Canada immigration news: Canada’s Parents and Grandparents Program is set to to hit a record high of new permanent residents in 2022.
Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data shows Canada welcomed 14,020 new permanent residents through the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) in the first six months of this year alone.
That’s already 2,280, or more than 19.4 per cent, more than the 11,740 new permanent residents through the PGP in all of last year.
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Projecting out for the rest of the year based on the current trend would see 28,040 new permanent residents to Canada under this program by the end of 2022, more than double the number last year.
In 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, Canada welcomed 22,010 new permanent residents through the PGP.
That means there could be 6,030 more new permanent residents under the PGP this year, or more than a quarter more than there were in the year that set the previous record.
PGP’s Popularity Rose Steadily From 2015 Through To 2019
The program to sponsor parents and grandparents has grown steadily since 2015 when the country welcomed 15,490 new permanent residents under the PGP.
In 2016, the number of new permanent residents through the PGP grew by more than 10 per cent, or 1,550 new permanent residents, to hit 17,040, IRCC data reveals.
The following year, that number swelled to 20,495, a jump of 3,455, or almost 20.3 per cent.
Then, in 2018, there was a slump. The number of new permanent residents through the PGP dropped 12 per cent, or 2,465 new permanent residents, to 18,030 before rebounding the following year.
In the last year before the pandemic, the number of new permanent residents under the PGP jumped by 3,980, or 22.1 per cent, over the previous year.
As COVID-19 spread throughout the globe, Canada closed its borders to all but essential travel in 2020. Public health restrictions made international travel very difficult due to tests, quarantine, and the need to wear face masks. In Canada, many businesses were shut down for part of that year.
Immigration plummeted by 45.9 per cent to only 184,585 new permanent residents in 2020 – and the number of sponsorships through the PGP fell in step with that, dropping 52.5 per cent, or 11,555 new permanent residents, to 10,455 that year.
With more and more Canadians vaccinated against COVID-19, the border eventually re-opened and public health restrictions were eased last year. Ottawa also put in place many measures to boost immigration.
In 2021, immigration to Canada roared back to life and 406,025 foreign nationals became new permanent residents of Canada.
PGP Poised To See Even Higher, Record Levels Of New Permanent Residents Arrive Next Year
With the inherent lag in the PGP, though, these only saw a relatively modest growth that year. The number of new permanent residents under this program only grew by 1,245, or slightly more than 11.9 per cent.
The big surge in the number of parents and grandparents coming to Canada through this program is only starting to be seen this year – and is likely to continue through into 2023.
Canada has already welcomed 231,625 new permanent residents this year, putting it on track to see immigration hit the unprecedented level of 463,250 new permanent residents by the end of 2022.
That will mean many more permanent residents in Canada are able to sponsor their parents and grandparents to rejoin them here in the coming years.
The PGP allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents outside Quebec to sponsor their parents and/or grandparents to become permanent residents of Canada.
The federal government’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-2024 currently targets an intake of 25,000 new permanent residents per year under the PGP but comes with a range of 19,000 to 31,000 new permanent residents.
Immigration Levels Plan Sets PGP target Of 28,500 New Permanent Residents For 2023
The target under that plan for the PGP next year is 28,500 new permanent residents with a range of 22,000 through to 38,000.
That means there is a lot of opportunity for the parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to be able to come to Canada through the PGP in the coming years.
Here’s how the program works.
Canada’s immigration department operates a lottery system for the PGP with citizens and permanent residents submitting an Interest to Sponsor form before being placed in a pool.
The IRCC makes random draws from the pool and issues Invitations to Apply (ITA). The sponsors and their parents and grandparents then have 60 days to submit a full application.
The sponsors must:
- be at least 18 years old;
- live in Canada;
- be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act, and;
- have enough money to support those they want to sponsor by meeting minimum income requirements for the previous three years. Candidates can include a co-signer in their application, allowing the combined income to be considered.
Sponsors must also:
- agree to financially support the parent or grandparent for 20 years from the date they are approved for permanent residence, and;
- reimburse the government for any social assistance paid out to the parent or grandparent during that time.
Sponsors who live in Quebec must meet the Quebec immigration sponsorship requirements after being approved as a sponsor by IRCC. The Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI) also assess the sponsor’s income and requires an undertaking to be signed.
Through the PGP, sponsors can bring to Canada their own parents and grandparents, related by blood or adoption. In cases of divorce or separation, the spouses or common-law partners of parents and grandparents are also eligible.
IRCC Provides Estimates Of Processing Times Online
A sponsor’s brothers and sisters, or half brothers and sisters, are only eligible if they qualify as dependent children.
On its website, IRCC provides estimates of the current processing times for various types of applications, including PGP sponsorships.
Due to the backlog of applications before the IRCC, the current processing time for sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents is currently three years.
That estimated processing time includes the time needed to provide biometrics.