Canada’s generous Family Class immigration category allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parent(s) or grandparent(s) through the Parent and Grandparent Program.
The Parent and Grandparent Program reopened for online submissions of interest on January 2, 2018. Submissions were received until 12 p.m. EST on February 1. Read on for details on eligibility and the application process.
March, 2018 update
On March 19, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that, spanning over a few days, invitations will be sent to those who have been selected to apply to the Parent and Grandparent Program. In order to be eligible to be invited, candidates had to register their interest in the program between January 2 and February 1, 2018. Potential sponsors will have 60 days from the date of their invitation to submit a complete application to sponsor their parents and grandparents.
As of March 19, potential sponsors can confirm whether or not they have been selected by looking up their unique confirmation number to compare it with the list of numbers that were randomly selected:
- If their number appears, they have been invited to submit their sponsorship application.
- If their number doesn’t appear, they have not been selected in this invitation round.
If IRCC does not receive 10,000 complete applications, additional potential sponsors will be invited to apply later in the year.
The Parent and Grandparent Program: an overview
Sponsored parents and grandparents become permanent residents of Canada, with all the benefits that come with it. This includes the right to live and work in Canada without restriction on location, time, or sector, as well as access to publicly-funded health care and other services. Ultimately, sponsored parents and grandparents may become Canadian citizens.
Under the government of Canada’s multi-year immigration plan, around 20,000 new permanent residents will be admitted through the Parent and Grandparent Program in 2018. This figure may include applications submitted prior to 2018.
Parent and Grandparent Program eligibility
Both the sponsor and the person(s) being sponsored must meet certain eligibility requirements.
- be either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;
- meet certain income requirements (see below); and
- support the sponsored person(s) and their dependants financially.
The sponsor and the sponsored person(s) must sign a sponsorship agreement that:
- commits the sponsor to provide financial support the sponsored person(s) and any other eligible relatives accompanying them for a period of three to 20 years, depending on their age and relationship to the sponsor, beginning on the date they become a permanent resident; and
- states that the persons becoming permanent residents will make every effort to support themselves.
Residents of Quebec must sign an ‘undertaking’ with the province of Quebec. This is a contract that binds the sponsorship. Sponsors in Quebec must also meet Quebec’s sponsorship requirements after being approved as a sponsor by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Minimum income requirements
The Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) requirement must be met for each of the three years preceding the date of the application to sponsor a parent or grandparent.
Sponsors applying in 2018 will need to provide proof of income from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for the taxation years of 2017, 2016, and 2015.
The size of the family unit includes the parent(s) or grandparent(s) being sponsored.
|Size of Family Unit||Minimum Income 2017||Minimum Income 2016||Minimum Income 2015|
|If more than 7 persons, for each additional person, add||$8,616||$8,522||$8,358|
The Interest to Sponsor form
As was the same for the 2017 application cycle, the intake for 2018 will operate on an expression of interest / invitation to apply basis. Under such a system, eligible sponsors may only submit an application if they have been invited to apply. Prior to 2017, the Parent and Grandparent Program operated on a first-come, first-served basis.
If, as is expected, the number of ‘Interest to Sponsor’ web form submissions is greater than the intake cap for the program, some potential sponsors may not be invited to apply. However, it may be noted that in 2017 IRCC issued a second batch of invitations to apply after it became apparent that not all invited sponsors actually submitted an application.
Potential sponsors have to provide the following information on the form:
- Last name
- Given name
- Date of birth
- Country or territory of birth
- Main home address
- Postal Code
- Email address
- Their status in Canada
- Family size
- Information about the person(s) they wish to sponsor
- Information about the sponsor’s income over the previous three years