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Update: Canada announces details of Parents and Grandparents Program 2021

The Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) will feature a lottery once again.

The lottery will take place the week of September 20, 2021, after which invitations will be sent over the course of two weeks. Those invited will have 60 days to submit their sponsorship applications to the Canadian government.

This and other details of the PGP 2021 have just been unveiled today by Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino at a press conference held in Surrey British Columbia.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will draw 30,000 candidates who previously submitted an interest to sponsor form between October and November 2020 during last year’s PGP intake window.

During that brief period last autumn, Canadian citizens and eligible permanent residents were able to complete an online application form informing IRCC that they were interested in sponsoring their parents and grandparents for Canadian permanent resident status.

Following this, the immigration department randomly selected 10,000 potential sponsors in January 2021. IRCC said that a further 30,000 applicants would be invited later in the year, again using the same lottery process. Those who expressed an interest to sponsor in 2020, but were not invited to apply, may be considered in the upcoming PGP 2021 lottery draw.

IRCC strongly encourages candidates to ensure the information they submitted on IRCC’s website last autumn remains up to date, including your contact details.

The PGP allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents to immigrate to Canada. Parents and grandparents who are approved under this program are granted permanent residence and may later apply for Canadian citizenship.

Key eligibility factors for the PGP

Individuals who wish to bring their parents or grandparents to Canada under the sought-after PGP need to meet the program’s eligibility criteria.

PGP sponsorship applicants must be 18 years of age or older, Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or status First Nations and have the means to support the family member they are sponsoring.

Sponsors must also prove that they have sufficient income to support all family members for whom they will be financially responsible, including themselves, once they become sponsors. All applicants are therefore encouraged to check how much money they will need to support the number of people for whom they will be financially responsible before submitting an application to the PGP.

The Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) is a key eligibility factor for the PGP. IRCC will assess each sponsor’s MNI for the 2020, 2019, and 2018 tax years. This proof of necessary income is only to be provided after interest in sponsorship has been expressed via the online form. However, applicants who are selected and invited to apply and who do not meet the MNI requirement will see their application refused.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, IRCC will assess your MNI only for the 2020 tax year, but it will not assess the usual MNI plus 30 percent. In addition, applicants can count Employment Insurance (EI) benefits and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) towards their MNI for the 2020 tax year.

Sponsors residing outside of the Canadian province of Quebec who are invited to apply and their co-signers (if applicable) will have to provide Notices of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for each of the three aforementioned taxation years.

Rather than the three-year income requirement set for the rest of Canada, Quebec requires that potential sponsors and their co-signer (if applicable) demonstrate that they have had sufficient financial resources available to them in the last 12 months to support their family unit.

Individuals who wish to sponsor a parent or grandparent and who live in Quebec have their income assessed by Quebec’s Immigration Ministry, based on the province’s income requirements.

Both IRCC and the Government of Quebec require a signed undertaking from interested sponsors. This undertaking sets out how long the sponsor will be financially responsible for the family members they are sponsoring from the time they become permanent residents of Canada.

The length of the undertaking for parents and grandparents is 20 years for residents of all Canadian provinces except Quebec. For residents of Quebec, the duration of that commitment is 10 years.

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