Last Updated on October 5, 2020
Canada’s Parents and Grandparents Program will open for a new application window later in October, it was announced on Monday, after it was delayed earlier in the year due to coronavirus.
A three-week window for the submission of an interest to sponsor forms will open at noon EDT on October 13, closing again at noon EST on November 3.
The hugely-popular program is open to citizens and permanent residents who wish to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada.
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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will randomly select sponsors from all those who submitted the form, inviting them to submit an application within 60 days.
A maximum of 10,000 applications will be accepted for processing as part of the 2020 PGP intake, IRCC says. In 2021, a new intake of interest to sponsor forms will be opened and a further 30,000 applications accepted.
Anyone with a disability or unable to use the online form can request a paper, Braille or large print copy.
The opening of the PGP has attracted significant controversy in recent years. IRCC has struggled to find a format considered fair by potential applicants.
In 2019, it opened an online first-come, first-served process of submitting the interest to sponsor form. However, many potential sponsors claimed they could never access the form after the program allocation was filled within eight minutes.
Many argued the process favoured sponsors with better internet connections, better computers and who were more able in using a computer.
In 2018, the government opened a month-long window for submitting the form, and received more than 100,000 forms for just 10,000 places.
For 2020, IRCC has moved to reduce the income requirement for the 2020 tax year under the program, as a measure to offset the impact of COVID-19.
For 2020, the income requirement will be the minimum necessary income, instead of the minimum necessary income plus 30 percent.
IRCC plans to approve 49,000 family sponsorship applications by December 31, 2020.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said: “Our government has strengthened the program by increasing the number of people who can apply, making the intake process more fair, and steadily increasing the number of families who will be able to reunite.
“Now, more than ever, family reunification is an important component of Canada’s immigration system. It plays a key role in attracting, retaining and integrating the best and the brightest from around the world.”