The Parent and Grandparent Program Reopens Soon, and Canadian Immigration Lawyers Can Help
As we approach the beginning of a new year, many families will be beginning the process of applying to the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP), a sponsorship program that is opened every year to allow citizens and permanent residents alike to help parents who live overseas to relocate to Canada. The 2016 program will open at 8:00 a.m. EST on January 4th, and will accept an as-yet unspecified number of applications. While it is possible to apply without assistance, some families opt to apply with the assistance of an immigration lawyer. Canadian immigration lawyers know the complexities of the system and can help people navigate the immigration process, reducing the risk of errors which could render an application invalid.
In the past two years, the PGP has begun accepting applications early in the year, and in both years, the application cap was met very quickly. In 2014, the 5,000 entry cap was met within weeks; in 2015, an identical cap was met in a matter of days. However, during the 2015 election, immigration issues—and especially family reunification and the Syrian refugee crisis—were central to many of the candidate’s platforms. In fact, the Liberal Party of Canada stated that, if elected, they would work to either raise the cap on PGP, or erase the cap altogether. Now that the Liberals have formed government and announced the opening date for 2016’s program, Canadian immigration lawyers are waiting patiently to discover what the application cap will be. While the application package is available online, the 2016 cap has yet to be announced—leaving some understandably anxious about whether or not there will be room for them.
To sponsor a parent or grandparent, you must prove (with or without the assistance of a citizenship lawyer) that you meet several major criteria. You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident yourself, and be 18 years of age or older. There is also a minimum necessary income level that must be met to be eligible for the program. To prove that you meet this criteria, you will have to submit for an assessment issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If the sponsor has a spouse or common-law partner, the combined income may be considered. The final major criteria is committing to support the sponsored relative financially for 20 years after the date on which they become a permanent resident.
If you’re worried about the strength of your application for the Parent and Grandparent Program, please feel free to contact an experienced citizenship lawyer. A trained legal professional can answer any questions that you have and assuage your concerns. Canadian immigration lawyers are here to help you!