Parent Sponsorship Program Launch On January 28

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Intake Will Now Be On First-Come Basis; Forms Will Be Available From Noon On January 28

Ottawa:  The Parents and Grandparents (PGP) Program interest to sponsor form will be available to potential sponsors starting at noon EST on January 28, 2019.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, made tha announcement in Ottawa. The launch of the 2019 PGP Program will include a new and improved intake process. The Government of Canada has listened to and addressed concerns from clients and stakeholders about the previous intake process, and has taken steps to provide a first-in-first-served approach for 2019, he said. This approach will further enhance the client experience by keeping the application process fair for all, while remaining an easy-to-access electronic method for applicants.

 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will accept interest to sponsor submissions for a limited time and then invite potential sponsors to submit a complete application, in the order their submissions were received, until the 2019 cap of 20,000 complete applications is reached.

Interested potential sponsors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the new intake process for 2019, as other improvements have been made. These include a requirement for potential sponsors to upload a copy of a status in Canada document when submitting their interest to sponsor form.

 The interest to sponsor form has also been enhanced from previous years to include features that will help IRCC detect duplicate submissions and potential fraud. Potential sponsors should submit an interest to sponsor form as soon as possible once it’s available online, after confirming that they meet the necessary minimum income requirements. The onus is on potential sponsors to ensure they are eligible before submitting a sponsor form.

 As a family reunification program, the PGP Program gives Canadians and permanent residents the opportunity to have their parents and grandparents come to Canada to live permanently. Given the continuing interest in the program, IRCC has increased the annual cap on applications it will accept in 2019 to 20,000 – 4 times the number of applications accepted in 2015. This increase was made possible by an over 80% reduction of the application backlog and processing times that have been shortened from 7 to 8 years, to about 2 years.

 Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said: “Family reunification is an immigration priority for the Government of Canada. It supports Canada’s economic prosperity and it further strengthens our communities. Parents and grandparents often help care for children, increasing their parents’ ability to work and study, and to make meaningful contributions to their communities. In reuniting Canadian citizens and permanent residents with their parents and grandparents, not only do we help these families to succeed – doing so also benefits our entire country”.

• The PGP Program continues to be very popular, with continued high volumes in the interest to sponsor process. In 2018, after removing duplicates, we received 93,836 interest to sponsor forms.

• Consistently high admissions levels for parents and grandparents over the last few years has allowed the government to eliminate the application backlog. The application inventory has dropped from a peak of 167,000 people in 2011, to just over 28,000 people in October 2018.

• Once invited, potential sponsors will have 60 calendar days from the date of their invitation to ensure IRCC receives their complete application for sponsorship.

Ottawa said it has listened to feedback from clients, stakeholders and the public to identify improvements needed in the Parents and Grandparents (PGP) Program – specifically, the application process. Here’s how the new process will work:

Step 1: Potential sponsors indicate their interest. However, in 2019, the enhanced version of the interest to sponsor form will require potential sponsors to upload a copy of a status in Canada document.

Step 2: Invitations to sponsor are sent. In 2019, 20,000 applications will be accepted.

Step 3: Applications are submitted. Those who are invited to apply will be given 60 calendar days for IRCC to receive their complete application. Those who do not receive an invitation to apply in 2019, will have their form retained by IRCC for consideration in 2020.