Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Reuniting families across the country

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Family reunification plays a significant role in attracting, retaining and integrating immigrants who contribute to our success as a country. Canada has an extremely generous family sponsorship program, which allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents the option to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada as permanent residents.

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Member of Parliament Sonia Sidhu, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, alongside Member of Parliament Shafqat Ali, today announced that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will continue to reunite families by accepting up to 15,000 complete applications for sponsorship under the Parents and Grandparents Program this year. This week, IRCC will begin sending invitations to apply to 23,100 interested potential sponsors—enough to make sure we receive our goal of 15,000 applications. Invitations will be sent over the course of 2 weeks.

Due to the number of interest to sponsor forms remaining in the pool of submissions from 2020, IRCC will send invitations to apply to randomly selected potential sponsors from that pool instead of opening a new interest to sponsor form. This is the same approach taken for the 2021 intake. Anyone who submitted an interest to sponsor form in 2020, but who did not receive an invitation to apply in January 2021 or September 2021, is encouraged to check the email account they provided when they submitted their interest.

As with last year, those invited to apply as part of this process will use our new Permanent Residence Portal or the Representative Permanent Residence Portal, which allows applications to be submitted electronically. This is part of our commitment to modernize Canada’s immigration system, and speed up and simplify the application process.

Recognizing that many potential sponsors may have experienced financial difficulties in recent years because of the pandemic, IRCC will once again use a lower income requirement for the sponsorship of parents and grandparents. For the 2020 and 2021 tax years, the income requirement for sponsors will be the minimum necessary income, instead of the minimum necessary income plus 30%, and regular Employment Insurance benefits and temporary COVID-19 benefits (such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit) will be allowed to be included toward the sponsor’s income. These measures will ensure that sponsors and applicants are not unfairly penalized for a temporary loss of a sponsor’s income during the pandemic.

Those who wish to reunite with their parents and grandparents in Canada, but who are not invited this year, may consider having their parents or grandparents apply for a super visa, a multiple-entry visa that is valid for 10 years. Enhancements to the super visa, implemented in the summer of 2022, allow super visa holders to stay in Canada for up to 5 years at a time, with the option to extend their visit by up to 2 years at a time without leaving the country. These changes make it easier for Canadian citizens and permanent residents to reunite with their parents and grandparents in Canada for longer periods of time.

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