Sponsoring your parents and grandparents

How does the Parents and Grandparents Program work?

The Parents and Grandparents Program opens once a year. It lets citizens and permanent residents of Canada  sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada. 

Here is how the program works:

Step 1: If you’re eligible to become a sponsor, you must submit an interest to sponsor form. This form is available from October 13 – November 3, 2020 so everyone who wants to submit one is able to.

Step 2: After the online form closes, we review the form submissions and remove any duplicates.

We randomly select and invite potential sponsors to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents. We email the invitations and post the invitation status on our site.

In 2020, we’ll invite potential sponsors to apply in one round of invitations.

Step 3: If you’re invited to apply, we must receive your application package by the deadline that’s in your invitation.

To avoid using outdated forms, don’t prepare your application unless you’re invited to apply.

Find out more about how to apply to sponsor your parents and grandparents.

If you live in Quebec, find out how to sponsor your parents and grandparents in Quebec.


How many applications to sponsor parents and grandparents will you accept this year?

As part of the 2020 process, we'll aim to accept up to 10,000 complete applications. This year, due to the later than usual start, we expect to get these applications in early 2021.


When will the Parents and Grandparents Program reopen to accept new applications?

If you’re eligible, you must fill out an online interest to sponsor form to show you’re interested in sponsoring your parents or grandparents.

The interest to sponsor form will be available from noon on October 13 to noon on November 3, 2020.

We randomly select and invite potential sponsors to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents.

If we invite you to apply, you have 60 days to submit a sponsorship application. You can find the deadline to submit it on your invitation.


How much income do I need to sponsor my parents and grandparents?

COVID-19: Information about your situation

Find out if you’re affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19)

You, the sponsor (and your co-signer, if you have one) must prove you have enough income to support all the people you’ll be financially responsible for once you become a sponsor. This includes yourself.

If you’re invited to apply, you have to provide proof that you meet the income requirements for each of the 3 tax years before the date you apply.

We can’t assess whether you meet the income requirements until you apply (if you’re invited).

Note: Because the program has opened later than usual this year, sponsors will be invited to apply early in 2021. Because of this, we’ll assess sponsors on their income for tax years 2020, 2019 and 2018.

We know you may not get your 2020 Notice of Assessment (NOA) until after you apply. So, for the 2020 process, we’ll accept your application if you include your 2019 and 2018 NOAs along with it, and submit your 2020 NOA as soon as it’s available.

This table applies to you if you live in any province except Quebec. If you live in Quebec, the Quebec ministry in charge of immigration will assess your income.

Income required for the 3 tax years right before the day you apply (sponsors applying in 2021)

Total number of people you’ll be responsible for 2020Footnote 1 2019Footnote 1 2018Footnote 1
2 people $32,899 $41,007 $40,379
3 people $40,445 $50,414 $49,641
4 people $49,106 $61,209 $60,271
5 people $55,695 $69,423 68,358
6 people $62,814 $78,296 $77,095
7 people $69,935 $87,172 $85,835
If more than 7 people, for each additional person, add: $7,121 $8,876 $8,740

Since many sponsors may have been affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, the income requirement for the 2020 tax year has been reduced to the minimum necessary income, instead of the minimum necessary income plus 30%.

Also, family class sponsors will be able to count these benefits in their income calculations for the 2020 tax year:

Note: This does not affect the income requirements for the 2019 and 2018 tax years.


What counts as income for sponsoring my parents and grandparents?

To find out if you have enough income to be eligible, we use

We use this number for 2020, 2019 and 2018 tax years.

We’ll accept your application without your NOA for the 2020 tax year if you don’t have it by the time you apply, but you must submit it as soon as you have it.

Income that does count toward your total income (as long as it’s reported on your NOA):

How to get your NOAs

If you don’t have paper copies of your NOAs, you can view and print your tax returns using the CRA’s My Account online service. But, the easiest way to prove your income is to give us permission to get your NOAs directly from the CRA.


What’s considered social assistance when sponsoring my parents and grandparents?

Under Canada’s immigration law, if you get social assistance other than for a disability, you aren’t eligible to sponsor family member.

Social assistance income doesn’t count toward your total income when we assess if you meet the income requirement.

