March 20, 2018 – Canadian immigration authorities are sending out invitations to apply this week to sponsors who have been selected in the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program (PGP) lottery.
Those who entered the draw during the January 2 to February 1, 2018, expression of interest window are advised to keep an eye on their inbox for an email saying they have been selected.
Sponsors can also check if they are among those lucky enough to be chosen at random, by looking up their confirmation number on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
All notification emails will have been sent by the end of the week ending Friday March 23, 2018.
Those who receive emails have 60 days from the date of their invitation to submit a full application to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada.
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Following some problems with the new lottery system in 2017, IRCC officials have indicated they will conduct a second lottery draw later in the year if they do not receive the targeted 10,000 applications.
The drop-off rate between those invited to apply and those who actually submitted applications caught immigration officials off guard in 2017. This led to criticism of the IRCC and changes to the process.
Complaint emails sent to Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen accused the government of playing with the lives of people who want to bring their loved ones to Canada.
This time around, IRCC 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.
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.
Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program: 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.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
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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