An easy way to enter Canada is through a sponsorship program if you have relatives willing to vouch for you. There are many types, with different requirements. Recently, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada or CIC reopened the Parents and Grandparents Program or PGP, from October 13, 2020, to November 3, 2020. This scheme gives citizens or Canadian PRs the chance to show their interest in sponsoring their parents or grandparents before the actual visa application process.
From here, the CIC will choose applicants with EOIs or Expressions Of Interest; they will have 60 days to accept their invitation to apply for a family scholarship via the PGP. The CIC has said they will accept 10,000 applications this year and 30,000 in the next. Note that if the Government receives its maximum amount of EOIs before November 3, you will need to wait for the next round, which will be in January or February 2021.
Requirements for a PGP sponsor
To sponsor someone through the PGP, you must be at least 18 years old, live in Canada, and be a citizen or permanent resident. Aside from these, you should also have proof of sponsorship funds to support your family members. If you live in Quebec, you have other factors to weigh as well.
For instance, Quebec has a separate immigration program and requirements. One way the territory’s rules differ is through the income requirements. The federal income requirements ask you to provide proof of income for three tax years before the application date, while Quebec requires proof for only up to 12 months prior. Talk to an immigration consultant to learn about other requirements for applying.
Financial implications of sponsoring through PGP
You will have to be financially responsible for family members you sponsor. If you go through the federal sponsorship program, you need to provide for your parents or grandparents for 20 years; if you live in Quebec, you will only need to support them financially for ten years.
The government recognizes the economic strain from COVID-19 restrictions, though, and has factored it into their policies. For one, since the program reopened late in 2020, and because of the financial strains many families suffered from COVID-19, they noted that the income requirement for the 2020 tax year would not increase.
Furthermore, due to the economic strain from COVID-19 restrictions, the government will be temporarily accepting Employment Insurance or EI Benefits as part of the overall income calculations. This policy might not apply for the next taxation year; typically, sponsor applicants should have the minimum income requirement plus 30 percent.
How long does family sponsorship take?
The application process takes anywhere from 20 to 24 months, including the time you spend on biometrics. Applicants do not need to consider Canada’s current travel restrictions if they’re only starting the process. The government announced that they’re allowing extended family to enter Canada, provided they’re staying for 15 days or more for those who had already applied.
Completing visa applications on your own can be difficult and time-consuming. The CIC understandably has strict procedures, deadlines, and requirements, and a simple mistake might mean losing the chance to be with your loved ones in the country. Seeking help from a qualified immigration consultant will also speed up the process and help you find the best course of action for your circumstances.
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