Also, if you sponsor someone and they get social assistance during the time you agreed to be financially responsible for them, you have to pay it back.

What is considered social assistance

Some benefits (money, goods or services) from provinces or territories are considered to be social assistance for the purpose of sponsoring. This includes assistance from the government to cover basic needs like:

What isn’t considered social assistance

Social assistance doesn’t include:

Provinces and territories have created temporary programs to help people cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. We don’t consider these benefits to be social assistance if they aren’t considered as such by the province or territory.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit isn’t considered social assistance.


How do I calculate my family size to sponsor my parents and grandparents?

You, the sponsor (and your co-signer, if applicable), must prove that you have enough income to support all the people you’ll be financially responsible for once you become a sponsor. We call this your “family size”, which is the number of people you’ll be responsible for.

To calculate your family size, include:

Here are examples to help you calculate your family size.

Example 1

Julie is sponsoring her mother and stepfather. Julie’s husband, David, will help her meet the income requirement by co-signing the application. Julie and David have 2 young children, aged 5 and 7. Julie’s stepfather has a 15 year old daughter, Dahlia. Dahlia won’t immigrate to Canada with her father.

Julie’s family size is 7:

Before Julie submits her interest to sponsor form, Julie and her husband must:

Example 2

Juan and Lise had a baby in 2019. Juan wants to sponsor his mother. Lise won’t co-sign the application. Juan’s mother doesn’t have a spouse, partner or any dependent children.

For 2019 and 2020, Juan’s family size is 4:

For 2019 and 2020, Juan must check if he meets the income requirement for 4 persons.

For 2018, Juan’s family size was 3:

For 2018, Juan must check if he meets the income requirements for 3 persons.

Example 3

Ryan and Anne became common-law partners in 2019. They had a baby in 2020. Ryan wants to sponsor his grandmother and grandfather. Ryan’s grandparents don’t have any dependent children. Anne will be the co-signer.

If Ryan wants to sponsor his grandparents in 2021, Ryan and Anne (together) have to meet the income requirements for 2020, 2019 and 2018.

In 2018, Ryan’s family size was 3:

In 2019, Ryan’s family size was 4:

In 2020, Ryan’s family size was 5:

Even though Anne is not included in the family size in 2018, she has to provide her proof of income for 2020, 2019 and 2018, as she’s the co-signer on the application.


How can I show proof of income to sponsor my parents and grandparents?

You must provide your Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for each of the three taxation years immediately preceding the date of your application.

There are two ways you can do this:

Option 1) Give us permission to get your tax information directly from CRA

Option 2) Send us the paper copies of your Notices of Assessment

Sponsors living in Quebec

If we approve your sponsorship application, we’ll instruct you to submit an undertaking application to the Quebec ministry in charge of immigration. This ministry will assess your income.

Don’t submit your undertaking application to Quebec before we’ve told you to do so. If you don’t wait for our confirmation, Quebec won’t process your application.

Read the instruction guide for more information about your proof of income.


Does the change in age of dependants affect sponsorship undertakings for dependent children?

Yes, the change in age of dependants affects sponsorship undertakings.

As of October 24, 2017, the length of undertaking (the length of time you are financially responsible for the person you sponsor) for dependent children has changed:


Can I sponsor more than one person through the Parents and Grandparents Program?

Yes, you may sponsor more than one person if you want to.

If you are invited to apply, you can sponsor your parents and grandparents.

To do so, you will need to submit separate applications for each person (or couple) you sponsor. We will process each application separately.

You’ll have to meet the income requirements for all people you apply to sponsor and their dependants.

Invitations to apply are not transferable. For example, you cannot use the invitation to sponsor your spouse’s parents and grandparents or give it to a friend or other family member.

If your spouse also wants to sponsor their parents and grandparents, they’ll need to tell us they want to sponsor separately and see if they’re invited to apply.

Find out more about who you can sponsor under the Parents and Grandparents Program.


Can I sponsor my in-laws under the Parents and Grandparents Program?

No, you can only sponsor your own parents and grandparents.

If you want to co-sign your in-law’s application, your spouse or partner must be the one who received an invitation to apply as a sponsor.

Even If you receive an invitation to apply, you can’t:

Find out more about who you can sponsor under the Parents and Grandparents Program.


