Canada’s parents and grandparents sponsorship program will reopen on January 28

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), has announced that it will reopen for expressions of interest to sponsor parents and grandparents on January28, 2019.

The Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) is a high demand program in Canada which allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents over the age of 18 to sponsor their parents and/or grandparents.

This year, IRCC announced it will increase the number of PGP applications for sponsorship from 17,000 in 2018 to 20,000 in 2019. In particular, this year’s program has one major innovation compared to previous years, that is, instead of the controversial randomized lottery selection that IRCC introduced last year and later cancelled, this year’s application will be processed on a first-come first-serve approach. Invitations to apply will be issued to the first 20,000 eligible sponsors who submit an interest to Sponsor form and meet the program’s requirements.

Many had criticized the randomized approach as unfair to those who had been waiting for years to sponsor their parents and/or grandparents. The new approach would streamline access to the program and improve client experience since “family reunification is a top immigration priority for the Government of Canada,” the Government of Canada has stated.

Sponsors through the PGP program, are required to first complete an online expression of interest form on the IRCC website, which will be made available online on January 28, 2019, according to IRCC. Up to 20,000 candidates who receive invitations to apply have 60 days from the date of invitations to submit applications and all supporting documents.

PGP Requirements

The sponsors in Canada must meet the minimum income requirements and must sign an undertaking to provide financial support and basic requirements for the family members (parents, grandparents and their accompanying dependents) being sponsored for a period of 20 years. If the sponsor resides in Quebec, an additional “undertaking” must be signed with the province.

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