Canada’s Non-Immigration Program - Parents and Grandparent - Immigration Lawyer Vancouver, Canada | Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre

BlogCanada’s Non-Immigration Program – Parents and Grandparent

19 September 2023

About the Author

On September 8, 2023 Canada’s newest Minister of Immigration, Mark Miller, announced the re-opening of the Parents and Grandparents program (PGP) signifying the fourth consecutive year that the pool of sponsors would be selected from those who registered their Interest to Sponsor (ITS) in 2020. Practically this means that no new sponsors could even register for have their parents or grandparents immigrate to Canada for four years. What does this mean for permanent residents or citizens who are seeking to bring their parents or grandparents to live with them in Canada?

Interestingly, the Minister’s announcement focused on the statistics for sponsorship of parents and grandparents from 2014 to 2019 and noted the steady increase of applications over the years. With the greatest of respect, these figures pre-date the 2020 registration period and do not reflect the reality of Canada’s increased immigration levels which have gone from approximately 250,000 permanent residents in 2016 to 465,000 permanent residents in 2023. This is almost a doubling of the total permanent residents arriving in Canada within less than a 10 year period. Logically it can be expected that with higher levels of permanent residents coming to Canada, there will be a corresponding increase in demand for those new permanent residents to sponsor their parents or grandparents to join them in Canada. Unfortunately, the target levels for the PGP program are not in sync with the increased levels of general immigration to Canada.

The reality is that for aspiring sponsors, it will become more difficult if not impossible to bring your parents or grandparents to Canada as permanent residents. The changes to Canada’s temporary immigration program for bringing PGP applicants reflects this reality. In 2011 Canada introduced the Super Visa allowing for a 10 year multiple entry visa for parents and grandparents that also allowed for them to stay in Canada for up to two years at a time rather than only the standard 6 months or less for visitors. On July 4, 2022 this period of time was extended allowing for parents and grandparents to remain in Canada for up to five years at a time with a further in-Canada extension of 2 years providing for up to 7 consecutive years to remain with family in Canada. Clearly these modifications are meant to address the gap between the PGP program and Canadian’s desire to have their elderly relatives with them in Canada.

Many Canadian citizens and permanent residents want their parents and/or grandparents to join them in Canada to ensure their well being in their later years as well as to have them spend time with their children and pass on family traditions and experiences. However, the rate of employment for the PGP applicant is low while the draw upon Canadian social services – most notably medical coverage – is relatively high. This is the practical reality facing decision makers and immigration ministers. Hence the introduction of the extended visitor visa option where Super Visa applicants must provide proof of extended private health care coverage.

Family reunification is a fundamental cornerstone of Canada’s immigration program. Yet general increased immigration levels do not match a corresponding increase in PGP immigration processing. For those seeking to be reunited in Canada with their elderly relatives, the reality is that they will need to turn to the temporary immigration Super Visa stream. The PGP program is going to continue to remain limited with options for permanent residence continuing to diminish over time. Prospective new immigrants to Canada need to be aware of this reality.

About the Author

Sas and Ing Immigration Law Centre LLP

A partnership between Catherine Sas Law Corporation and Victor Ing Law Corporation

Copyright © sasanding 2021

About the Author