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December 31, 2013 — New Parent and Grandparent (PGP) sponsorship application forms are now available online and all new applications must be completed using these new forms.
Applications to Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) will be accepted on or after January 2, 2014 at CIC’s Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario (CPC-M). Applications will only be accepted by mail or by courier. CPC-M is not open to the public and no in-person deliveries will be accepted. Applications must be individually packaged.
A guide for the new forms and information on how to apply is also online.
Payment to the Receiver General for Canada will only be accepted by credit card or certified cheque. Fees that are paid in any other manner (example: on-line payments, payment at a financial institution in Canada, money orders) will not be accepted and the application will be returned. If an application is returned and the applicant re-submits, the application will be placed in the processing queue according to the new date of submission.
Note that if a credit card is used for fee payment, it must be valid for at least nine months from the date on which the application is submitted.
Sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents received at the CPC-M before January 2, 2014 will be not accepted and will be returned to the sponsor.
New PGP program criteria
After extensive consultations, draft regulations to redesign the PGP program were pre-published in the Canada Gazette on May 18, 2013, and were open to public comment for 30 days. Regulatory changes have now been finalized and will come into force on January 1, 2014.
The new qualifying criteria for sponsors of parents and grandparents:
- Extends the undertaking period for sponsors of parents and grandparents and their accompanying dependants, from 10 to 20 years.Sponsors must sign a sponsorship agreement in which they commit to provide for the basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter, of their parent or grandparent and any accompanying family members, for a period of 20 years.
- Increases the minimum necessary income (MNI) for sponsoring PGPs equivalent to the annual MNI plus 30%. The MNI is based on the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) established annually by Statistics Canada. This new income threshold (MNI + 30%) will continue to be calculated based on the number of persons the sponsor is supporting and would be supporting.
- Lengthens the period for demonstrating ability to meet the MNI from one year to three years for persons who are sponsoring a parent or grandparent. The sponsor and co-signer (if applicable) must demonstrate that for the three consecutive taxation years preceding the date of their application, their total income is equivalent to MNI plus 30%.
- Requires that evidence of income be limited exclusively to documents issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Sponsors and their parent or grandparent’s accompanying family members will be required to demonstrate that they meet the new income threshold for three consecutive years using only documentation issued by the CRA. CIC will accept either a Notice of Assessment or an Option C print out.
- Provides CIC staff with the authority to request updated evidence of income, if required. The Regulations now provide officers with the authority to request updated evidence of income from all sponsors who submit a sponsorship application for a member of the family class, in the following cases: (a) where the officer receives information indicating that the sponsor is no longer able to fulfill the obligations of that undertaking; or (b) where more than one year has elapsed since the time a sponsorship application was received.
These new criteria and a cap of 5,000 new, complete applications will ensure the backlog of PGP applications does not continue to grow when the program re-opens.
In calculating the 5,000-application cap, sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents will be considered in the order of the date they are received and includes the first 5,000 complete applications received.
Any applications received after the 5,000 cap is reached will be returned to the applicant.
Please note that PGP applications received before the November 5, 2011 pause and currently in the queue will be processed before any new applications (received on or after Jan. 2, 2014) are considered.
A proposal to reduce the age of dependents from under 22 to under 19 was pre-published in the Canada Gazette Part I on May 18, 2013, along with the proposed regulatory changes to the PGP program. The proposal to change the age of dependent children will not be coming into force at the time the PGP program re-opens on January 2, 2014.
The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa
The PGP Super Visa remains a fast and convenient option for parents and grandparents wanting to spend longer periods of time with their families in Canada.
The Super Visa is a multiple entry visa that offers holders the option of staying in Canada for up to two years at a time. This reduces the need for frequent visitors to renew their status during an extended family visit.
To date, approximately 28,000 Super Visas have been issued with an approval rate of almost 85 percent. With more than 1,000 Super Visas being issued monthly, this has become one of CIC’s most popular initiatives.
Additional Information: Backgrounder — Action plan for faster family reunification – update
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