Wed | Dec 12, 2018

Immigration Corner | Why would they reject my mom?

Published:Tuesday | August 28, 2018 | 12:04 AM
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Ms Powell,

I became a permanent resident in 2015, and I would like my mother to move to Canada and become a citizen. My mother is healthy and is a retired teacher. This would be so good so my family can be together. With work constraints and the expense of day care, my husband and I haven't been able to visit my mother in Jamaica. It would be so much better if I could get her to move here permanently. How can I sponsor my mother? What could be a reason for my application being rejected? Thanks in advance for your response.

- A.G.

Dear A.G.,

Recently, Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced a change in the Parents and Grandparents Programme (PGP), thereby abandoning the lottery system. The new system will be based on a 'first come, first served' system. They will increase the quota to 20,000 applications worldwide. The changes will take effect in 2019. This is in keeping with the Government of Canada's commitment to helping its residents 'live, work and thrive together in Canada.'

Under the new system, individuals who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents can apply to IRCC to sponsor their parents and grandparents to become permanent residents of Canada, provided that they are eligible.


Who cannot sponsor?


You may not be able to sponsor a parent or grandparent if you are in prison, defaulted on an immigration loan; have declared bankruptcy and have not been discharged; received government financial assistance for reasons other than disability, did not pay a court-ordered support order, such as alimony, spousal support or child support; did not provide the financial support you agreed to when you signed a previous sponsorship agreement to sponsor another relative in the past; or were convicted of a violent criminal offence, sexual offence, or any other offence against a relative ( depending on circumstances). This list is not exhaustive, and there may be other factors that IRCC will take into account.


Requirements to sponsor


Individuals who would like to sponsor a parent or grandparent will be required to complete an online submission form through the IRCC portal, when it becomes available, to show your interest in sponsoring your parent or grandparent. The portal is usually made available on January 2 each year. When the portal is open, you will need to submit an accurate application online. However, before you submit an expression of interest to sponsor your parent, you should ensure that you are able to meet the various requirements.

The first of these requirements is ensuring that you are able to declare that you have the minimum necessary income (MNI) in order to sponsor a family member. This means that you will need to prove that you have the income and ability to take care of your family and parent financially. The MNI is based on the total number of individuals in your immediate family and the low income cut-off (LICO) figures, which are published by Statistics Canada each year.

The LICO is deemed an income threshold below which a family will likely devote to the necessities of food, shelter and clothing. This is an estimate of how much a family will spend to deal with these essential needs, plus 30 per cent, taking into account the number of family members for whom you are or will be financially responsible. If you are sponsoring a parent or a grandparent, you must meet the minimum necessary income requirement for each of the three taxation years immediately preceding the date of your application.

According to the most recent base for LICO, if you have a family of three persons, the minimum income will need to be approximately CAD$40,000; for family of four, CAD$60,000; family of five, approximately $68,000; and so on.

Under the PGP, 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 your parent's age, and pledge that your parent will not become a burden on the government of Canada.

Anyone who submits an expression of interest and meets the requirement, will receive an invitation to apply and will be given 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 she is qualified to do so.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public with office in Ottawa, Ontario. Submit your questions and comments to: Email: Subject line: Immigration. Find her on or call 613-695-8777.