January 22, 2020

Parents and Grandparents Program 2020 Postponed Until Further Notice

Posted by Athena Portokalidis - Bellissimo Law Group PC

One of the most popular immigration programs offered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program.[1] This allows Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act who are at least 18 years old and live in Canada to sponsor their parents or grandparents for permanent residence in Canada.[2] Any person who wants to sponsor their parent or grandparent must also show that they have enough money to support the persons they want to sponsor, in addition to meeting certain other requirements.[3]

Eligible individuals who wish to sponsor their parents or grandparents must first fill out a form online: the interest to sponsor form. Sponsors are then invited to submit complete applications before the deadline indicated on their invitation.[4] However, the interest to sponsor form is only available for a limited time, and spots fill up quickly. For example, in January 2019, IRCC accepted 27,000 submissions of the online interest to sponsor form, on a first-in basis, before closing the program for the year.[5] The online interest to sponsor form opened at noon EST on 28 January 2019, and in only a few minutes after, was closed.[6]

While the interest to sponsor form usually opens in January of every year, IRCC has released a statement indicating that it will not be opening in January 2020, as they review the interest to sponsor form and make efforts “to provide the best client service possible” this year.[7] The aim is to “give all interested sponsors the same opportunity to submit an interest to sponsor form and a fair chance to be invited to apply.”[8] To date, IRCC has yet to provide any further updates, but it will be exciting to see how this popular program evolves in response to the demand.