Are you ready to sponsor your parent or grandparent in 2015?
Canada has a long tradition of promoting family reunification in
Canada. In fact, it is an express objective of the
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to see that all
families are reunited in Canada.
Tens of thousands of sponsored family members are admitted to
come to Canada every year as permanent residents. While the
majority of family members admitted are spouses and partners, the
second largest category of admitted family members are the parents
and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent
In the fall of 2011 the Parent and Grandparent (PGP) family
sponsorship program was temporarily put on hold to allow
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to re-evaluate the program
and to process the significant backlog of applications that had
In 2013 CIC announced that the temporary hold on the PGP program
was going to be lifted. The PGP program was set to be
reopened on January 2, 2014 but with a significant number of new
changes introduced. The most important change announced was
that CIC would only accept a maximum of 5,000 new applications for
processing in 2014. Furthermore, to ensure that sponsored
parents and grandparents would be better cared for after arriving
in Canada, CIC also announced that it was making a 30 percent
increase to the minimum income levels that sponsors would need to
demonstrate in order to successfully sponsor a parent or a
grandparent to Canada. As a result of these program changes,
sponsors are now required to provide their Canada Revenue Agency
tax return notice of assessments for the past three years as proof
of their income.
As expected, there was no shortage of new applications when the
PGP program was reopened for business on January 2, 2014. The
5,000 application cap limit was reached in less than one
month. By February 3, 2014, CIC had released a public
statement announcing that the cap had been reached and that the PGP
program would be reopened to new applications in January
With the PGP program set to reopen for new applications in
January 2015, prospective sponsors and applicants alike should
begin preparing their applications now or seeking advice from a
third-party representative if they have not already done so.
While the exact date the program is reopening is not yet known
there are a number of steps and factors to keep in mind that will
improve your chances of making a successful application for 2015,
including the following:
To improve your chances of being placed into the queue for
processing in 2015 PGP applicants should ensure that their complete
applications are received at the CIC office on the same day that
the program is formally reopened.
A complete application will include the appropriate fee
payment, a complete set of validated forms with original signatures
and all of the supporting documents required to accompany the
Ensure that the application forms you complete are the latest
versions available on the CIC website. An application package
with outdated forms is not considered a complete application
package that will be placed in the queue for processing.
The application fees for your application package may not be
processed for months after its submission. If you are paying
the applications fees using your credit card, ensure that your
credit card is valid for at least 9 months from the date of the
submission of your application.
Ensure that the sponsor provides the past three years of his or
her Canada Revenue Agency tax return notice of assessments to be
included in the complete application package.
The cap for the PGP program is sure to fill up very quickly
again for 2015 as it did this year. With January 2015 being
only a few months away, you should not delay any further in making
your preparations to file your application.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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