How do I update my information after I’ve submitted my interest to sponsor form?

You can’t update your information after you submit your interest to sponsor form.

If we invite you to apply, complete your application with your updated information. To help us match your application with your interest to sponsor form, also include:

Updates to your application

If you’ve been invited to apply and you have already submitted your application, you can update your information by sending us a request through our Web form.


How do I make an electronic copy of my passport or proof of status in Canada document??

To make an electronic copy, you can use a scanner, your phone or a digital camera. Scan or take a picture of your document.

When you complete your interest to sponsor form, make sure you upload the same status in Canada document that you submit with your application, if you’re invited to apply.

You can only submit 1 file with your interest to sponsor form. If you have to submit both sides of your passport or status in Canada document, save both sides into 1 file. If you don’t have photo editing software, the easiest way to do this is to save both images into a Word document.

The maximum file size is 2 MB. If your file is bigger than 2 MB, you need to reduce the size to upload your document and submit the interest to sponsor form.

We accept these file formats:

The file name can only contain letters from the English or French alphabets, numbers, spaces, hyphens and these characters: / & , . - : \ ( ) * # ; @

Write down the name you give the file and where you save it so you can easily find the file later.

To avoid delays in processing, make sure the image is clear and your information is easy to read.

Documents we accept as proof of your status in Canada

Submit one of these proof of status documents:

We accept expired documents. You don’t need to renew your document to complete the interest to sponsor form or to submit your sponsorship application, if you’re invited to apply.

Prepare your copy ahead of time and know where to find it on your computer or mobile device.

What to do if you can’t upload your status in Canada document or passport in the interest to sponsor form

If you have trouble preparing or uploading your document in the interest to sponsor form:

Your letter of explanation must be in one of these file formats:

If you’re invited to apply, you need to:


Where is my status in Canada document number?

On your interest to sponsor form, you must provide the number of your passport or status in Canada document.

Make sure you submit the number of the same document you submit with your application, if you’re invited to apply. If the document number doesn’t match, we’ll return your application.

Note: If you submitted a non-Canadian passport with your interest to sponsor form and you’re invited to apply, you need to be a permanent resident when you apply to be eligible to sponsor. In that case, when you apply you must include

  • a copy of the foreign passport you submitted and
  • one of the documents below

We use this to confirm your status in Canada.

See examples below of where to find your status in Canada document number:

Canadian birth certificate

Alberta

British Columbia

Manitoba

New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia

Nunavut

Ontario

Prince Edward Island

Quebec birth certificate

Saskatchewan

Yukon

Canadian citizenship certificate or card

If you don’t have your citizenship certificate or card, you can apply for a

Canadian passport

Confirmation of permanent residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688)

Permanent resident card

Record of landing (IMM 1000)

Secure certificate of Indian status


I filled out the interest to sponsor form, but haven’t received anything yet. What should I do?

After you successfully submitted the interest to sponsor form, you saw a page with your confirmation number. Keep this number for your records. You can use it later to find out if you’re invited.

We also sent you an email to confirm that we received your interest to sponsor form. You should have received it within 24 hours of submitting the form.

If you didn’t receive our email even though you saw a confirmation screen saying that you successfully submitted the form:

If you gave us the wrong email address

If you think you may have entered your email address incorrectly in the interest to sponsor form, ask us to update it. We need your correct email address to contact you when we start inviting potential sponsors to submit a complete application.

Invitations to apply

We’ll start sending invitations to apply after we review the submissions and remove duplicates. We’ll only send you an email if we invite you to submit a complete application.

We’ll announce when we start emailing potential sponsors on our


How will I know if I was invited to apply to sponsor my parents and grandparents?

If you’re invited to apply, we’ll send you an email to let you know.

Also, we post the status of each confirmation number on our website when we send out invitations to apply. Everyone who submits an interest to sponsor form gets a confirmation number. Look up your confirmation number to find out if you’re invited to apply.

If you aren’t invited to apply

If you’d like your parents and grandparents to come to Canada, they may be eligible to apply for a super visa which could let them


I have a confirmation number. Am I guaranteed to get invited to sponsor my parents and grandparents?

No. After the form closes, we review submissions and remove duplicates. We’ll invite potential sponsors to submit a complete application in the same order we received the interest to sponsor forms online.

