Permanent residents or Canadian citizens may wish to bring their foreign parents or grandparents to Canada and settle them in this country. Known as the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) it is one of the most popular programs available for families to be reunited in this country. This facility is available under the Family Class Sponsorship or the Super Visa program.
Join your children and grandchildren in this beautiful country!
The basic requirement for sponsorship under the PGP is that they must be classified as parents or grandparents within the Family Class guidelines. The sponsor and the sponsored have to meet the eligibility criteria before their application is considered. Criminal, medical and background checks have to be carried out on candidates applying for sponsorship.
Sponsor criteria: As a sponsor, you have to fulfill certain criteria. These include proof that you are:
- A permanent resident or citizen of Canada
- 18 years of age or older
Sponsors must financially support the parent/grandparent and their dependents. Hence you have to meet the specified income-requirements. You and the sponsored person have to sign an agreement that you will support them financially and they will also make every effort to support themselves. This becomes valid from the time they get permanent resident-ship and may last about 20 years based on their age and relationship to you.
Only income-tax returns for the past three years, consecutively are to be used as proof of income. No other documents will be accepted as evidence by the IRCC.
You are deemed ineligible to sponsor if you:
- Previously failed to provide financial support to another relative
- Defaulted on child support, alimony, etc
- Defaulted on a court order
- Have received financial assistance from the government for reasons other than disability
- Have received conviction for a violent or sexual offense (this could be considered based on the circumstances, nature of offense etc)
- Are currently in prison
- Have defaulted on immigration loans or conditions
- Are under bankruptcy
The sponsored person has to fulfill the general criteria determined under the immigration rules in addition to providing proof of any claims made in the application.
The Application Process
The first step is to submit an on-line “Interest To Sponsor” form. This is not an application. You need to keep track of whether these forms are open or closed status, because this can change from time to time.
The IRCC will choose 10,000 randomly out of this group and invite them to apply for sponsorship.
You need to apply for sponsorship and simultaneously, the sponsored person has to apply for permanent resident-ship. Both these applications have to be filled out and sent at the same time to the specified location.
To make the application, you need to download the application package available on-line to you. The application form and guidelines for filling it are both available. The form has to be filled out very carefully and correctly. Any mistakes, omissions, misrepresentations etc could result in refusal. This also means that you lose the processing-fees. Later applications in your name may be scrutinized even more carefully by the IRCC.
All supporting documents required in the document checklist have to be provided.
Avoid embellishments and misrepresentations of facts. All family-members have to be identified. Each one of these has to undergo criminal background, security and medical checks.
Application fees are to be paid on-line only. Proof of payment has to be enclosed with the application.
Applications have to be submitted within 90 days of receiving the invitation.
All changes in marital or financial status have to be conveyed to the concerned authorities.
How We Can Assist
Many applicants wonder whether they really need an immigration lawyer’s assistance to sponsor a parent or grandparent. It’s true that most of the information is available on the government website. Immigration consultants may also be helpful.
However, the process is extremely complex. The paperwork has to be combed meticulously for inconsistencies, omissions, gaps, etc and all supporting documents have to be thoroughly vetted before submission.
The PGP category is generally considered low priority and processing times can take up to a few years. The program has undergone several changes since it was first introduced. Currently, the first-come first-served system has been replaced under the IRCC (Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada) guidelines.
It’s important to keep abreast of the latest developments to avoid refusal and waste of time and processing fees. Most importantly, it’s vital to understand the eligibility criteria before you begin the process.
Our expert and knowledgeable lawyers can advise you based on their experience of handling such cases. For instance, we can advise you to avail of a Super Visa while your sponsorship is being processed. In general, visas are not granted to those applying for permanent resident-ship or are being sponsored. However, the Super Visa category is an exception to this rule.
Successful parents and grandparents under the Family Class Sponsorship program will receive permanent residence in Canada. They may be eligible to apply for citizenship after 4 years. Those who opt for the Super Visa program receive multi entry visitor visas for up to 10 years, but which need to be renewed every two years. In the unfortunate event that your sponsorship is refused, we can help you make an appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division. Only a certified, authorized immigration lawyer can undertake this. Hence, it’s wise to engage the services of such a professional right from the beginning. You can benefit from our in-depth understanding of the process.