The Parents and Grandparents Program and other routes to reunite families in Canada 

Program to reunite families in Canada

Canada recently announced the commencement of their Parents and Grandparents program for 2023. Starting October 10, the IRCC will begin sending Invitations to over 24,200 potential sponsors, with a target of 15,000 complete applications to be approved. 

Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025 and targets for the Parents and Grandparents program 

Given the Canadian government’s continued emphasis on Family reunification, the Plan had 106,500 targeted under Family immigration for 2023, with 28,500 specifically from the Parents and Grandparents program. 

What is the Parents and Grandparents Program? 

The program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their biological or adopted parents and grandparents for permanent residency in Canada. 

Who is eligible to be a sponsor under the Parents and Grandparents Program? 

To become a sponsor, an individual must submit an interest to sponsor form and: 

  • Be Invited to apply 
  • Be at least 18 years old 
  • Live in Canada as a citizen, a permanent resident 
  • Have enough money to support the parents or grandparents 
  • Sponsors will have to commit to an undertaking to provide financial support for 20 years and repay any social assistance they may receive during this period. This also includes providing for their basic needs even in cases of separation, family rifts, unemployment, changes in finances, etc. 
  • Meet all requirements set by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. 

Who is invited under the Parents and Grandparents program in 2023? 

The IRCC won’t open a new interest to sponsor form in 2022. Instead, sponsors will be picked from the 2020 pool of submissions due to the number of leftover forms remaining in that year’s pool. 

Other alternatives to Reunite families in Canada 

Due to the limited number of invitations issued each year and the number of remaining forms from previous pools, the program is less practical for Canadians looking for a quicker solution. 

Initiatives like the Super visa are temporary but quicker and more accessible for Canadians looking to reunite with their families. The Super visa has also grown more alluring in recent years with many positive changes implemented by the IRCC, including an increase in the length of stay to 5 years per entry and provisions to allow international medical insurance companies to cover super visa applicants. 

What is the Super visa? 

The Super visa is a temporary permit for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who want to visit their children in Canada. The visa allows them to visit for up to 5 years at a time and allows multiple entries over a 10-year period. 

Who is eligible for a Super visa? 

To be eligible for a Super visa, an applicant must: 

  • Be a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. 
  • Have a signed letter of invitation from the child or grandchild promising financial support for the length of the visit, along with a list of the people in the household and a copy of their citizenship or permanent resident document. 
  • Have private medical insurance from a Canadian or International insurance company approved by the IRCC. 

Is the Super visa a legitimate alternative to Sponsoring Parents and Grandparents? 

A Super visa can be a cheaper and much quicker alternative to the sponsoring route. 

The Super visa is comparatively cheaper with an application fee of CAD 100 while sponsoring a parent or grandparent under the Parents and Grandparents program carries a fee of CAD 1,080 (Sponsorship fee $75, processing fee $490, right of permanent residence fee $515). 

The processing times of the two also differ to a large extent. A Super visa application from India has a processing time of 49 days, while sponsoring Parents or grandparents (Outside Quebec) has a processing time of 23 months. 

The Super visa is also not reliant on draws and is available year-round for eligible applicants. As evidenced above, the IRCC is still working on interested sponsors from the 2020 pool, making it unlikely for any interested sponsors after 2020 to get approved in the near future. The Super visa remains a more reliable option for Canadians who want to reunite their families soon and with a degree of certainty. 

Janggoulal Sitlhou

Janggoulal Sitlhou

Janggoulal Sitlhou is a content writer with SettleCanada. He is a Political Sciences graduate and a keen follower of international affairs and contemporary history. He has a background in publishing and regularly dabbles in writing and game development projects. Janggoulal currently writes on issues related to Canadian Immigration.