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Bringing a Parent/Grandparent into Canada: The Super Visa Program vs. Family Class Sponsorship Program

Bringing Parent or Grandparent into Canada

This year, the IRCC has invited 10,000 individuals to complete and submit applications to the parent and grandparent program. These invitations were sent to individuals who had expressed interest in bringing their loved ones to live with them in Canada. Those who were not invited to submit an application to the parent and grandparent program can reapply in 2018. After receiving the invitation to apply, the 10,000 individuals will be required to submit application forms fully filled together with supporting documents within the next 90 days.

How the parent and grandparent program works

Parents and grandparents can be sponsored by a permanent resident or Canadian citizen under the family class sponsorship program. If the application is successful, the parent or grandparent will be given permanent resident status by IRCC and can even qualify for citizenship a few years later. However, you must first fulfill certain eligibility requirements to become a sponsor.

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen
  • You must fulfil the income requirement for the parent and grandparent program. The IRCC may allow you to include the income of your spouse if you are married or in a common-law partnership. This income requirement is reviewed every year.
  • You must sign an undertaking that will require you to be financially responsible for the sponsored person’s basic needs during a specified period of time. If the person seeks social assistance, you will be required to pay the government back this money. Residents of Quebec have an additional undertaking that must be signed in order to be considered as a sponsor.

Meeting the minimum income requirements for parent and grandparent programs can be a challenge to some individuals. The IRCC requires proof that you will be able to provide financial support to the parent or grandparent you are sponsoring. This minimum necessary income is adjusted every year depending on certain factors. There are cases where the immigration department may allow you to have a co-signer who meets the income requirements in order for your application to be approved.

What disqualifies you as a sponsor?

You may not be able to sponsor a parent or grandparent under the family sponsorship programs if you:

  • Are receiving social assistance. The only exception is if it is disability assistance.
  • Have a history of defaulting an undertaking. If you have sponsored a family member, spouse or dependent child in the past and you did not meet the required financial obligation, you may not be eligible to sponsor again. The same applies if you have failed to pay family/child support.
  • Are an undischarged bankrupt
  • Have been convicted of a criminal offense that involves harming a relative
  • Are under a removal order

The IRCC will perform thorough background checks to ensure you do not possess any of these factors that disqualify you as a sponsor.


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