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Have you always wanted to unite with your family and start anew since you moved to Canada?

It’s a great feeling to have your parents or grandparents stay with you while you work and settle in Canada. Thanks to the policy of the Canadian Government, you can sponsor your parents and grandparents so they can stay with you provided you’re a permanent resident or Canadian citizen aged 18 or above.

So, if you’ve been waiting for an opportunity for sponsoring your parents or grandparents to Canada, now is the time!

A Little Background

While the majority of people who immigrated to Canada as per the 2017 annual report to Parliament on Immigration did so for economic reasons, about 25% were sponsored by their family members. The Minister’s report to the Parliament reveals that approximately 84,000 immigrants were targeted by sponsorship programs in 2019, out of which 20% were either parents or grandparents of the permanent residents of Canada.

However, the opening of the sponsorship program in 2019 sparked an unexpectedly grand competition when more than 100,000 aspiring sponsors tried accessing the Interest to Sponsor form. As a result, the form opened and closed within minutes, leaving the users frustrated. While many could not even access the form, some were in the process of filling the form when the intake process suddenly ended. As soon as the system reached its cap, the program was shut down only to reopen in 2020.

Keeping the fierce competition in mind, the Government of Canada has decided to allow up to 21,000 parents and grandparents of its citizens in the country in 2020 under the Parents’ and Grandparents’ Immigration Program. These immigrants will be granted permanent residency in Canada upon landing.

So, how does this entire process work, and how can you make sure you end up in the list of successful sponsors for the 2020 program?

Let’s start with the basics!

The Eligibility Criteria for Sponsors for the Parents’ and Grandparents’ Immigration Program

According to the requirements of sections 130 to 134 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), the sponsor has to be a Canadian citizen or a permanent citizen of Canada. They also have to meet the following criteria:

  • Is at least 18 years of age or above
  • Lives in Canada
  • Is willing to sign an undertaking for 20 years, implying that from the day the applicant lands in the country until the next 20 years, the sponsor will take the financial responsibility of the parents or grandparents without taking social assistance to meet their expenses
  • Is not intended to be deported by the Canadian Government
  • Is not in prison, jail, reformatory, or penitentiary
  • Is not identified as an undischarged bankrupt
  • Has not been charged with an offence of sexual or physical abuse directed towards people they are close with
  • Has not taken any loan from the Federal Government of Canada
  • Has filed taxes in Canada
  • Has a notice of assessment for the last three consecutive years wherein the income is at least 30% above the poverty line. This will depend on the number of people they are sponsoring as well as their households and dependents.

For some of these requirements, consulting with a professional is necessary. In case the sponsor is not in a position to support the applicants financially, they may take help from their spouse or common-law partner by asking them to be a co-signer of the application. In this case, the income of the co-signer will be added to that of the sponsor to meet the financial requirements. Please note that the co-signer shall be equally responsible for the undertaking.

The Eligibility Criteria for Applicants for the Parents’ and Grandparents’ Immigration Program

For this immigration program, the applicant should be a foreign national and a parent or grandparent of the sponsor. While there are no age limitations, the applicant should meet certain criteria. Under sections 33 to 43 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), the following factors lay the ground for inadmissibility for an applicant:

  • If they bring security threats i.e. if they are a terrorist or a spy against Canada
  • If they are a violator of human or international rights
  • If they are a criminal who has committed an indictable offence
  • If they are involved in organized criminality by being a part of an organized crime group
  • If they have committed a serious crime in Canada and is jailed for more than six months
  • If they are suffering from a disease that could potentially cause harm to its citizens either on health or safety grounds
  • If they have financial problems and are planning on appealing for social assistance after landing in Canada
  • If they try to misinterpret their case by hiding a crucial document from the officer
  • If they don’t appear for the immigration examination

Who is a Dependent Family Member?

When a sponsor applies for their parents’ immigration, one of the parents is considered a principal applicant, while the other is called a dependent family member.
Dependent family members also include any children of your parents, who are unmarried and younger than 22 years. If your parent is married to another person, then your parent will be the principal applicant while the spouse will be considered a dependent family member.

How Does the Parents’ and Grandparents’ Immigration Program Work?

The Canadian Government will open the registrations for the Parents’ and Grandparents’ Immigration Program in January 2020. All applications will be submitted online and entertained on a first-come-first-serve basis. Make sure you log in and submit your application as soon as possible. Once it is accepted, the IRCC will ask you to submit your documents within 60 days. To stay on top of things, make sure you have all the essential forms and documents ready by the mid of March 2020.

That being said, the annual wave of frustration coming from aspiring sponsors is real! Considering the fact that the sponsorship program accepts new applications only once a year, you wouldn’t want to risk losing your chance. There certainly is more demand than available spots, and hence, it’s best to have the support of a professional who knows the ins and outs of the Parents’ and Grandparents’ Immigration Program to help you with the application process. An expert will be able to walk you through the entire process to ensure a seamless process and successful experience. With them having your back, you’ll easily be able to sponsor your parents or grandparents to Canada!

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