Parents and Grandparents Program
To help unite families, Canada has a Parents and Grandparents (PGP) Program, which allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents for Canadian permanent residency, if they are able to financially support them.
Both sponsors and family members must meet specific eligibility criteria in order for parents and grandparents to be considered for their permanent residence application under this system.
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Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident Sponsor Eligibility
The Start-Up Visa Program (SUV) is a business immigration program designed to help immigrant entrepreneurs immigrate to Canada. Foreign entrepreneurs who want to establish a start-up business and immigrate to Canada can use their business idea to support their permanent residence application.
In addition to being a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act, a sponsor needs to be at least 18 years old and meet financial income requirements. A sponsor needs to demonstrate an ability to support parents or grandparents who come to Canada, taking into account the number of family members being sponsored.
When sponsoring parents or grandparents, a commitment to financially supporting them for a specified duration is required. This is known as the Length of Undertaking. It starts when your sponsored person is granted permanent residence. The time you have to commit to is based on the age of the sponsored person, where the sponsor resides, and the relationship. The aim of this is to show that sponsored persons won’t need social assistance benefits, and that the sponsor will be able to repay any social assistance benefits paid to the parents or grandparents. Usually, the Length of Undertaking period is 20 years.
Potential sponsors who are in jail, declared bankruptcy, failed to pay an immigration loan, performance bond, or alimony or child support payments, may be ineligible.
Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) and Eligibility
Sponsors must meet a Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) requirement to be eligible to sponsor their parents or grandparents. Your specific requirement for income will vary, based on factors such as the number of family members you are currently supporting in Canada, the number of family members that you wish to sponsor, and whether you live in Quebec or the rest of Canada.
Minimum Necessary Income (MNI)
To sponsor parents and grandparents in 2023, you must meet or exceed the Minimum Necessary Income Level (MNI). This income threshold is in place to ensure that you have the financial capacity to support the family members you intend to bring to Canada.
For sponsors in all areas of Canada outside of Quebec, the MNI is calculated by adding 30% to the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO). You must provide evidence of sufficient income to support all individuals you will be financially responsible for, including yourself. If you have a co-signer, your co-signer will have to do the same.
If you are in Quebec, your income is assessed by the Quebec ministry responsible for immigration. To qualify, you must demonstrate income over the Quebec minimum necessary income levels over the preceding 12 months.
If you receive an invitation to apply to sponsor your parents or grandparents, you’ll need to provide proof that you meet the income requirements for each of the three tax years preceding your application. For example, for the 2022 application process, your income for 2021, 2020, and 2019 will be assessed.
You and your co-signer, if applicable, must submit three Notices of Assessment (NOA) or equivalent documents for the three taxation years immediately before the sponsorship application date. You cannot combine proof of income, where one party is not able to provide an NOA for all three years. For example, if you have NOAs for only two years, you are ineligible, even if your co-signer has NOAs for all three of the required years.
Current Minimum Income Amounts
To find the current minimum income requirements for sponsors residing outside Quebec, you can refer to the Government of Canada IRCC website. Special considerations have been made for the 2020 and 2021 tax years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where sponsors are required to meet the minimum necessary income without the additional 30% requirement.
Sponsors in Quebec can find the minimum income amounts on the Government of Quebec webpage.
Family class sponsors can include the following benefits in their income calculations for the 2020 and 2021 tax years:
- Regular Employment Insurance benefits (not limited to special Employment Insurance benefits)
- Any Canada Emergency Response Benefits provided under the Employment Insurance Act or Canadian Emergency Response Benefit Act
- Other temporary COVID-19 related benefits, with the exception of those linked to provincial social assistance programs.
Sponsorship Application Process
Expression of Interest to Sponsor Form
An Interest to Sponsor Form needs to be completed. Oro Immigration helps with completing sponsor forms, and facilitates the entire process. The sponsor form needs to be submitted within set dates. The process and requirements change yearly, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
From the pool of submitted expressions of interest to sponsor, a limited number of sponsors are selected through a lottery. A lottery is held, because there is a limited quota of people to be allowed in through this program. As a result, eligible sponsors may not receive an Invitation to Apply.
Invitation to Apply
A PGP application must be completed and submitted within 60 days, including all required forms, documents, and fees. Required documents include:
- Proof of relationship (birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other official documents)
- Proof of financial capacity (tax documents, employment letters, and other proof of income documents)
- Police clearance certificates
- Medical examination results
Oro Immigration helps ensure your application and all needed documents are submitted according to requirements.
There are two applications to complete: the sponsor’s application, and the application by the parents or grandparents for permanent residence. Both sponsorship and permanent residence applications need to be completed online at the same time.
Parent or Grandparent’s Application
After receiving sponsorship approval, the sponsored parent or grandparent must complete their immigration application. This involves submitting required forms, documents, and undergoing medical exams and background checks.
After the application is submitted, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada assesses the documents to ensure compliance with program requirements. This process involves verifying the authenticity of the documents, conducting background checks, and evaluating the sponsor’s financial capability.
The sponsorship application and the parent or grandparent’s immigration application are processed separately.
Processing Time and Fee
Processing times for PGP applications can vary depending on factors such as the completeness of the application, the accuracy of the information provided, and the number of applications being processed. While efforts are made to expedite the processing of family reunification applications, potential sponsors should be prepared for some waiting time.
The Parents and Grandparents Program application process can take up to 39 months.
The sponsor must also pay a fee of $1,050 when the application is submitted.
Oro Immigration helps permanent residents sponsor parents and grandparents under this program, to help their family members obtain permanent residence in Canada, too. The Parents and Grandparents Program is one of the available routes for immigrants to obtain Canadian permanent residence and potentially become Canadian citizens in the future.
We can guide you on eligibility requirements, processes, and other elements to improve your chances of success.
What is the Parents and Grandparents Program?
The program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents for Canadian permanent residency.
Who is eligible to sponsor under this program?
Sponsors must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or registered as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act, and meet certain financial income requirements.
What are the financial requirements for sponsoring?
Sponsors must meet the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) and provide proof of income for the past three tax years.
How does the application process work?
It involves submitting an Expression of Interest to Sponsor form, going through a lottery system for selection, and completing both the sponsor’s and the sponsored person’s applications.