In late 2022, the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan was released and provided details on Canada’s plan for immigration in the coming years. Immigration to Canada through permanent resident admissions is expected to increase through 2025 in all permanent resident categories, including Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Programs, family, refugees and protected persons, and humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

When comparing the January 2023 immigration data against January 2022, the numbers show that Canada has welcomed over 40% more permanent residents into Canada. With these numbers expected to increase, it is important to understand what options are available to families who are looking to immigrate to Canada.

Family Immigration

The 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan accounts for 106,500 permanent residents to be admitted to Canada in 2023 through the family immigrant category. This number is set to increase each year.

Since the beginning of 2023, Canada has welcomed over 13,000 new permanent residents as part of family sponsorship for spouses and children and through the Parents and Grandparents Program. The Super Visa, spousal and child sponsorship, and the Parents and Grandparents Program are some of the immigration options that allow for Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their family members to Canada for extended periods.

Super Visa

The Super Visa is a multi-entry visa that allows the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to stay in Canada for up to five years at a time. The Super Visa used to allow for the holder to stay in Canada for up to two years, but the length of stay was extended to five years on July 4, 2022.

The holder of a Super Visa to Canada gains entry to Canada but not permanent residence. However, there are distinct advantages to obtaining a Super Visa instead of a regular visitor visa for those visiting Canada. The Super Visa allows for holders to stay in Canada for two years before having to apply for an extension. In contrast, standard visitor visas require the holder to apply for an extension every six months. This not only saves the applicant time and money but also provides a greater sense of certainty to the holder with respect to how long they can remain in the country.

Super Visa requirements

While the Super Visa has clear benefits, it also has some drawbacks. The Super Visa is better for the visa holder compared to a regular visitor visa, but this makes it harder to obtain. Therefore, if a parent or grandparent wants to visit Canada for a period that will be less than six months in duration, it is advisable to apply for a standard Canadian visitor visa.

To be eligible for a Super Visa, applicants must meet certain requirements, which includes having:

  • a child or grandchild who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and is willing to act as a sponsor;
  • the sponsor must provide proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residence;
  • the sponsor must provide a letter promising that they have adequate financial resources to support the applicant for the duration of their visit;
  • the sponsor must provide a list of all people residing in their household; and
  • the applicant must have medical insurance that is fully paid for and approved through a Canadian insurance company that is valid for at least one year from when the applicant enters Canada and provides at least $100,000 of coverage for health care, hospitalization and repatriation.

Applicants must apply for the Super Visa from outside of Canada. The applicant must take an immigration medical exam and be otherwise admissible to Canada. In consideration of a Super Visa application, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will also consider factors such as:

  • the applicant’s ties to their home country;
  • the purpose of their visit to Canada;
  • their family and finances; and
  • the overall economic and political stability of their home country.

Parents and Grandparents Program

The Parents and Grandparents Program is a sponsorship program that allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents or grandparents for permanent residence in Canada rather than for a visit period with a defined end. A parent or grandparent who has been successfully sponsored will gain permanent residence and can later apply for Canadian citizenship.

To be eligible for the Parents and Grandparents Program, sponsors must meet certain requirements, which include:

  • demonstrating that they have sufficient income to support their sponsored family member; and
  • showing that they have adequate accommodations for their family member.

Sponsored family members must also meet certain requirements, including:

  • demonstrating that they have a good relationship with their sponsor; and
  • proving that they are not otherwise inadmissible to Canada.

This program has a large backlog of applications, as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada last accepted applicants who submitted their forms in 2020 through a lottery in October 2022. Currently, there is a large pool of potential sponsors who are waiting for their applications to be accepted. This program may open up to more applicants in the future, which will be a beneficial option for Canadian permanent residents and citizens to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada.

Family Sponsorship

Sponsorship of spouses and dependent children allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their family to Canada to become permanent residents. In family sponsorship, common-law partners are included in the definition of “spouse.” Dependent children includes children who do not have a spouse or common-law partner and are 22 years old or younger at the time the application is received.

Other family members can be sponsored, such as siblings, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren, provided they are:

  • related to the sponsor by blood or adoption;
  • both biological parents are no longer alive;
  • they are under 18 years old; and
  • they are single.

When making a sponsorship application, it is important to show that the sponsor can financially support all the people they are sponsoring in order to have the application approved.

Bringing Family Members to Canada

Overall, many options are available to individuals who wish to bring family members to Canada to visit or reside on a permanent basis. It is important for those who want to bring their family members to Canada to consider which application is best suited for their particular family circumstances. It is also important to ensure that the application is as accurate as possible to give it the best chance of succeeding.

Contact the Lawyers at Garson Immigration Law for Assistance with Canadian Family Immigration Applications

The experienced immigration lawyers at Garson Immigration Law is a firm exclusively dedicated to the practice of immigration law. To ensure your immigration application is positioned for success, we will work with you to find an effective solution for your immigration needs. If you have questions regarding family immigration, do not hesitate to contact us online or by phone at 416-321-2860.

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