The permanent residents that have arrived in Canada under the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) has increased by almost 60% in January, compared to January of 2022. The PGP welcomed 2,065 new permanent residents in the January of 2023, compared to 1,300 in January of 2022.
In 2023, Canada hopes to bring 28,500 permanent residents under the PGP. In 2022, 27,255 permanent residents to Canada arrived through the PGP, which was 132% more than the 11,740 in 2021.
Canada’s Immigration Level Plans 2023-2025 has a target of welcoming 465,000 permanent residents in 2023. In January 2023, Canada welcomed 50,885 new permanent residents, which is almost 44% more than the 35,450 newcomers to Canada in January of last year.
Out of the 2023 immigration target, 106,500 permanent residents will be under the family sponsorship category. Family sponsorship includes spouses, common law partners and children, as well as parents and grandparents under the PGP. Canada has already welcomed 13,000 newcomers under both spousal/children sponsorship and the PGP.
How the PGP works
Canadian citizens and permanent residents are able to sponsor their parents and grandparents to immigrate to Canada. If approved under this program, a parent or grandparent will be granted Canadian permanent residence and may eventually be able to apply for Canadian citizenship.
In order to be eligible for the PGP in the past, sponsors must have met the following criteria:
- Have completed an Interest to Sponsor form on IRCC’s website between October 13, 2020 (12:00 PM EDT) and November 3, 2020 (12:00 PM EST).
- Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or a registered Indian under the Canadian Indian Act;
- Be 18 years of age or older;
- Be residing in Canada (potential applicants will need to provide a proof of status during the Interest to Sponsor phase);
- Exceed the minimum necessary income level for this program (if married or in a common-law relationship, the income of both the sponsor and spouse can be included) and provide proof of income to IRCC; and
- Sign an undertaking to financially support the sponsored for 20 years (starting when they become permanent residents); and to repay any social assistance benefits paid to the sponsored family members (if applicable) for a period of 20 years.
- If the sponsor resides in Quebec, an additional “undertaking” must be signed with the province of Quebec.
IRCC has not posted details on the 2023 PGP. In previous years, IRCC has utilized a lottery system to randomly select which interested sponsors would receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) through the PGP.
All ITAs for the PGP since 2020 has been given to applicants who expressed interest to sponsor through the PGP between October and November 2020. The last PGP lottery was in October of 2022. At the time of the 2022 lottery, there were still approximately 155,000 potential sponsors remaining in the pool.
An alternative to the PGP, the Super Visa allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens to come to Canada as visitors for up to five consecutive years from their initial visit without having to renew their status.
Those parents and grandparents who already have a Super Visa will be able to apply for an extension that can allow them to remain in Canada as a visitor for up to seven years. In addition, they can enter Canada multiple times for up to 10 years. The Super Visa is available all year round.
The Super Visa is an option for parents and grandparents who live in a country that require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) for entry into Canada. With the Super Visa, they will be able to travel between Canada and their country of residence without having to continuously reapply for the TRV.
The benefit of the Super Visa also extends to parents and grandparents from countries that are exempt from a TRV, like the United States. US citizens can enter and remain in Canada for up to 6 months per entry. With the Super Visa, visitors can enter Canada and stay for up to 5 years per entry.
The application process is similar to the TRV process, but additional documentation is required to show that parents and grandparents will be supported during their stay in Canada. These include:
- A letter of invitation from the child or grandchild residing in Canada;
- Documents that prove the child or grandchild meets the Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) minimum;
- Proof of parental relationship with child or grandchild, such as a birth certificate that names him or her as a parent; and
- Proof of medical insurance coverage for at least one year with a Canadian insurance company.