October 5, 2021

Family Class Sponsorship: Program Invitations and 2021 Application Information

Posted by Legal Team - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Family reunification is one of the core objectives of the Canadian immigration system as set out in s. 3 of the governing legislation, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has several programs that support the achievement of this objective. This includes the parental sponsorship program, which allows permanent residents and Canadian citizens to sponsor their parents and grandparents to Canada. Sponsors must demonstrate (in part) that they reside in Canada, are at least 18 years old, and have sufficient funds to support the sponsored person(s).[1]

The application process is split into two stages. The first stage requires the submission of an interest to sponsor form to IRCC. Availability of this form was limited in 2020 to the period between 13 October 2020 and 3 November 2020. Those individuals who were able to submit the form may then be moved forward to the second stage of the process, wherein they are asked to submit a complete sponsorship application. Permanent residence will be issued to parents and grandparents following review and assessment of applications submitted in this second stage.[2]

On 23 September 2021, IRCC announced that 30, 000 interested sponsors will be moved to the second stage of the parental and grandparent sponsorship application process this year. This is the largest single intake to occur in the program. Invitations were sent out shortly after this announcement by email. Additionally, and given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impact, IRCC has adjusted the income requirement to be based on the minimum necessary income (MNI) (rather than the MNI plus 30%) and have expanded sponsor’s income to include “employment insurance benefits and temporary Covid-19 benefits, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit”.[3] Sponsors invited to apply in 2021 will have 60 days to submit their complete application for sponsorship through the IRCC Permanent Residence Portal.

Note that the interest to sponsor form will not be reopened in 2021. Instead, IRCC has announced that it will invite additional applicants from the 2020 pool in order to meet the goal of accepting 30,000 new applications. [4] It is unclear at this time whether this means that an additional 30, 000 applicants will be invited from the existed pool of applicants or if this target has been met based on the number of applicants invited to apply in 2021.

If you have been invited to apply in the 2021 program and require assistance with your application, please contact our office. Similarly, if you were not invited to apply and/or would like to submit an application for a super visa in order to support your parent or grandparent in joining you in Canada, please contact us today!