On September 23, 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizen Canada began the work of sending out invitations for Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents or grandparents for Canadian permanent resident status.
By October 4, the round of invitation ended with enough invitations sent out to meet the department’s goal of receiving 30,000 additional complete parent/grandparent sponsorship applications, the highest number of applications accepted in a year since 2014 – when limits were first applied to the intake of parent/grandparent sponsorship applications.
The acceptance of 30,000 new applications in 2021 was part of a plan announced by the department back in October 2020 when it announced the details of last year’s Parent-Grandparent Program. In their news release from that time, the department announced that “a maximum of 10,000 applications will be accepted for processing as part of the 2020 PGP intake. In 2021, IRCC will open a new intake of interest to sponsor forms to accept a total of 30,000 new applications”.
While the number of applications being accepted this year was expected, this year’s intake process (or lack thereof) was not. No new intake of interest to sponsor forms was conducted in 2021. Instead, the invitations sent over the past couple of weeks were sent to potential sponsors who submitted interest to sponsor forms in the fall of 2020.
Individuals who completed interest to sponsor forms back in the fall of 2020 were therefore handed an unexpected second chance, with an additional 30,000 applications now being accepted from that existing pool, their chances of success increased far beyond what they could have previously anticipated.
Sponsors selected in this round of invitation will continue to have their income assessed for tax years 2020, 2019 and 2018 but will benefit from the implementation of a more facilitative threshold for their 2020 income in recognition the financial difficulty that some sponsors might have suffered during the pandemic. The income requirement for the 2020 tax year will be reduced so that it is just the Minimum Necessary Income. Sponsors will still have to meet the normal income requirements (Minimum Necessary Income + 30%) for previous tax years.
Invitations to sponsor were sent out via email to the email account that potential sponsors used when they submitted their interest to sponsor forms in 2020. Individuals should make sure to check their junk mail and spam folders to make sure that they have not missed any emails from the department. Individuals can also use the confirmation number that they received after submitting their 2020 interest to sponsor forms to check whether they have been selected using the department’s online tool found at https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/family-sponsorship/sponsor-parents-grandparents/selected.html
Invited sponsors only have 60 days to submit their complete sponsorship/permanent residence applications using the department’s newly introduced online Permanent Residence Portal, so care must be used to make sure that applications are complete and submitted on time.
We know that there are many individuals who have been waiting for the opportunity to be reunited with their parents in Canada and we hope that this new round of invitation has benefited many of them.
This article first appeared in the October 2021 edition of the Millwoods Mosaic – the Multicultural Voice of Southeast Edmonton (www.mwmosaic.ca) and is intended to provide general information only and should not to be relied on as legal advice or opinion. We invite you to contact one of the members of our experienced immigration group for assistance.