Thu | Dec 14, 2017

Immigration Corner | I want my mom

Published:Tuesday | September 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

My mother is 65 years old and lives in Jamaica. I am now a Canadian citizen and would like her to come to Canada to live with me. How do I get my mother to live with me here as a citizen?

- S.B.

Dear S.B.,

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you can apply to Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to sponsor parents and grandparents of Canadian permanent residents to live in Canada or apply for them to get a 'super visa'.

The key is to ensure that both you and your relative are able to satisfy the requirements. This means that you will need to prove that you have the income and ability to take care of your parent financially. If you are living alone, you will need to show a minimum income of approximately CDN$39,000; if you have a family of three, income of approximately CDN$48,000. These figures change on an annual basis, so you should always check the IRCC website for the latest figures.

You, as the sponsor, will be required to sign an agreement that you will support your family member for a period of three to 20 years, depending on her age, and pledge that she will not become a burden on the government resources.

IRCC restructured this parent and grandparents programme (PGP) in 2016 and so individuals who are interested in sponsoring their family members are required to submit 'an interest to sponsor' application online. Once you are in that pool, then IRCC will randomly select sponsors who have foreign parents from that list and invite them to apply for permanent residence for their family member.

The first round of invitations was conducted in April 2017 and a new round is expected on September 6, 2017. Anyone who is selected will have 90 days to submit all the documents required to finalise the application. When the application is finalised, your mother will be granted permanent residence status and will be able to live, work, study and later apply for citizenship, when qualified to do so.

It is anticipated that IRCC will begin accepting new applications under this category next January so you should take this time to meet with an immigration lawyer so that you can be prepared.

If you are not able to show the required income under the PGP, you may apply for a multiple-entry temporary resident visa known as the 'super visa'. This is usually granted for five-10 years. This visa will grant your mother the authority to stay in Canada up to two years without the need to apply for an extension of time or returning to her home country. This is more than the usual maximum of six months that is usually granted when you have a regular visitor or temporary resident visa.

One of the requirements for a super visa is that your mother will need to purchase a Canadian medical insurance that has a minimum coverage of CDN$100,000. It should cover health care, hospitalisation and expenses associated with her emergency return to her country, if necessary.

Additionally, you should provide proof that you are able to accommodate your mother for an extended period of time and include a special invitation letter with your notice of assessments, birth certificate, job letter and deed/lease for your home.

There are other requirements, such as being able to pass the medical and security checks. You may submit your application online or at the nearest visa application centre.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to: info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration. Find her on facebook.com/jamaicanlawyer or call 613.695.8777.