January 30, 2018 – Canadian citizens and permanent residents who want to sponsor parents and grandparents to come to Canada have to declare their Interest to Sponsor by noon on Thursday, February 1, 2018.
It means there are just a few days left to enter the lottery under the Parents and Grandparents Program.
The window for entering the lottery opened on January 2, 2018. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will draw names at random and ask for full applications to be submitted, with 10,000 spaces available.
When Does the Lottery Close?
The lottery reopened 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.
Criticism of the PGP has continued despite a tweaked lottery process aimed at making the system fairer.
Complaint emails sent to Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen accuse the government of playing with the lives of people who want to bring their loved ones to Canada.
This time around, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada added questions to the draw form to try and stop sponsors and candidates who did not meet requirements from entering.
The change comes after nearly 100,000 people entered the lottery in 2017, but the target of 10,000 applications was not met after the first draw took place. As a result, a second draw happened in September 2017, although it is not known whether the 10,000 target was reached.
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IRCC changed the system for 2017 in an attempt to make it fairer. Previously, an application window would open in January and the first 10,000 received would be processed. This led to couriers lining up at processing centres and effectively meant all applicants required the help of a lawyer.
However, the change was not announced until December 2016, meaning many potential sponsors had already prepared their applications in anticipation of the old system continuing.
The new system was the subject of an online petition and a slew of complaints from people who want to see the old first-come, first-served method reinstated.
But IRCC has held firm with the lottery, which Hussen insists is the fairest way of selecting sponsors and applicants.
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