Citizenship and Immigration Canada announces their new action plan to open the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) for new applications beginning January 2, 2014. This application process is expected to cut the waiting time in half.
First – High Admissions
Canada will have admitted an estimate of 50,000 parents and grandparents between 2012 and the end of 2013. This high level of admission, highest in the past 20 years, is the main reason for Citizenship and Immigration Canada to launch this program and reunite parents and grandparents with their families.
Second – Super Visa to become a Permanent Program
The Super Visa will become a permanent program that gives the parents and grandparents of Canadian Citizens the opportunity to visit Canada in a much more convenient way. If eligible for the super visa, one can visit Canada for up to 24 months at a time with a visa that is valid for up to 10 years. This does not require renewal of the status.
How is one eligible for a Super Visa?
To determine whether you qualify for the super visa, you must fall under the following criteria:
- Be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada;
- Be found admissible to Canada; and
- Meet certain other conditions.[i]
It is important to note that dependents cannot be included in this application, only the spouse or common-law partner will be allowed to accompany the applicant.
To determine whether you are deemed admissible to Canada, the visa officers look to:
- If you are a genuine visitor to Canada;
- Your ties to the home country;
- The purpose for your visit;
- Your family and its financial situation;
- The overall economic and political stability of the home country; and
- Invitation from Canadian Host. [ii]
In determining ones admissibility, you will be responsible for providing the following information to the visa officers:
- Written commitment for financial support from your child or grandchild in Canada that must meet the minimum necessary income (MNI);
- Provide proof that you have Canadian medical insurance coverage for at least one year; and
- Complete and Immigration Medical Examination. [iii]
Third – New Qualifying Criteria for Sponsorship
The new criteria have been put in place in order to determine if the sponsor can financially support their parent or grandparent. The idea is to ensure Canadian taxpayers are not going to be relied upon for health or social programs of the sponsored individuals coming into Canada. The following criteria have been updated for this new program:
- The minimum necessary income (MNI) has been increased by 30 percent for the purpose of ensuring the sponsor is able to provide any financial assistance their parent or grandparent may need;
- MNI must be demonstrated for three consecutive years rather than one. This is to confirm the sponsors financial stability and ability to contribute to public programs that are required, such as provincial health care or public transportation;
- Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) documents must be provided, namely financial documents such as notice assessments. This will assist officers in verifying financial information at a much faster speed;
- Extend sponsorship undertaking to 20 years rather than 10 years. This is to ensure that Canadian taxpayers will be protected and to confirm that sponsors are financially responsible and able to support their parent or grandparent when it comes to health care costs not covered by provincial health care, or any other financial support required;
- The maximum age of a dependent is set at 18 years old; anyone over this age is deemed capable of being independent.
[i] “Determine your eligibility – Visit your children or grandchildren” online: Citizenship and Immigration Canada. October 16, 2012. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/supervisa-who.asp
[ii] “Determine your eligibility – Visit your children or grandchildren” online: Citizenship and Immigration Canada. October 16, 2012. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/supervisa-who.asp
[iii] “Determine your eligibility – Visit your children or grandchildren” online: Citizenship and Immigration Canada. October 16, 2012. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/supervisa-who.asp