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New Parent and Grandparent Program re-opens on January 2, 2014

On January 2, 2014 Citizenship and Immigration Canada will re-open the Parent and Grandparent (PGP) Program for new applications. However, a maximum of 5,000 sponsorship applications will be accepted in the program in 2014.

Once the PGP reopens there will be new qualifying criteria’s for permanent residency sponsorship of parents and grandparents. Some of the many changes will be the increase in financial responsibility of sponsors and the change of maximum age of dependent children from age 22 to age 18. 

The new qualifying criteria for permanent residency sponsorship include:

1)   Increase minimum necessary income (MNI) for sponsoring parents and grandparents equivalent by 30 percent:  Persons seeking to sponsor a parent or grandparent will need to meet the minimum necessary income which will be increased by 30% in 2014.

2)   Lengthen period for demonstrating the MNI from one year to three years:  Persons who seek to sponsor their parents and grandparents and their accompanying family members will be required to demonstrate that they meet the new income threshold for the three consecutive tax years prior to submitting the sponsorship application.

3)   Evidence of income issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA):Individuals who seek to sponsor their parents and grandparents and their accompanying family members will be required to demonstrate that they meet the new income threshold for three consecutive years using CRA notices of assessment.

4)   Extend the sponsorship undertaking period to 20 years: Persons who seek to sponsor their parents and grandparents and accompanying family members will be required to commit to a lengthened sponsorship undertaking period of 20 years.

5)   Maximum age of dependents:The maximum age of dependents will be set at 18 years of age and under for all immigration programs, including the Parent and Grandparent program. However, there is an exception for individuals, regardless of age, who are financially dependent on their parents due to a mental or physical disability.

Who can sponsor?

In order to sponsor a parent or grandparent, you must a person must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;

  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Reside in Canada*;
  • Submit a sponsorship application meeting the requirements;
  • Sign a Sponsorship Agreement with the sponsored person that commits that the sponsor provides financial support, if necessary.
  • Sign an Undertaking stating that the sponsor will provide financial support for:
    • a  relative for 20 years,
    • a dependent child for 10 years or until the child turns 25, whichever comes first.
  • Not be subject to sponsorship bars; and
  • Have the minimum necessary income required.

Who cannot sponsor?

An individual is not eligible to sponsor or co-sign a sponsorship application if:

  • They are in prison;
  • They have an undischarged bankruptcy;
  • They are currently in receipt of social assistance (i.e., welfare) for reasons other than disability; note that maternity leave and employment insurance payments are not social assistance.
  • They have been convicted in Canada or outside Canada of a sexual offence or an offence against a member of their family and five years have not passed since they completed the sentence;
  • They are a permanent resident and they have a removal order against them;
  • They have been adopted outside Canada and then got a revocation of the adoption for the purpose of sponsoring their biological parent;
  • They have been convicted of a serious criminal offence;
  • They are in default of a previous undertaking;
  • They have not refunded social assistance or welfare payments allocated to a person they sponsored during the validity of the undertaking;
  • They are in default of support payments ordered by a court, such as spousal or child support payments;
  • They are in default of their immigration loan; or
  • They have been sponsored as a spouse/partner and would like to sponsor a new spouse/partner in the same category wit