Update—March 27th, 2020—Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that the 2020 intake for the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program (PGP) will be further delayed due to the outbreak of COVID-19. IRCC stated:
The launch of the annual call for expressions of interest to apply was anticipated in the coming weeks. Given the present circumstances, however, we are prioritizing our efforts to contribute to the whole-of-government response to the pandemic.
The PGP had already been delayed once, earlier in the year. With the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolving and public officials unsure how long the crisis will last, there is no estimate as to when the PGP will open. We will continue to monitor this program and will post an update when it becomes available.
Overview: Canada’s Parent and Grandparents Program (PGP)
Through the PGP, Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their parents and/or grandparents for Canadian permanent residence.
In 2019, immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aimed to invite enough sponsors to receive 20,000 complete applications. However, the intake was criticized for extremely limiting technical factors.
The PGP reopened to interested sponsors on January 28, 2019 at 12 noon EST, using a new system. Just a few minutes later, however, the ‘interest to sponsor’ form — used to gather submissions of interest in the program from would-be applicants — was quickly closed ‘for now’ as IRCC had received enough submitted forms.
It is unclear what kind of system the government will use in 2020 for managing PGP intake applications. New details will be posted here when they are available.
The Parent and Grandparent Program: an overview
Canada’s Family Class immigration category allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parent(s) or grandparent(s) through the Parent and Grandparent Program.
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 20,500 new permanent residents were admitted through the Parent and Grandparent Program in 2019. This figure may also include applications submitted prior to 2019.
Important changes took effect in 2019
In 2019, as in previous years, the interest to sponsor form was available online so that eligible potential sponsors could let IRCC know they wish to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada. However, instead of randomly selecting the sponsors to apply, as was the case in 2017 and 2018, IRCC invited them to submit an application to sponsor their parents and grandparents based on the order in which it receive their interest to sponsor forms.
This first-come, first-served model created incredible technical difficulties for prospective applicants and was the subject of widespread criticism.
Other changes in 2019 included a requirement for potential sponsors to upload a copy of a status in Canada document when submitting their interest to sponsor form, which had also been enhanced from previous years to include features that will help IRCC detect duplicate submissions and potential fraud.
Individuals completing the PGP interest to sponsor form needed to provide the following information:
- family name(s) (also known as last name, surname) and their given name(s) (also known as first name);
- date of birth;
- country or territory of birth;
- primary residential address in Canada;
- email address for communication with IRCC;
- number of family members;
- total number of persons the individual wishes to sponsor, including dependents (spouse/partner and children);
- names of the parents and grandparents the individual want to sponsor and their date of birth;
- electronic signature; and
- proof of status in Canada document number.
For 2019, potential sponsors were asked to submit one of the following documents as proof of status in Canada:
- permanent resident card (both sides);
- record of landing (IMM 1000) (only if the interested sponsor didn’t receive a PR Card);
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688);
- Canadian Citizenship Certificate or card (both sides);
- Canadian birth certificate (if the interested sponsor was born in Quebec, IRCC will only accept a birth certificate from the Directeur de l’État civil);
- Canadian passport (pages showing passport number, date of issue and expiration, photo, name, surname, place and date of birth); and/or
- secure certificate of Indian status.
When IRCC invites a group of potential sponsors to submit a complete application, this is called this a round of invitations. Depending on the number of complete applications received, IRCC may conduct more than one round of invitations.
*Please note: This process is subject to change for the 2020 season, pending new information to be released by IRCC.