By Sukhram Ramkissoon
Potential sponsors who did not provide their interest in 2020 and/or invited to apply to sponsor their parent or grandparent last year, are anxiously waiting for the program to re-open. Let us look at how the process previously operated. If the Government chooses to adopt the same procedure, it will be as follows:
The Minister will announce the new date when a potential sponsor may provide their Interest to Sponsor Form. This form is available on the Canada immigration website and requires the potential sponsor to submit the following information through the online portal:
- Personal information of the potential sponsor, including their Canadian citizenship or permanent residency status, contact information and estimated income.
- Personal information of the potential applicant (i.e. Parent or grandparent) and only their name and birth date are required.
Only individuals who successfully submit a ‘Sponsor your parents and grandparent: Interest of Sponsor Form’ to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can be issued an invitation to submit the sponsorship application. An estimated 10,000 sponsorship applications were expected to be processed for 2021.
To be eligible to sponsor a parent or grandparent, you, and if applicable, your cosponsor must meet certain requirements such as:
- being a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident who is over 18 years of age,
- have the minimum necessary income for the last three taxation years,
- proof of relationship between the sponsor and applicant,
- and meet other pertinent requirements as required under Canadian immigration laws.
The program also provides for individuals who submitted an interest in 2020 but were not invited to apply in 2021; they may be given consideration in a subsequent year in accordance with any instructions the Minister may provide.
Assuming the sponsor was or will be successful in submitting their interest, the invitation to apply for their sponsored relative will be sent by email with a confirmation number. The sponsor will be informed of the deadline date to submit the relevant forms and documents that should be uploaded to the portal. The sponsor, if they do not have an online IRCC account, will have to create an account to apply.
Once the application is received by IRCC, they will review the forms and documents. IRCC will only notify and return the applicant if the application is considered incomplete, fees are missing, the sponsor was not invited to apply, or they did receive it before the deadline date.
If IRCC begins to process the application, they will send the sponsor an application number and acknowledgment of receipt. They will also assess the sponsor’s eligibility and assess if the applicant is eligible for permanent residence
If IRCC finds the sponsor ineligible to sponsor their relative, the sponsor may choose in the Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking, to have them continue processing the application for permanent residence. If the sponsor chooses to withdraw the application,at any stage in the processing, the sponsorship fee of $75.00 is not refunded. If the sponsor is found eligible to sponsor their relative, the application will continue processing as normal.
During the application processing, the principal applicant and any accompanying or non-accompanying dependent applicants will be requested to complete medical examinations and provide police clearances. Only those who are receiving a permanent resident visa will have to complete biometrics and only if they are older than 14 years old.
Upon completion of the processing and application approval, the applicants will be instructed to provide their original passports (if they are citizens from a visa-issuing country), photograph for the PR Card issuance and any other relevant documentation. At this stage or prior to the decision, the sponsor will be requested to pay the Right of Permanent Resident fee for their sponsored relative.
We are hoping the program re-opens soon as there are many citizens and residents of Canada, who are now eligible to sponsor their parent and/or grandparent and wish to be permanently reunited with them in this beautiful country.
SUKHRAM RAMKISSOON is a member of The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants and specialises in Immigration Matters at No. 3089 Bathurst Street, Suite 219A. Toronto, Ontario. Phone 416 789 5756.