When we invite a group of potential sponsors to submit a complete application, we call this a round of invitations. Depending on the number of complete applications we receive, we may do more than 1 round of invitations.

Not everyone who’s invited to apply submits a complete application by the deadline specified in their invitation. Because of this, we have to accept more interest to sponsor form submissions than the number of applications we’ll accept.

For 2020, we’ll invite enough sponsors to receive 10,000 complete applications.

If you have a confirmation number, don’t prepare your application before you’re invited to submit a complete application. We post the status of each invitation on our website every time we do a round of invitations. Look up your confirmation number to find out if you’re invited to apply.

If you’d like your parents and grandparents to come to Canada, the super visa is another option. Your parents and grandparents may be eligible to apply for a super visa to stay in Canada for up to 2 years at a time.


I was invited to submit an application to sponsor my parents and grandparents. What do I do next?

If we emailed you an invitation to sponsor your parents or grandparents, follow the steps sent in the email.

Make sure you:

We must receive your complete application package before the deadline specified in your invitation. This mean we have received the application before this date.

Avoid using outdated forms: don’t prepare your application before you get an invitation.

Your application will be returned to you if:


What proof do I need for changes to my information after I was invited to apply to sponsor my parents?

If the information on your application won’t match what you entered in the interest to sponsor form, you’ll need to

For an address change

Proof could include

You should include as much information to support your claim as you can.

For a name change

If your name is different on your status in Canada document (citizenship certificate, PR card, etc.) than on your other supporting documents (like your birth certificate), you should include

You should apply under the name that's printed on your status in Canada document.


What if my birth certificate is different from other documents (or I don’t have one)?

That depends on what’s different and why.

If my parent’s or grandparent’s name isn’t the same on my birth certificate as on other documents

We need proof that the person you want to sponsor is related to you.

If your birth certificate doesn’t clearly show this

You should also include a copy of your birth certificate.

If I got married and now use my spouse's last name

If your name is different on newer documents because you got married, you should include

If there’s incorrect information on my birth certificate

If details in your application don’t match your identity documents (like your birth certificate), include

If I don’t have a birth certificate

Sponsors normally need a birth certificate as proof of the relationship with their parents. You should apply for a certified copy of your birth certificate if you don’t have one.

If you can’t get a birth certificate from your birth country, you can give an equivalent document from that country along with a letter explaining why your birth certificate isn’t available.


I was invited to apply to sponsor my parents, but didn’t get an email confirmation. How do I get it?

If you didn’t get our email confirmation screen and the tool says you were invited:

If we couldn’t send an invitation through email, we’ll send it by mail, so you should check your mailbox as well.

If you try all these things and still don’t have an invitation, use the web form to ask for one. Include your confirmation number so we can look into it.


Who can be my co-signer on my application to sponsor my parents and grandparents?

To help you meet the income requirement to sponsor your parents and grandparents, your co-signer can be your:

Regardless of how long you’ve been married or in a common-law relationship:

As your co-signer, your spouse or common-law partner must:

You and your co-signer are equally liable if these obligations aren’t performed.


On my sponsorship application, what does current or previous undertaking mean?

Current undertaking: Refers to the sponsorship application you are currently preparing.

Previous undertakings: Refers to sponsorship applications you are or were involved with, either as a sponsor or co-signer, where the applicants were granted permanent residence as a result of the application.

Applications that were returned, rejected or never submitted are not considered as “previous undertakings”.

Undertaking still in effect:

Undertaking not yet in effect:


Can I use a courier service to submit my application to sponsor my parents and grandparents?

Yes, you can submit your application using any local or major courier services. They will help you track your application. You can also use regular mail.

You can’t hand-deliver your package or use non-courier delivery services, such as taxi companies.

Applications must be individually packaged.

Make sure your courier service:


What is a complex family sponsorship application?

If your application is complex, it may take us longer than normal processing times to process your application.

Your application may be more complex if:


How do I pay for my application to sponsor a parent or grandparent?

See Pay your fees to learn how you can pay your fees. Your payment options will depend on :


Can I hand-deliver my application to sponsor a parent or grandparent?

No. You can’t deliver your application to sponsor a parent or grandparent in person. The processing office is not open to the public and we don’t accept in-person deliveries.

