Like all other citizens and permanent residents in Canada, are you asking this same question “Can I sponsor my parents to Canada?” and “Can I apply for a Canada visa for them?” Well, you can! You just have to be familiar with the process to know when should be the right time to start.
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Who can sponsor for PR to Canada?
By the time you arrived in Canada, it’s not surprising that your next goal is to bring your parents. You can’t just leave them in another country. You want them to experience the high quality of life that you hope to build. Now that you are already settled and have become a permanent resident or Canadian citizen, you are excited to have them live with you. But wait, check the eligibility requirements. This will help you determine if you are one of those who can sponsor for PR in Canada.
These are the main eligibility requirements to sponsor for PR in Canada:
Be 18 years or older
Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
Provide proof of sufficient funds that you will need to support your parents’ arrival to Canada
Provide a Notice of Assessment for each of the 3 taxation years OR that the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will get it directly from the Canada Revenue Agency to serve as the proof.
Previously, the income requirement was a minimum necessary income plus 30%. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the income required for the 2020 taxation year has been limited to just the minimum necessary income. It no longer includes the “plus 30%”.
Apart from these, you must also meet all other requirements. The moment you complete everything, you will no longer have this question: “Can I sponsor my parents to Canada?” Instead, you may begin preparing for your application.
If you live in Quebec, you must also meet the province’s immigration sponsorship requirements.
Who I can sponsor for PR to Canada?
As mentioned earlier, the parents and grandparents sponsorship Canada lets them live with you in the country. However, being your parents and grandparents—either by blood or adoption—is not enough. They must also meet a list of eligibility requirements.
The documents and forms you will submit will help the IRCC determine if they are eligible. These may also include police certificates, medical exams, and biometrics.
If your mother and father are still a couple, you may designate one of them as the principal applicant and the other one as the dependent. But what if your parents are divorced? You can still sponsor them in Canada but you will have to submit two separate applications.
If each of your parents have their own spouses or partners, they can be included as dependents. However, there is one important thing that you must take into consideration: your income must indicate your financial capacity to support them. The IRCC follows an income table for every number of individuals you sponsor to check this.
Now, if you are sponsoring your grandparents, along with your parents, you must also submit a separate application for them.
But wait… submit the Interest to Sponsor form first
Timing is everything when it comes to the parents and grandparents sponsorship program of Canada, because it’s not always open. You must check the IRCC website on a regular basis or follow them on their social media channels. These follow-ups will help you apply on-time. Remember that there are many Canadian citizens and permanent residents that are waiting for this specific program to open. So, act fast!
Take note of the submission deadline and submit the form as early as possible. Don’t wait until the submissions are open to complete the Interest to Sponsor form.
After you submit the Interest to Sponsor form, you will receive an email confirming this, with a personal confirmation number. When the time comes, use this number to check whether you were approved. When this happens, you will receive an ITA (Invitation to Apply).
Without the approval of the IRCC, you can’t proceed with your plan to sponsor your parents and/or grandparents and get them a Canada visa. Once invited to apply, you have 60 days to submit your sponsorship application to the IRCC.
How long will it take me to get PR for my parents?
The IRCC hasn’t stopped processing applications for parents and grandparents sponsorship program even at this time of the pandemic. Typically, it will take 20-24 months to process this type of application.
However, the IRCC cannot provide the exact processing time for most of the applications now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless, do not let this timeline discourage you. Continue with your parents’ sponsorship application as soon as you receive an Invitation to Apply.
Not only your parents and grandparents
Did you know that even if your main goal is to sponsor your parents (and grandparents!) you may also include other family members in your application? The Canada immigration family reunification program makes this possible as it also allows sponsorship of siblings. This year, the program hopes to offer permanent residency to more than 103,000 people. This, therefore, gives you the opportunity to include your brothers and sisters in the application—only if they are qualified as dependent children.
To qualify, all of them must be under 22 years of age and must not have a spouse or partner. But what if an individual turns 22 during or even before the IRCC starts the process of the paper? You have nothing to worry about because there is this so-called age lock-in date, where the IRCC ‘freezes’ this information to avoid ineligibility. However, your brother or sister must still have no spouse or partner while the application is still in process.
If you have half-brothers or half-sisters or step-brothers or step-sisters, you can also include them in your application, as long as they qualify as dependent children.
What if you are not invited to apply?
The number of invitations issued is limited, so not everyone is lucky enough to get invites. What should you do in this kind of situation?
If you didn’t get the Invitation to Apply for the parents and grandparents sponsorship program but you still want them to go to Canada, you have another option. By applying for a Canadian super visa, they can stay in the country for a maximum of 2 years. These are some of the main requirements:
They must apply from outside Canada
You must provide them with a signed letter, along with proof of your citizenship or permanent residency in Canada
Evidence of financial support
Unfortunately, dependents are not included in this type of Canada visa application.
Seek expert assistance
The submission for Interest to Sponsor forms may be closed at the moment but, at this early stage, you should already start with your preparations. By the time the submissions open, you will be ready continue the process.
As you know, going through the entire process of the Canada immigration family reunification program is not an easy thing to do, particularly if you are too busy with family and work. You can, therefore, seek help from professionals that offer Canadian immigration services, particularly when it comes to applying for a Canada visa. Great North Visa are happy to assist you with the process and any inquiries.