Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship

Are you a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident?
Do you want to sponsor your parent or grandparent to Canada?
At Bellissimo Immigration Law Group PC we can help!

Canadian citizens and permanent residents may sponsor their parent(s) or grandparent(s). Given that demand to sponsor parents and grandparents far exceed the number of spots, IRCC has been exploring various ways to manage the application process. With a try of “first-in, first served model” since 2020, IRCC has reverted to the form of the pool and lottery system used in 2018 and 2017, where they randomly select interested sponsors and provide them with invitations to apply.

The application processing system has similar elements to the Express Entry system. Canadian citizens and permanent residents who wish to sponsor their parents or grandparents are required to first complete an online form advising of their interest in making a sponsorship application. It requires basic personal information from potential sponsor(s) and applicant(s), such as name, address, date of birth, etc. Once the information has been submitted, the interested sponsor will receive a confirmation number. The government then invites a select number of potential sponsors to submit completed application. Only those candidates who have been chosen will be invited to apply to the parent and grandparent sponsorship category. Potential sponsors must submit their completed application within 60 days of the date of the invitation.

Prior to the COVID pandemic, IRCC released details on the intake of parents and grandparents program at the beginning of each year and the interest form is only made available for a limited period of time. Since the pandemic, however, IRCC has provided updates and held the lotteries in the fall of each year.

Invitations to apply for 2022 were sent out between 12 – 20 October 2022. With the goal of receiving 15,000 complete applications, IRCC invited 23,100 potential sponsors from the remaining pool of over 150,000 potential sponsors who submitted an interest to sponsor form in 2020. No new interest form was accepted into the pool. Should you require assistance with this application, please contact our office immediately.

Who can sponsor?

Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered in Canada as an Indian under the Indian Act may sponsor their parent and/or grandparents if they are 18 years of age and residing in Canada. Temporary residents, including individuals with applications for permanent residence in process, are not eligible to sponsor their family members.

Sponsors cannot be subject to a removal order, or be in prison, jail or a penitentiary, and cannot be in receipt of social assistance (excluding disability). Sponsors must also have no outstanding sponsorship undertakings, immigration or court order debts, or undischarged bankruptcies. Individuals who were convicted of attempting, threatening to commit or committing a violent offence, of any offence against a family member, or of any sexual offence (either inside or outside of Canada) may not be eligible to act as a sponsor.

Finally, individuals hoping to sponsor their parents and/or grandparents must meet specific income requirements. These vary depending on the number of individuals the sponsor is financially responsible for (ie: including their spouse and dependent children). Once the sponsor is invited to apply, proof of income must be provided for each of the 3 taxation years preceding the date of the application, through submission of Notices of Assessment for the sponsor from the Canada Revenue Agency. Sponsors may have a co-signer, such as their spouse or common law partner, to ensure that they meet the financial requirements. The co-signers proof of income must be submitted for the preceding three taxation years before the application. Co-signers must meet the same eligibility requirements as the sponsor. Siblings cannot be co-sponsors. Certain revenues (for instance: child tax benefits or unemployment insurance) cannot be included in the income calculations.  Please note that for the 2020 and 2021 tax years, you are allowed regular Employment Insurance benefits and temporary COVID-19 benefits, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, to be included in your income calculations.

Undertaking and Sponsorship Agreement

As part of the sponsorship application, sponsors (and co-signers, where applicable) must include a signed undertaking and sponsorship agreement. The undertaking commits the sponsor to providing financial support for the basic needs of the individual being sponsored for a period of 20 years. Sponsors are also committing to repaying any provincial social assistance received by the sponsored parent and/or grandparent during the period of time of the undertaking. The undertaking is binding regardless of a change in the sponsors situation or in their relationship with the applicant.

Please note that sponsors residing in Quebec are subject to different immigration sponsorship requirements. These sponsors are first assessed (and must be approved) by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and then by the province of Quebec. An undertaking is also specifically signed with the province of Quebec.

Who can apply?

Parents or grandparents who are related to the sponsor by blood or adoption may apply for permanent residence as a member of the family class. Spouses of the parent or grandparent who are not related by blood or birth (but were introduced following divorce, as an example) may also be sponsored. Finally, dependent children of the parent or grandparent may be included on the application if they qualify. For reference, children are considered ‘dependant’ if they are under the age of 22 and do not have a spouse or common law partner. Children over the age of 22 may still qualify as dependants if they are financially dependent on a parent due to a physical or mental condition and they have depended on their parent for financial support since before the age of 22.

Perhaps most importantly, individuals who apply for permanent residence as a member of the family class must meet all eligibility requirements, including those related to medical and criminal inadmissibility

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