Canadian citizens and permanent residents may bring their parents and grandparents to Canada through one of two popular programs: the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) and/or the Super Visa program.
Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP)
Canada’s Family Class sponsorship program includes a stream dedicated to parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Parents and grandparents approved under this program receive Canadian permanent residence and may eventually be able to apply for Canadian citizenship.
To be eligible for Canada’s Parents and Grandparents Program, an individual must:
- Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or a registered Indian under the Canadian Indian Act;
- Be 18 years of age or older;
- Be residing in Canada (potential applicants will need to provide proof of status during the Interest to Sponsor phase);
- Exceed the minimum necessary income level for this program (if married or in a common-law relationship, the income of both the sponsor and spouse can be included) and provide proof of income to IRCC; and
- Sign an undertaking
- to financially support the sponsored for 20 years (starting when they become permanent residents); and
- to repay any social assistance benefits paid to the sponsored family members (if applicable) for a period of 20 years.
- If the sponsor resides in Quebec, an additional “undertaking” must be signed with the province of Quebec.
Applicants to the PGP will have to prove that they meet the minimum income requirements by submitting notices of assessment issued by the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) in support of their application.
In an effort to improve the application process, IRCC replaced its controversial randomized application process with a “first-in, first-served” model
IRCC has a quota of up to 20,000 complete applications through the PGP. Invitations to apply to the program will be issued based on the order Interest to Sponsor forms were received once the forms are reviewed for eligibility.
Completing the online Interest to Sponsor Form on IRCC’s website was the first step to the Parent and Grandparent sponsorship process.
PGP 4e Interest to Sponsor Form
Prior to submitting the Interest to Sponsor form, IRCC encourages potential sponsors to gather the required information, including proof of status in Canada.
Individuals completing the form will need to provide the following information:
- Family name(s) (also known as last name, surname) and their given name(s) (also known as first name).
- Date of birth
- Country or territory of birth
- Primary residential address in Canada
- Email address for communication with IRCC
- Number of family members
- Total number of persons the individual wishes to sponsor, including dependents (spouse/partner and children)
- Names of the parents and grandparents the individual want to sponsor and their date of birth
- An electronic signature; and
- Proof of status in Canada document number.
For the Interest to Sponsor Form submission, potential sponsors were able to submit one of the following documents as proof of status in Canada:
- Permanent resident card (both sides)
- Record of Landing (IMM 1000) (only if the interested sponsor didn’t receive a PR Card)
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688)
- Canadian Citizenship Certificate or card (both sides)
- Canadian birth certificate
- If the interested sponsor was born in Quebec, IRCC will only accept a birth certificate from the Directeur de l’État civil.
- Canadian passport (pages showing passport number, date of issue and expiration, photo, name, surname, place and date of birth)
- Secure certificate of Indian status
Who is not eligible to sponsor a parent or grandparent
Individuals are not eligible to sponsor a parent and/or grandparent if they:
- Are less than 18 years old;
- Will not live in Canada when applying to sponsor the parent and/or grandparent and/or when the sponsored parent and/or grandparent becomes a permanent resident;
- As a potential sponsor, an applicant’s primary residential address must be in Canada at the time of applying and until a decision is made on the application.
- Are not Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, or a registered Indian in Canada;
- Are a temporary resident who is visiting, studying or working in Canada on a visa or permit;
- Have a permanent residence application that is still in the process
- A potential sponsor must have permanent resident status at the time of submitting the sponsorship application.
- Cannot show proof of income that demonstrates they have the required Minimum Necessary Income (MNI).
In addition to these individuals may not be eligible to sponsor a parent and grandparent if they:
- Are in jail, prison, or penitentiary
- Did not payback:
- an immigration loan
- a performance bond
- court-ordered family support payments such as alimony or child support
- Did not give the financial support they agreed to when signing a sponsorship agreement to sponsor a relative in the past
- Declared bankruptcy and are not discharged
- Receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability
- Were convicted of a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence inside or outside Canada
- Cannot legally stay in Canada and must leave the country because they received a Removal Order.
IRCC may have additional reasons for considering a person ineligible to sponsor a parent and/or grandparent.
Parents and Grandparents Super Visa Program
Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents have another option to bring a parent or grandparent to Canada.
The Super Visa Program allows parents and grandparents to come to Canada as long-term visitors on a multi-entry visa that remains valid for up to 10 years. Unlike standard visitor visas, a Super Visa allows visa holders to stay in Canada for up to two years on initial entry to Canada.
To be eligible for the Super Visa program, parents and grandparents must meet standard visitor visa requirements. In addition, they must:
- Provide a written commitment of financial support from their child or grandchild in Canada;
- Show that the sponsor in Canada meets minimum income requirements;
- Prove they have purchased Canadian health insurance for at least one year; and
- Complete an immigration medical examination.
Depending on their nationality, parents/grandparents may require a Temporary Resident Visa in addition to the Super Visa.