Once you have lived in Canada for a while and have become a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may want to bring your parents and/or grandparents with you. There are many good reasons to do so. If they live nearby, you can spend valuable time as a family, take care of their needs, and allow them to help out with your kids. Multiple studies have shown that having support from immediate family members on average helps individuals achieve better results in finding jobs and overall well-being.
But with great emotional value comes great responsibility. When an individual sponsors their parents and/or grandparents to become permanent residents of Canada, they must:
- Meet certain income requirements (The minimum income requirement is calculated as the Low Income Cut-offs (LICOs) plus 30%, taking into consideration the number of family members they will be responsible for
- Support the person(s) financially i.e. they are not entitled to any government financial assistance, and are not entitled to a retirement pension plan for a period of 20 years, starting from the date they become permanent residents
Both the sponsor and the sponsored relative will be required to sign a sponsorship agreement that:
- Makes the sponsor responsible for financial support for the sponsored relative
- For a period of 3 to 20 years
- Depending on their age and relationship to you
- Beginning on the date they become a permanent resident
- Clearly establishes that the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support themselves by finding employment
Dependent children under the age of 19 are exempt from signing the agreement.
Changes of 2018-2019
The program received much criticism from the public, as it did not satisfy all candidates due to having a limited number of spots open for each year, and because candidates were selected through a lottery conducted by immigration officials. Moreover, experts in cybersecurity have repeatedly warned about the vulnerability of the lottery system, and the possibility of manipulating the results.
The results of the lottery in 2018 revealed another significant problem. As IRCC reported, a significant part of the applications did not meet the necessary criteria, and as a result, a second round of selections were needed. In response to public criticism, the government decided to increase the annual quota for 2018 to 17,000 applications; and on August 20, 2018, announced the cancellation of the lottery and the increase in the annual quota to 20,000 applications in 2019, and to 21,000 in 2020. According to the Minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussein, instead of randomly selecting applications, the government will select those who submitted their application first and met all the criteria.
Before your application, you must be certain that your parents and/or grandparents will go through the necessary medical exams as well as criminal background checks.