Canada prides itself on providing opportunities for families to reunite. With this focus in mind, on October 5, 2020, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino announced the 2020 plan for the Parents and Grandparents Program to allow Canadian permanent residents and citizens to sponsor their parents and grandparents as permanent residents in Canada.
The program will be open for a three-week window to allow parties to submit an interest to sponsor online. Then a lottery process will take place and 10,000 applicants will be selected. These applicants will have 60 days to submit an application. If approved, then the sponsor can bring their parents or grandparents over as permanent residents.
The Government has also announced that this program will be expanded to allow for 30,000 sponsorships in 2021.
First, eligible parties can submit an online form (the interest to sponsor) to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”). This form will be available for three weeks from October 13, 2020 at 12 pm EDT until November 3, 2020 at 12 pm EDT. Only submit an interest to sponsor once.
Second, after the November 3rd deadline has passed, IRCC will remove any duplicate applications and will randomize the forms. Then, a lottery will take place to select 10,000 applications.
Third, the selected 10,000 sponsors will be notified via email. Only the selected applicants can apply for the program. If you are selected, you cannot transfer or defer your application.
Fourth, the selected applicants will have 60 days to submit a completed application package via mail. IRCC recommends waiting until you are invited to apply to fill out the application package to ensure you have the most up to date forms and instruction guides. IRCC must receive your application within the 60 days, and any applications received late will be returned.
Finally, IRCC will process your application to determine if you are approved as a sponsor and your parents or grandparents are eligible to come to Canada. Additional requirements such as biometrics, medical exams and police clearances will be sent to the family member during processing. The current processing times are estimated to be 20-24 months.
In order to be eligible to sponsor your parents or grandparents, you must be at least 18 years old, live in Canada when you apply to sponsor your parents or grandparents and when they become permanent residents, and be a Canadian permanent resident, citizen or registered as an Indian under the Indian Act.
You must submit proof of income to show that you can support the people you sponsored. Due to financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the financial requirements have been temporarily changed for the year 2020. Specifically, sponsors must:
- Meet the minimum necessary income threshold without any additions. For other taxation years, the standard is the minimum necessary income plus 30%.
For the tax year 2020, regular Employment Insurance benefits, as opposed to only special Employment Insurance benefits, can be counted toward the income requirement.
You can also have a spouse or common-law partner co-sign the application.
Undertaking and Sponsorship Agreement
Sponsors must sign an undertaking and a sponsorship agreement outlining the sponsor’s responsibility for 20 years after the sponsored family member becomes a permanent residence.
Specifically, the sponsor must indicate that they will financially support their sponsored family members and repay any social assistance the sponsored family member receives. The sponsor must also agree to provide for the basic needs of the sponsored family member, and the sponsored family member will make every effort to support themselves.
Quebec has a different sponsorship process. If you would like to sponsor a family member to Quebec, please contact our office for further information.
For more information on Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship in 2020 please contact our office.