Family Class

Important changes in Family Class


mmigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has raised its annual quota to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada as permanent residents. The Government of Canada has significantly reduced its sponsorship backlog. Canada will admit an annual total of 20,000 sponsored parents and grandparents, an increase from the 17,000 quota for 2017. Nearly one million permanent residents will be accepted through various  immigration streams and programs between 2018 and 2021.

The Express Entry management system remains the main source of  newcomers to Canada, responding to the immigration dreams of skilled professionals, skilled trades and individuals who would have acquired Canadian work experience through such opportunities as a Post Graduate Work Permit and permits obtained through the Foreign Worker program.

The Caregiver program has been made more robust, with three streams through which individuals may apply for permanent residency. However, some important rules and procedures have changed as they apply to Family Class immigration, how you can sponsor your parent and grandparents to Canada, and who does and does not qualify as a dependant. Processing times for applications have been reduced, and the government has been demonstrating a dynamic approach to labour market needs as seen in recent Express Entry draws.

Family Class

In the next three years, Canada will welcome more than a quarter of a million new immigrants through family class sponsorships. These individuals will be sponsored by their Canadian citizen or permanent resident relatives as spouses, common law partners, dependant children, parents and grandparents.  Sponsorship of spouses and common-law partners along with dependant children is currently processed within a 12 month period as promised by the current government.

This processing time reflects a 50 percent reduction (from last year) in the time it now takes to receive a permanent resident visa under spousal sponsorship. As well, spouses and partners being sponsored from within Canada are permitted to apply for a work permit during processing time, and are therefore able to get a head start on their careers.  All spousal applications from outside Canada are now processed at CPC-Sydney, Nova Scotia. Before making a decision as to whether or not you should submit an application inside or outside Canada, please contact us for informed and expert advice and guidance.

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Parents and Grandparents program 2020 delayed

 Important Revisions:  The Government of Canada has issued information on the much anticipated Parents and Grandparents program for 2020. It has been delayed. It is still unknown what form the new/restructured program PGP will take for 2020.

Through the PGP program, qualified citizens and permanent residents are able to sponsor their parents and grandparents in a streamlined process that was first introduced in January of 2017, requiring applicants to first express an interest in sponsoring their loved ones and then waiting for an invitation to apply. Random selections were made from the pool of interested potential sponsors and invitations were issued.

In January 2018, interested individuals  were able to first  express an interest in sponsoring their parents and grandparents by filling out an on-line application form within a strict timeline that spanned approximately four weeks.,followed by random selections that offered an invitation to apply for permanent residency for the lucky draws. The procedure for 2019 was similar, with the requirement of filing out an Expression of Interest first. This prerequisite step resulted in over 100,000 applicants vying on-line within 6 minutes for 21,000 spots. Relying on a first come-first-served-basis, 27,000 first step applications were received before the portal closed, obviously leaving room for error and ineligible applicants. The public was not happy with this approach and the government resolved to  restructure the program. The number of permanent resident visas in 2020 is set at 21,000.  The delay in re-opening this program is not expected to impact when parents and grandparents are able to come to Canada. Applications are still being processed for those who are already in the system.

  • Click here to read the Government of Canada’s media release.

Successfully sponsoring your parents or grandparents requires submitting a complete and accurate application, with supporting documentation from both the sponsor and the applicant. If your family’s objectives are to bring parents or grandparents to Canada, you should consider working with us to help you achieve them.

If you have  not been successful in receiving an invitation to submit an application in previous years, and would like to have your parents or grandparents with you for an extended period, you should consider submitting an application for a Super Visa (10-year multiple entry) for them. Contact us to help you submit a successful application.

New definition of Dependant

As of October 24, 2017, a dependant for immigration purposes is defined as someone under the age of 22.

Previously, this definition referred to individuals under the age of 19 years.  As such, there is now an opportunity for individuals who were not able to come to Canada under the old definition,  to now be sponsored by their family in Canada, provided they still qualify under the new definition.

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