In recent months, the Government of Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada have been making a concerted effort to update some of Canada’s immigration policies. A constant in the ever-changing area of Canadian immigration policy and regulations is the distinct goal of improving efficiency throughout Canada’s immigration system. Recently, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has committed to improving processing times, and the online processing times tool that is used in order to help applicants predict how long it will take for their complete application to be processed.

Programs in this update to processing time are Canadian Experience Class (Express Entry), Provincial Nominees Program (Express Entry and non-Express Entry), Federal Skilled Workers (Express Entry), Quebec Skilled Workers, citizenship grants, citizenship certificate (proof of citizenship), spouse or common-law partner living inside Canada, spouse, common-law or conjugal partner living outside Canada, and notably, the Parents and Grandparents Program.

The processing time update came just in time for the Parents and Grandparents Program as a round of invitations for the Parents and Grandparents Program started to be issued on May 21, 2024. According to the announcement, the Government of Canada has sent 35,700 invitations to potential sponsors since May 21st, the goal of which is to accept 20,500 complete applications.

What is the Parents and Grandparents Program?

The Parents and Grandparents Program allows citizens and permanent residents of Canada to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada. In order for someone to sponsor their parents or grandparents under this program, they must be considered eligible to be a sponsor. If a sponsor is eligible, they can sponsor their own biological or adopted parents and grandparents to come to Canada. Right now, the Parents and Grandparents Program is not accepting new applications, as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada are working through the backlog of applicants that has accrued. Astoundingly, the Parents and Grandparents Program has not accepted new applications since November 2020, even though invitations to potential sponsors have been issued sporadically since then.

Program Application Processing Times

According to the processing time tool, the processing time for a Parents and Grandparents Program application is estimated to be 20 months. It is unclear as to how the 20 month estimate is calculated, given that no new applications have been accepted since November 2020, and many of those who applied in 2020 are still waiting, or have just been invited to sponsor in 2024.

If processing becomes more efficient, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is able to work through the backlog of applications, applications to the program may be opened again in the future. However, given the long time period, those who submitted Parents and Grandparents program applications may want to look into other, temporary options for their loved ones to come visit them in Canada that have shorter processing times.

Have You Received an Invitation to Apply for the Parents and Grandparents Program?

It is important for the lucky applicants who receive an invitation to apply for the Parents and Grandparents to follow the necessary steps to proceed with their application. Not everyone who receives an invitation will have their application accepted, as the goal set by the Canadian Government is to accept around 57% of the applicants who are invited to apply.

Invitations Sent by Email

For those who have been invited, the invitation to apply was sent via email. It is important for applicants to remember which email they used to submit the application and check for the invitation email in order not to miss it. If someone does not have access to the email they used to submit the application they can check on the lost confirmation number page. It is recommended that applicants check their spam or junk folder to make sure that applicants do not miss the email, as some email filters could cause the email to be sorted to those inboxes.

The Government of Canada has issued instructions for people who do receive an email with an invitation to apply. Those who receive an email issuing an invitation to apply must submit an online application with their parents or grandparents through the permanent residence portal. The email from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will contain a barcode that will match the one received when the interest to sponsor application was made. Further, a digital copy of the page must be attached to the application in the “Additional Supporting Documents” with a document name of “Other”.

It is important to ensure the application is complete before it is submitted to have the best chance for success. Applicants should be sure to follow the instructions in order to confirm that they have included all of the information and documents required for a complete application.

Minimum Necessary Income Requirement

Of particular importance with this application are the financial documents that must be included. With applications, Notices of Assessments from the last three tax years must be included in order to show the Minimum Necessary Income requirement. The Minimum Necessary Income Requirement increases for every additional person being sponsored, so there is not one number that satisfies the requirement, rather it is application specific. Further, in order to apply, application fees must be paid, which start at $1,205, and increase with each additional applicant.

Contact Garson Immigration Law for Assistance with Canadian Immigration

Garson Immigration Law is a Toronto-based law firm that helps people find solutions for their immigration needs, such as obtaining permanent residence in Canada and overcoming inadmissibility. Our focus on immigration allows us to understand our clients’ unique concerns and obstacles. Our skilled immigration lawyers have extensive expertise in all immigration matters, including work permits, student visas, and US immigration from Canada. If you have questions about an immigration matter, do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 416-321-2860.

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