applicant must me eligible for a regular visitor visa. This means that besides being in good health and having a valid travel document, the applicant must satisfy a Canadian immigration official that they will willingly leave the country at the end of their authorized stay, that they have sufficient ties to their home country such as a job, family or property, and that they have sufficient funds available to support themselves for the length of their stay.
Additionally, the individual applicant must:
- Show that they are the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- Obtain medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company that is valid for at least one year, providing a minimum coverage of $100,000 for health care, hospitalization and repatriation;
- Undergo a medical examination.
Finally, the applicant’s family member in Canada must:
- Demonstrate that they are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- Provide the applicant with a letter of invitation. This is a letter that provides information about the applicant’s planned visit, about the child or grandchild’s occupation and economic situation in Canada. Most importantly, this letter must include a written and signed promise of financial support for the applicant for the duration of their visit;
- Demonstrate their income is above a predetermined minimum level: (Click here);
It should be noted that holders of a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa have the rights and restrictions of a regular tourist visa holder, and as such cannot work or study while they are in Canada.
It should also be noted that it is possible to obtain a Super Visa even while an application for permanent residency is pending.
Individuals interested in applying for a Parent and Grand Parent Super Visa are invited to complete our Free Online Evaluation for an assessment of their eligibility.