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Immigration Corner | New rules for sponsorship of parents and grandparents to Canada

Published:Sunday | January 13, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Dear Miss Powell,

You said that the Parents and Grandparents Programme (PGP) usually opens on January 1, but I have tried to submit an application to sponsor my mother and I couldn't. Has the policy changed? Can I no longer sponsor my mother to live with me here in Canada?


Dear NN,

Recently, Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced a change in the PGP. This was the government's response to public concerns. This is the reason for the delay in the opening of the programme, which is scheduled for January 28, 2019. On that day, individuals who are interested in sponsoring their parents or grandparents will need to ensure that they are ready to submit their application and carefully follow the new rules.


How to Apply?


Step 1 : You will first have to ensure that you are eligible to sponsor your parent or grandparent.

You should be able to prove that you have the minimum necessary income (MNI) and ability to take care of your family and the individuals you plan to sponsor. The MNI is based on the total number of individuals in your immediate family and the Low Income Cut off (LICO) figures published annually by Statistics Canada.

Therefore, you will need to demonstrate that you meet the 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 financial burden on the government of Canada.

Step 2. Gather your documents and have then ready for upload. This is the most important change to the system. The sponsor is required to upload a copy of a status in Canada document such as Canadian birth certificate, Canadian citizenship certificate or card, Canadian passport, Confirmation of permanent residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688), Permanent resident card, Record of landing (IMM 1000), Secure certificate of status.

You will also need to have full details of your parents and grandparents such as their date of birth, country of birth and residence, full residential address and the number of individuals residing at your home, to name a few.

Step 3: The sponsor who is currently living in Canada will be required to complete an online application form once the portal is opened on January 28, 2019. It is recommended that you use a desktop computer or laptop instead of a mobile phone or Ipad.

Step 4: Once IRCC deems that you and your family qualify, you will receive notification that you are invited to submit a complete application to sponsor your parent or grandparent. You will have 60 calendar days to submit a complete application. You must be extremely careful to ensure that the entire acceptable format is use to submit the documents. The image must be clear and easy to read.

Once your application is submitted, you will receive an email confirmation from IRCC. It is imperative that you keep your confirmation number handy, as you will need it to check if your application.

You will have one chance to submit a complete application and so you must ensure that you are careful with the application. Only 20,000 worldwide invitations will be issued in 2019 and so we strongly recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer directly to ensure that you are fully prepared to submit a complete application within the specified time.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public with office in Ottawa, Ontario. Submit your questions and comments to:

Subject line: Immigration.

Find her on, or call 613.695.8777.