Canadian citizens and permanent residents may bring their parents and grandparents to Canada through one of two popular programs: Family Class sponsorship and/or the Super Visa program.
Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP)
Canadian citizens and permanent residents who want to apply as sponsors through this program are required to first complete an online form on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website to indicate their interest in applying to sponsor their parent(s) or grandparent(s). The online form for this year’s application cycle went live on January 2, 2018, and was available until February 1, 2018.
Potential sponsors should know that submitting the Interest to Sponsor form is not an application, but an important first step for those who want to participate in the program.
IRCC aims is to accept 17,000 complete applications through the PGP for processing in 2018.
Candidates who are invited to apply have 60 days from the date of invitation to submit a complete application and all the supporting documents.
About the PGP
The Family Class sponsorship program includes a stream for parent(s) and grandparent(s) of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Successful parent(s) and grandparent(s) under this program will receive Canadian permanent residence and may eventually be able to apply for Canadian citizenship. To be eligible for Family Class sponsorship, the sponsor in Canada must meet the following requirements:
- The sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- The sponsor must be 18 years of age or older;
- The sponsor must exceed the minimum necessary income level for this program (if married or in a common-law relationship, the income of both can be included);
- The sponsor must sign an undertaking to repay any provincial social assistance benefits paid to the sponsor and accompanying family member(s), if any, for a period of 20 years, if necessary; and
- If the sponsor resides in Quebec, an additional “undertaking” must be signed.
Sponsors will have to prove that they meet the minimum income requirements by submitting notices of assessment issued by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) in support of their sponsorship and they must also demonstrate they have met the minimum necessary income level for three consecutive years.
Super Visa Program
The Super Visa Program allows parents and grandparents to come to Canada as long-term visitors. Successful applicants receive multiple-entry visitor visas that may last for up to 10 years. Unlike standard visitor visas, a Super Visa allows visa holders to stay in Canada for up to two years on initial entry to Canada.
To be eligible for the Super Visa program, parents and grandparents must meet standard visitor visa requirements. In addition, they must:
- Provide a written commitment of financial support from their child or grandchild in Canada;
- Show that the sponsor in Canada meets minimum income requirements;
- Prove they have purchased Canadian health insurance for at least one year; and
- Complete an immigration medical examination.
Depending on the nationality, parents/grandparents may require a Temporary Resident Visa in addition to the Super Visa.