Canada immigration news: Many Canadian citizens and permanent residents are desperate to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada.
The Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) – through which citizens and PRs can sponsor their loved ones for permanent residence – is always dramatically oversubscribed, leaving many wondering if they will ever succeed in the lottery-style process.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is boosting PGP numbers, but slowly. Official figures show that 5,235 new permanent residents arrived in Canada’s 10 provinces via the PGP between January and March, a 148 percent increase from the 2,110 arrivals in 2021. Ottawa’s latest Immigration Levels Plan targets 25,000 newcomers through the program in 2022, 28,500 in 2023 and a 2024 intake of 32,000.
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The problem is that IRCC has not even allowed the submission of ‘interest to sponsor’ forms since 2020. Even those who have received invitations to apply face a 34-month processing time after submitting a completed application.
As a result, many families turn to the Parents and Grandparents Super Visa as a backup option, allowing candidates to visit Canada for up to two years at a time, with multiple entries for up to 10 years.
But there is a catch: Super Visa candidates must apply from outside Canada.
It means that, even during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, families face the prospect of having to send their often-elderly loved-ones home so that they can apply to come back.
Only this week, Canada extended its COVID-19 border restrictions, meaning partially or unvaccinated travellers still need to provide proof of an accepted type of pre-entry COVID-19 test result.
As the world exists in a period of coronavirus-related uncertainty, IRCC should consider making the small but compassionate decision to allow Super Visa applications from within Canada, for those already here on an ordinary visit visa or with another temporary status.
It would serve to ease the stress of families who have grappled with the PGP application process and are looking for a backup option.
Parents and Grandparents Super Visa: Eligibility
The application for this visa is made to a visa office outside of Canada. The applicant for a Parents and Grandparents Super Visa must meet certain criteria.
Firstly, the applicant must be eligible for a regular visitor visa. This means that besides being in good health and having a valid travel document, the applicant must satisfy a Canadian immigration official that they will willingly leave the country at the end of their authorized stay, and that they have sufficient ties to their home country such as a job, family or property, and that they have sufficient funds available to support themselves for the length of their stay.
Additionally, the individual applicant must:
- Show that they are the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- Obtain medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company that is valid for at least one year, providing a minimum coverage of $100,000 for health care, hospitalization and repatriation;
- Undergo a medical examination.
Finally, the applicant’s family member in Canada must:
- Demonstrate that they are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- Provide the applicant with a letter of invitation. This is a letter that provides information about the applicant’s planned visit, about the child or grandchild’s occupation and the economic situation in Canada. Most importantly, this letter must include a written and signed promise of financial support for the applicant for the duration of their visit;
- Demonstrate their income is above a predetermined minimum level.