Who is it for?
Non-Canadian parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
How does it work?
During a defined period, the government of Canada allows potential sponsors to submit an Interest to Sponsor form online. After this period ends, the government invited a selection of these potential sponsors to submit an application to sponsor their foreign parent(s) or grandparent(s) for immigration to Canada. Not all potential sponsors who submitted the form are subsequently invited to apply, though they may be invited at a later stage.
What’s the advantage?
Most countries do not allow the parents and grandparents of immigrants and naturalized citizens to themselves become immigrants. The Parent and Grandparent Program is therefore a rare opportunity for this level of family-based immigration to occur through the legal channels. Sponsored parents and grandparents may enjoy all the rights and privileges associated with Canadian permanent resident status, including the right to work in any location in Canada, and access to publicly-funded health care and other benefits.
How much does it cost?
Fees amount to $1,050 per sponsored person, divided into a sponsorship fee ($75), principal applicant processing fee ($475) and right of permanent residence fee ($500).
How long does it take?
IRCC is processing applications received after January 1, 2017 in 20 to 24 months.
The number of applications accepted annually is typically fewer than the number of Interest to Sponsor forms submitted, resulting in disappointment for some. However, it should be noted that Canada also offers the Super Visa – a unique visitor visa for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. There is no annual quota of Super Visas, so an application may be submitted at any time, with processing times measured in weeks and months, rather than years. However, it should be noted that Super Visa holders are not authorized to work in Canada and must have a private medical insurance policy.
Overview: Canada’s Parent and Grandparents Program (PGP)
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, or PGP.
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 21,000 new permanent residents are to be admitted annually as permanent residents through the PGP.
Parent and Grandparent Program eligibility
To be eligible in 2019, both the sponsor and the person(s) being sponsored must have met certain eligibility requirements. These eligibility requirements are subject to amendment for the 2020 season, although the vast majority of criteria are expected to remain the same.
- 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 IRCC.
Changes from 2019: now random, not first-come, first-served
In 2019, 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.
Prepare everything you need to fill out the interest to sponsor form
Before you start:
- get all the information you need to fill out the interest to sponsor form
- make an electronic copy of your passport or proof of status in Canada
You (the person who wants to sponsor their parents and grandparents), must enter:
- your family name(s) (also known as last name or surname) and your given name(s) (also known as first name and middle name)
- Write your name exactly as it is written on the passport or proof of status in Canada document you submit.
- your date of birth
- the country or territory where you were born
- your main home address (where you live)
- You must live in Canada to sponsor.
- Make sure you fill out all the fields including your complete address.
- Include your street number, street name, apartment or unit number (if this applies), P.O. Box (if this applies), your province or territory, and postal code.
- For the street number and address, include the street type (street, boulevard, avenue, etc.). For example, follow this format: 123 John St. or 123 John Ave. or 123 John Pl.
- your email address that you want us to use to contact you
- the number of people in your immediate family (you, your spouse or partner and dependent children)
- the total number of people you already sponsored and are still financially responsible for
- the total number of people you want to sponsor, including their dependants (spouse or partner, and children)
- names and dates of birth for the parents or grandparents you want to sponsor
- You won’t need to include this information for their dependent children, or a spouse/partner that won’t come to Canada with them.
- your passport or proof of status in Canada document number
- Find out where to find that number.
- You should enter the number of the same document you’ll submit with your application if you’re invited to apply. If the document number doesn’t match, we’ll return your application.
- your electronic signature (you must type in your name)
Minimum income requirements
The minimum income requirements for the 2020 season aren’t final yet. We’ll post them here as soon as we have updated information.