As a further expression of its commitment to upholding the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act’s goal of family reunification, Minister McCallum announced on December 14, 2016 changes to the intake process for sponsorship applications under the Parent and Grandparent Program. Between January 3, 2017 and February 2, 2017, potential sponsors will need to complete an online expression of interest form, and wait to be randomly selected to submit their full sponsorship application packages.
In the past, the number of parent and grandparent sponsorship applications were limited by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in order to manage the intake, interest and size of the program. However, recognizing its commitment to family reunification, the government is now taking steps to ensure the intake and application process is fair and accessible.
Beginning in 2017, the government will be implementing a lottery system in which potential sponsors will have 30 days to submit an expression of interest online. For 2017, potential sponsors will be able to submit their expression of interest online from January 3, 2017, when the program becomes available, up until February 2, 2017. At the end of the 30-day submission period, IRCC will randomly select 10,000 potential sponsors, and invite them to submit their full application packages.
Once invited to apply, each potential sponsor will have 90 days to submit their complete application to IRCC. Those individuals not invited to apply will be able to submit an online expression of interest again in 2018.
Previously, potential sponsors had to submit a complete application upon opening of the program and hope to be amongst the first accepted 10,000 applications. While the number of applications accepted will still be limited to 10,000, this new intake process will create a more accessible and fair intake process for these sponsorship applications since potential sponsors will be able to submit an expression of interest online and a lottery system will determine those selected to provide the full application.
For more information on sponsorship applications under the Parent and Grandparent Program, please contact PwC LLP.