Canada has one of the world’s largest and most accessible immigration programs, offering numerous opportunities for people worldwide. Every year, the country welcomes people under economic immigration, family reunification, and humanitarian considerations. In 2021, IRCC exceeded its target by welcoming more than 405,000 immigrants into Canada. In 2022, this target increased to 431,645 new permanent residents (PRs). In 2023, Canada aims to welcome an additional 447,055 immigrants, and in 2024 another 451,000.

Canada’s immigration authorities under the IRCC are tasked to ensure Canadians; safety and socio-economic prosperity while also managing the various immigration programs. The Parents and Grandparents Super Visa Program is currently one of Canada’s most popular immigration streams. It allows parents and grandparents of Canadians multiple entries into Canada two years at a time over ten years.

Overview About Canada’s Parents and Grandparents Program and the Super Visa Immigration Program

Canada’s super visa program is a great option for Canadians who wish to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada. However, unlike the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP), this is a temporary visa program, which may grant a pathway to permanent residency.

The key advantage of the Super Visa Program is that it’s a multi-entry visitor visa program with a ten-year validity. Holders get up to two years of entry at a time without renewal requirements for a period up to 10 years

Canadian citizens and permanent residents also can sponsor their parents and grandparents for permanent residence in Canada under the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP). The Program opens once a year and accepts up to 30,000 applicants annually, as seen in the 2021 application window.

Current State of the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) in Canada

The growing number of people interested in the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) reveal how Canadians want to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada. Over the past two years, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) received close to 200,000 submissions. These were submissions from Canadian citizens and permanent residents expressing their desire to sponsor their parents and grandparents in 2020 and 2021.

According to the IRCC, more than 35,000 PGP applications are still under consideration and awaiting approval. This only represents a portion of the families who want the opportunity to apply and re-unite with their families to Canada. But even as the interest in PGP continues to peak, IRCC can only allow in people as per the number of spots available under Canada’s Immigration levels plans.

During the PGP 2021 applications, IRCC conducted a lottery program between September and October to determine the eligibility of applicants. Up to 30,000 Canadian citizens and permanent residents were given the green light to submit their sponsorship applications. Though there are criticisms about the fairness of the PGP lottery system, the Canadian immigration department asserts its belief in this new system, terming it as fair to all.

The numbers in 2020 were a little slow due to the pandemic and only returned to normalcy in 2021. This period witnessed a reduced number of new permanent residents in Canada under the PGP. The Canadian Immigration department is yet to declare when it will start accepting applications for the 2022 Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP). However, IRCC affirmed its commitment to the PGP program and that they’re still processing parents’; and grandparents’; applications received during the 2021 intake.

Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) Application

When the IRCC announces the PGP application for 2022, sponsors will be required to meet the eligibility criteria. First, they’ll have to demonstrate they meet the minimum necessary income level for the PGP. Here, the IRCC allows co-signing applications for married partners to combine their income as part of their application. This proof of income data must be provided to the IRCC via the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). To qualify for the PGP, sponsors must also;

  • Have Canadian citizenship or be permanent residents of Canada
  • Be 18 years old
  • Sign a sponsorship agreement with the sponsor that commits them to provide financial support.
  • Fulfill all the requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Here are a few other factors sponsors need to know about the PGP

The Program costs $1,050

The sponsor will have to pay up to $1,050 to sponsor a parent or grandparent to Canada. Processing this application may take up to two years.

Sponsors in Quebec Have Additional Requirements

All sponsors living in Quebec must meet that province’s immigration sponsorship requirements after being approved as a sponsor by IRCC. These requirements include;

  • Provide financial support for sponsored family members for 20 years after they become permanent residents
  • Commit to repay provincial social assistance given to the sponsored family members during that time

Past Criminal Activity or Serious Financial Troubles may disqualify you from becoming a sponsor.

Being a sponsor means you accept responsibility for your parents and grandparents. A criminal record and financial soundness are key aspects of the sponsorship agreements under the PGP. For instance, you can’t sponsor if;

  • You’re in prison
  • You have loan arrears with the immigration department
  • You have failed in personal obligations like child support
  • You’re a beneficiary of a social assistance program for a reason other than a disability;
  • You have been convicted for violent crimes or sexual offences inside or outside Canada

You can’t Sponsor your Spouse’s Parents or Grandparents

The PGP prohibits the applicant from sponsoring their spouse’s parents or grandparents. Instead, you can only act as a co-signer on your spouse’s application to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada. In simple terms, the PGP is restricted to the applicant’s parents and grandparents related by blood, or at least adoption.

Also, the sponsor cannot include their siblings in the application unless they qualify as dependent children of the sponsor.

IRCC Will Only Notify the Sponsor When the Processing Begins

PGP application processing will take longer than the super visa. The applicants will be notified when the IRCC begins to process the application. IRCC offers sponsors two options upon the decline of the PGP sponsorship.

  • You can decide to have them keep processing the application for permanent residence for your family members.
  • The other option is to withdraw the application. The applicant will have all the fees back, minus the $75 sponsorship fee.

Sponsored Candidates Can Only be Assessed Once the Sponsor Has Been Deemed Eligible

The Canadian immigration officials are only interested in the applicant during the initial stages of the PGP application. But after approval of the sponsor, they’ll turn to the beneficiaries of the Program to determine their eligibility. The parents or grandparents being sponsored must produce the following documents;

  • A medical exam reports
  • Police report
  • Biometrics- The Immigration department will send letters to the program beneficiaries requesting them to provide biometric information at the closest collection point.

Those unsuccessful in the PGP application process are eligible for the Parents and Grandparents Super Visa Program.

Comparisons Between the PGP and Super Visa Programs

Both the PGP and super visa applications allow parents and grandparents to visit their Canadian families. However, the IRCC is now encouraging prospective sponsors to consider applying for a Super Visa program. The Super Visa’s multiple renewal times means the beneficiaries can visit in future without renewing their visas. Besides, IRCC accepts Super Visa applications all year round without any caps or country quotas.

Super Visa’s open application devoid of lottery systems also makes it a far more realistic option for those who want to invite their parents and grandparents to Canada in 2022. The Program provides more assurance and longevity of stay than the regular visas. Processing a super visa application also takes less time than a PGP application. It will only take approximately 100 days to get a super visa, while a PGP application can take 32 months.

Having a super visa will allow the beneficiaries to stay in Canada while undertaking a PGP application. To qualify for a super visa, applicants must be the parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Other factors such as conditions for admissibility to Canada are also applicable. Usually, the Visa officers at IRCC will consider several factors provided by the immigration laws before deciding whether an applicant is admissible. Key considerations during the Canada super visa application include;

  • The applicant’s purpose for the visit
  • The applicant’s; family and financial situation
  • The applicant’s tie to their home country;
  • The applicant’s’; invitation from Canadian hosts.
  • The applicant’s proof of financial support from their host. This must meet the minimum income household.
  • Proof of Canadian medical coverage insurance (for at least 1 year).
  • Complete medical examination requirements.

The Takeaway

The Canadian immigration landscape for 2022 looks promising and better than two years ago. With improved immigration targets and a streamlined immigration process in place, Canada is fast becoming one of the countries with the highest immigrant populations. The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is expected to open doors for the 2022 PGP applications for eligible sponsors to try their luck. If you want to bring your parents or grandparents to Canada for up to two years without renewing their status, then a Super Visa might be the right path for you.


Resources

Immigrate to Canada

Super visa (for parents and grandparents): How to apply


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