Will 2016 Bring Changes to This Competitive Citizenship and Immigration Canada Program?
Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada. The program awards these parents and grandparents permanent residency in Canada, and the opportunity to apply for Canadian citizenship after four years in Canada provided residency obligations are fulfilled. The program is expected to re-open as of January 2016, though Ottawa immigration lawyers warn this year’s application intake period may be very short.
In recent years, the PGP has proven to be one of the most competitive programs for immigration to Canada. In 2014, the application cap, which was set at 5,000 complete applications, was filled in just three weeks, and when the program re-opened in January 2015, the same cap was reached within just a couple of days. Those who were not able to submit a complete application before the cap was reached had their applications returned, and the program has since been closed.
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the 2016 program will once again re-open in January, and due to the anticipated demand, Ottawa immigration lawyers recommend preparing in advance. Sponsors and their sponsored parties should have their documents ready before the program opens, for quick and efficient submission. This will maximize the chances of successful submission of a complete application before the 2016 program fills, and ultimately the chances of family reunification.
During the recent election campaign, the Liberal Party stated on record that they would either increase or remove the application cap for this program, and that they would assign additional, much-needed resources to help process the overwhelming amount of applications submitted on an annual basis. They didn’t reveal any planned changes to the program criteria, and it remains to be seen whether the application cap will be removed or altered for the 2016 PGP intake. Ottawa immigration lawyers agree this would be a welcome change.
For those who are unsuccessful in their application for the Parent and Grandparent Program, there is also the option of applying for a Super Visa. While this Visa does not result in permanent residence, successful applicants receive multiple-entry visitor Visas that allow parents and grandparents to come to Canada as long-term visitors. Super Visas are valid for up to ten years.
To find out if you and your family members are eligible for the Parent and Grandparent Program, consult the eligibility criteria, or contact an Ottawa immigration lawyer today.