The Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program (the "Program"), which was recently announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada ("IRCC"), is now open until November 3, 2020. The Program represents an exciting opportunity for Canadians and permanent residents to apply to sponsor their parents or grandparents to come to Canada.
Who Can be Sponsored?
Eligible individuals can sponsor their own parents and grandparents who are related to them by blood or adoption. In the case of divorce or separation, parents' or grandparents' spouses or conjugal or common-law partners can also be included in the application. Brothers and sisters may also be included, if they qualify as dependent children. Those who are being sponsored must also be eligible to be sponsored, and not be inadmissible to Canada.
Submitting an Interest to Sponsor Form
Over a 3-week period, from October 13, 2020 12 p.m. ET to November 3, 2020 at 12 p.m. ET, eligible individuals who wish to sponsor their parents or grandparents to come to Canada can submit an "interest to sponsor" form online. There are accommodations available for people with disabilities to complete this form.
Eligible individuals will also need to upload a copy of their passport or another accepted document proving their status in Canada. IRCC has advised that the interest to sponsor form should not be submitted more than once, as it would not increase the chances of selection.
Selection for Application
Of those who submit the form within the timeline, IRCC will randomly select and invite 10,000 potential sponsors to apply to the Program. Potential sponsors who are invited to apply to the Program will be notified via email. However, updates will also be posted on the IRCC Twitter, Facebook, and online.
The selected potential sponsors will have 60 days to submit a completed application, which will be processed in early 2021. IRCC has specified that if a potential sponsor does not have a 2020 Notice of Assessment ("NOA") by the time of the deadline, IRCC will accept an application with the potential sponsor's NOAs from 2018 and 2019 tax years, if the potential sponsor submits the 2020 NOA as soon as it is available.
Further, IRCC has announced that a temporary public policy will reduce the income requirement for sponsorship in the 2020 tax year to the minimum necessary income, which is reduced from the normal requirement of the minimum necessary income plus 30%. This temporary public policy only applies to the 2020 tax year.
It should also be noted that a request for consideration of humanitarian and compassionate grounds that accompanies an application that was not accepted for processing will not be processed by IRCC.
What if you're Not Invited to Apply?
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that everyone who submits an interest to sponsor form will be invited to apply for the Program this year. However, IRCC has indicated that it will open a new intake of interest to sponsor forms in 2021 and will accept 30,000 additional new applications.
There are other ways to bring a parent or grandparent to Canada. Parents and grandparents may be eligible for a Super Visa which could allow them to stay in Canada for up to 2 years at a time. The Super Visa provides for multiple entries for a period of up to 10 years.
Where Can the Interest to Sponsor Form be Submitted?
The Interest to Sponsor form is accessible at the following link here.
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.