New and improved intake process for sponsorship of parents and grandparents to launch on January 28

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Ahmed Hussen

Ottawa: On Friday, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, announced the Parents and Grandparents (PGP) Program interest to sponsor form will be available to potential sponsors starting at noon EST on January 28, 2019.

The launch of the 2019 PGP Program will include a new and improved intake process. The Government of Canada has listened to and addressed concerns from clients and stakeholders about the previous intake process, and has taken steps to provide a first-in-first-served approach for 2019. This approach will further enhance the client experience by keeping the application process fair for all, while remaining an easy-to-access electronic method for applicants.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will accept interest to sponsor submissions for a limited time and then invite potential sponsors to submit a complete application, in the order their submissions were received, until the 2019 cap of 20,000 complete applications is reached.

Interested potential sponsors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the new intake process for 2019, as other improvements have been made. These include a requirement for potential sponsors to upload a copy of a status in Canada document when submitting their interest to sponsor form.

The interest to sponsor form has also been enhanced from previous years to include features that will help IRCC detect duplicate submissions and potential fraud.

Potential sponsors should submit an interest to sponsor form as soon as possible once it’s available online, after confirming that they meet the necessary minimum income requirements. The onus is on potential sponsors to ensure they are eligible before submitting an interest to sponsor form.

As a family reunification program, the PGP Program gives Canadians and permanent residents the opportunity to have their parents and grandparents come to Canada to live permanently. Given the continuing interest in the program, IRCC has increased the annual cap on applications it will accept in 2019 to 20,000 – 4 times the number of applications accepted in 2015. This increase was made possible by an over 80% reduction of the application backlog and processing times that have been shortened from 7 to 8 years, to about 2 years.

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship said: “Family reunification is an immigration priority for the Government of Canada. It supports Canada’s economic prosperity and it further strengthens our communities. Parents and grandparents often help care for children, increasing their parents’ ability to work and study, and to make meaningful contributions to their communities. In reuniting Canadian citizens and permanent residents with their parents and grandparents, not only do we help these families to succeed – doing so also benefits our entire country”.

Quick facts: 
• The PGP Program continues to be very popular, with continued high volumes in the interest to sponsor process. In 2018, after removing duplicates, we received 93,836 interest to sponsor forms.

• Consistently high admissions levels for parents and grandparents over the last few years has allowed the government to eliminate the application backlog. The application inventory has dropped from a peak of 167,000 people in 2011, to just over 28,000 people in October 2018.

• Once invited, potential sponsors will have 60 calendar days from the date of their invitation to ensure IRCC receives their complete application for sponsorship.