Find out how to mail us your application.


On the interest to sponsor form I only mentioned one parent. Can I now apply to sponsor them both?

You can apply to sponsor both parents (or both grandparents) under the same confirmation number if

You should also include a letter explaining why you’re sending applications for both your parents or grandparents when only one was on your interest to sponsor form. 

We don’t accept multiple applications in one package. If you’re sending more than one application, you need to send them separately.

Note, if you are applying to sponsor parents and grandparents, send a separate application package for parents and for grandparents.


Will you refuse my application if I put a different parent than on my interest to sponsor form?

It doesn’t matter which one you put as the principal applicant on the application. We won’t refuse it for this reason.


Do I need a marriage certificate for my parents/grandparents sponsorship application?

In most cases, you need to include a marriage certificate to prove your parents’ or grandparents’ relationship. There are a few exceptions:

Including all the documents we ask for will help make sure your application isn’t


I’m sponsoring my parent. I don’t know where their separated spouse is. How do I apply?

In general, dependants need to complete Schedule A [eIMM 5669] whether they’ll come to Canada or not.

If you can’t get a signature, or other information for the separated parent, you can leave those sections blank.

When you apply, include a written explanation to tell us why you couldn’t get this information. This will let us know you didn’t forget to fill it out.

If the officer who processes your application needs more information, they’ll contact you.


Do I include time on parental leave in my employment history for sponsoring my parents?

When filling out your financial evaluation form (IMM5768), you need to fill out your employment history. Since you’re still employed during parental leave, you can include that time in the employment period for that employer (question 14).

You should list your total income for the entire employment period, not just your annual income.


What do I put for the date of birth (or death) of my family member if I don’t know it?

If you don’t know the complete date, or if it’s in the 1800s, enter 1900 in the space for the unknown year, and 01 for the month or day. This will let you validate the form.

You should also attach a letter of explanation that says why you don’t have the information needed to fill in the complete date.


How long am I financially responsible for the family member or relative I sponsor?

To become a sponsor, you must promise to financially take care of the persons you are sponsoring for a period of time. We call this promise an undertaking.

The “length of undertaking” is the time period you’re financially responsible for the person you sponsor. It starts on the day the person you sponsor becomes a permanent resident.

The length of undertaking depends on:

You are still financially responsible even if:

Person you sponsor Length of undertaking for all provinces except QuebecFootnote 1
Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner 3 years
Dependent child (biological or  adopted) or child to be adopted in Canada under 22 years of ageFootnote 2 10 years, or until age 25, whichever comes first
Dependent child 22 years of age or olderFootnote 2 3 years
Parent or grandparent 20 years
Other relative 10 years

The length of undertaking changed on October 24, 2017, to match the new age limit for dependent children. It went from “under 19” to “under 22.”

Length of undertaking for applications received before October 24, 2017
Person you sponsor Length of undertaking in all provinces except Quebec Length of undertaking in Quebec
Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner 3 years 3 years
Child under 13 years of age 10 years 10 years, or until age 18, whichever is longer
Child 13 to 19 years old until age 22 3 years, or until age 22, whichever is longer
Child over 19 years of age 3 years 3 years, or until age 22, whichever is longer
Parent or grandparent 20 yearsFootnote 3 10 years
Other relative 10 years 10 years

My courier did not deliver my PGP application to your PO Box. What should I do?

In general, many couriers don’t deliver to PO Boxes. But some do and they’ll know where to deliver applications addressed to our PO Box.

You can tell the courier company that the PO Box is linked with a physical address. You’ll have to use a courier company who will do deliveries without a signature.

If you see a different address on your tracking slip, your application may still have been delivered to the right place. In this case, you can do an internet search on the name that signed for your package to verify it’s one of the companies that sort and scan our packages.

You should contact your courier service to confirm that they delivered the package to the right address.

If your courier service confirms they made a mistake and, because of this, you could not submit your application to sponsor your parents and grandparents on time, you can:

Find out more about how to apply to sponsor your parents and grandparents.


How can I quickly get information about my Canadian citizenship to sponsor parents/grandparents?

If you’re sponsoring your parents or grandparents and you don’t have your citizenship certificate, you can apply urgently for a:


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