Last Updated on September 5, 2017
September 5, 2017 – Canada’s immigration authorities have announced a second round of invitations to apply for the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program will begin from September 6, 2017.
The widely-expected move comes after the application threshold of 10,000 was not reached following the first round of invitations. The 90-day window for applications to be submitted expired on August 4, 2017.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says sponsors and candidates for the new round of invitations will be selected at random from the same list of people who expressed interest in the program in January 2017.
Invitations to apply will be sent by email, with sponsors advised to check their inbox and junk box regularly over the next week. The deadline for this second round of invitations will be December 8, 2017.
Only sponsors who have been selected in the second round will receive an email. After the first round of invites, unsuccessful candidates also received an email to say they had not been selected.
The confirmation numbers of those selected will be posted on the IRCC website. Sponsors will be able to check for their number to see if they have been selected. Those who do not know their number will be able to submit a request via an online form to check if they have been selected.
The IRCC came in for criticism after changing the format of the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program application process for 2017.
Instead of a first-come, first-served policy, a new lottery format was introduced with the aim of making the system fairer.
95,000 Expressions of Interest
A huge 95,000 families put their names forward for the draw at the start of 2017, with 10,000 names drawn and invited to apply.
The IRCC has not said how many applications it received following the first draw, but as of June 2017, only 700 had been submitted, with some of them incomplete.
Under the previous system, an application window would open in January and the first 10,000 received would be processed. This led to long lines at the processing centre and applicants enlisting the help of couriers to guarantee their place.
While the intention behind the decision to move to a lottery format is clear, there have been problems with the implementation.
Criticism of New System
The first criticism was that the change was not announced until December 2016. Many families had already gone to the time and expense of preparing applications under the old system.
There was also a feeling the method for entering the lottery did not go into enough detail. There are strict qualification requirements for the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program, including on income of the sponsor and on health of the parent or grandparent. These requirements were not listed on the basic form for entering the lottery. It seems families entered without realising they would not be eligible.
With 95,000 expressions of interest received, sponsors and candidates face a 1 in 10 chance of being selected in the first round of invitations. Before the need for a second draw came about, those not selected were simply told to enter the draw again in 2018 and face the same lottery process.
‘Adjustments for Next Year’
The IRCC has already said it is considering tweaking the new system for 2018. Under the old system, a huge backlog of applications was created that is gradually being worked through.
As an alternative to the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program, families should also consider the Parents and Grandparents Super-Visa. This special Canada visa allows parents and grandparents to stay for two years at a time and can be extended up to 10 years.
Figures show 89,000 parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents have been awarded visas since the system was set-up in 2012 under the previous Conservative government.
Canada’s Parent and Grandparent Super-Visa: Eligibility
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);
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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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