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 residents.
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 2015.
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
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 application.
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
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
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.
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