The extremely popular Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) is expected to reopen in January 2016. Sponsors and sponsorship candidates are already preparing for what is expected to be a very short application intake period.
This application allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their foreign parents and grandparents to Canada as Canadian permanent residents.
Since the PGP reopened two years ago with the new criteria after a hiatus began in 2011, the program has proved to be one of the most competitive Canadian immigration programs. The 2014 program had an application cap of 5000, it was filled in three weeks.
There a rush to get a completed and accurate form in for the 2015 program that was opened at the beginning of the year. The application cap was reached within a few days and the program has since been closed. Candidates and sponsors who didn’t make the cut had their applications returned to them.
The 2016 Parent and Grandparent Program
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has said that the PGP will reopen in January 2016. However the government has not said whether there will be any changes made to the program’s requirement criteria for 2016.
Given that last year’s allocation was filled so quickly, prospective sponsors and candidates are waiting for the application to reopen. The demand is most likely to outweigh the supply if there is a similar cap that is placed on the 2016 program. It would be advised that prospective sponsors and sponsored parties prepare their documents in advance and be ready to submit them in January.
Parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents applying under the PGP program will receive Canadian permanent resident status. They may eventually apply for Canadian citizenship after fulfilling residency obligations.
The sponsor in Canada must meet the following criteria:
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Exceed theminimum necessary income level for this program by submitting notices of assessment issued by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) in support of their sponsorship
- Sponsors must also demonstrate they have met the minimum necessary income level for three consecutive years
- If married or in a common-law relationship, the income of both persons can be included
- Promise to provide financial support for the sponsored relative for a period of three to If ten years, depending on his or her age and relationship to the sponsor. This time period begins on the date the sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident
The PGP has come under close scrutiny in recent weeks, with Canada’s two main opposition political parties, the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party (NDP), both stating on the record that they would either increase or remove the application cap for the program and assign additional resources to help process applications.
If a new governing party is in place after the Canadian federal election, which is due to take place later in October, remains to be seen whether the application cap would be altered or removed for the 2016 PGP intake. Neither opposition party has revealed any potential changes to the actual program criteria.
If you or a member of your family is interested in applying for the PGP, we would advise that you start preparing your documents now so that they can be admitted as soon as the program opens in January 2016.