The details of the Parent and Grandparent sponsorship program for 2021 have just been released and they are a bit of a departure from how the program has operated for the past few years.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is not taking any new applications from interested sponsors for this program year. Instead, an additional 30,000 invitations to sponsor will be issued to those interested sponsors who entered the 2020 program last Fall, but who were not chosen to sponsor during the lottery that was held in January 2021.
The lottery draw for the Parent and Grandparent sponsorship program for 2021 will take place during the week of September 20, 2021. Invitations will be sent to those chosen during the two-week period following. After that, the process will very closely resemble what happened in 2020.
Although the normal quota for the program is 20,000 sponsorships per year, COVID-related delays from last year meant that only 10,000 sponsors were invited for the 2020 program. To make up the difference, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will allow 30,000 sponsors in 2021. Keep in mind that there have already been 10,000 sponsors removed from the pool because they were invited to sponsor in 2020. This means that you have a much higher likelihood than normal of being invited to sponsor your parents or grandparents this year. This is good news for those of you who entered the pool in 2020.
2 Steps to Sponsor Your Parents or Grandparents to Canada.
1. Receive an invitation from IRCC to become a sponsor.
Your invitation is likely to come in the form of an email, so ensure that you are checking the email that you used when you entered your details into the webform in Fall 2020. It’s also important to ensure that you check your junk mail folders because emails from IRCC can often land in SPAM. Once your invitation to sponsor your parents has been issued, you will need to start work on the application for Permanent Residence quickly if you hope to submit the application within the timeframe allowed.
3. Submit an application for Permanent Residence
Starting from the date that you receive your invitation to sponsor, you will have 60 days to submit the completed application for Permanent Residence for your parent or grandparent. This time will disappear quickly, so it’s important to act immediately. Because you have to be invited to participate in this program, the opportunity to sponsor your parent or grandparent might be a once-in-a-lifetime chance. If you are late with submitting the PR application or if you make a mistake in preparing it – you may never get the chance to sponsor them again.
Who is eligible to sponsor their parent or grandparent to Canada?
The opportunity to sponsor a parent or grandparent is open to Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents who are at least 18 years old, living in Canada and earn an income that meets the required levels. Sponsors must agree to be financially responsible for their parents or grandparent for 20 years from the date they take up residence in Canada.
What is the minimum necessary income to sponsor your parents or grandparents to Canada?
In order to be eligible to sponsor your parents or grandparents, you have to show that you have sufficient funds to take care of them. The total amount of funds required depends on the number of people in your family. To calculate your family size, you need to take into account all of the following:
- your spouse or common-law partner
- any children who are less than 22 years old and not married or common law
- anyone else you have sponsored for immigration purposes
- the parents or grandparents you want to sponsor, and their children less than age 22
The total of all these people becomes your family size for immigration sponsorship purposes.
Parent & Grandparent Sponsorship to Canada Income Requirements 2020
Because IRCC will be utilizing your 2020 income for this application, it’s very important that you have filed your 2020 tax return.
Who can be included in a parent or grandparent sponsorship application?
The family members that can be included on a parent and grandparent sponsorship application include biological and adoptive parents or grandparents, as well as step-parents where separation or divorce have occurred. Siblings and half-siblings are eligible as long as they are dependent children under the age of 22. Note that you cannot sponsor your in-laws, but you can be included as a co-signer on your spouse or common-law partner’s application to be the sponsor.
Should you hire a representative for your sponsorship application?
When considering whether or not you should hire a representative for an immigration application, the first point of concern should always be the question, “What are my options to apply again in the event that I do something wrong with this application process?” The second question should be, “If Immigration Canada makes a mistake with my application, do I understand the program and the process enough to challenge their decision?”
Anytime there is an immigration process that involves an invitation to apply, it should be viewed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you are invited to sponsor your parent or grandparent, and somehow mess up the application, there is no guarantee that you will ever be invited again in the future. In our opinion, it is always a good idea to work with a representative in this kind of situation.
What if you aren’t selected to sponsor your parent or grandparent?
If you aren’t selected to sponsor your parent or grandparent for the 2021 program year, there is always hope that you may be selected in 2022 or a subsequent year. In the meantime, a super visa will enable your parent or grandparent to spend time with you in Canada for up to 2 years at a time, while you wait for an invitation to participate in the PR sponsorship process.
Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship FAQ
What is the benefit for sponsored parents in Canada?
The main benefits of sponsoring parents for Permanent Residence in Canada are healthcare coverage and the ability to work. Although parents and grandparents are able to spend long periods of time in Canada using a Super Visa, the cost of private medical coverage is often very expensive, and the coverage limitations of $100,000 CAD mean that the family is ultimately responsible in the event of any sort of medical emergency that exceeds that amount.
Can I sponsor my step-father to Canada?
Step-parents who are married to your biological (or adoptive) parent can be included on the application for Permanent Residence as the accompanying dependent of your biological parent.
Can I sponsor just one parent to Canada?
If your parents are married or common law, then both of them will be included on the application for Permanent Residence, and both will be included in your family size to determine the minimum necessary income required to sponsor. However, once the Permanent Residence visa has been issued, if only one of your parents wants to come to Canada to live as a Permanent Resident, the other parent can remain in their home country. No one will force them to move to Canada against their will.
Can my sibling be included when I sponsor my parents to Canada?
Any children of your parents must be included on the application for Permanent Residence and in the calculation of family size if they meet the definition of a dependent child. This means that they are less than age 22 at the time the application for Permanent Residence is submitted and they don’t have a spouse or common-law partner. Children who are over the age of 22 will only qualify if they cannot support themselves financially because of a disability.
What are my responsibilities when I sponsor my parents or Grandparents to Canada?
When you apply to sponsor your parents to Canada, you are making an agreement with the Canadian government that you will support your parents or grandparents financially for 20 years from the date that they become Permanent Residents of Canada. The sponsored persons will not be able to collect social services (welfare) in Canada during that time. If they do, the government will collect the funds paid out from the original sponsors.
The Way Immigration has successfully represented Parent and Grandparent sponsorship applications for more than a decade. We would be pleased to assist you with sponsoring your family so that you can be assured your application will have the greatest chances for success in the event that you are chosen as a sponsor for 2021.