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Latest update: July 2018

One of the first questions that many newcomers ask once they are settled in Canada is how they can bring their parents from back home to live permanently with them in Canada. Many parents are retired and living alone when they could be here living with their children and helping in the care of their grandchildren. While temporary resident visas, such as the Super Visa, remain an available option for many, Canadian citizens and permanent residents are increasingly exploring the possibility of bringing their parents on a permanent basis.

In an attempt to cut the costs associated with admitting the elderly into Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) decided in January 2017 to create a lottery system for the sponsorship of parents and grandparents. Throughout the month of January, interested Canadians and PRs can complete an online form which was considered an expression of interest to sponsor their overseas parent(s). Notably, only 10,000 lottery entrants were selected and deemed eligible to submit a sponsorship application in 2017. It is estimated that the total expressions of interest at the time exceeded 95,000.

This new lottery system resulted in an almost 10% chance of being able to successfully submit a sponsorship application for your parents. This means that families who are not selected will have to try again the following year. If finally chosen, applicants must meet the financial criteria and wait the processing time which has, in the past, been several years. For families attempting to reunite more urgently, this scenario is not ideal.

Another method of applying for permanent residence for one’s parent(s) or grandparent(s) is through the Humanitarian & Compassionate (H&C) application submitted with the support of a parent sponsorship. These are inland applications that provide another means for allowing parents and grandparents to be accepted permanently, based on the hardship of having to apply from overseas. What this means is that if a parent or grandparent is currently inside Canada on a temporary resident visa (such as a visitor visa), an application can be submitted to IRCC requesting an exception to the normal sponsorship procedure outlined above. The exception would be based upon several criteria, including establishment in Canada, hardship to the family of having the parent or grandparent apply for PR in the usual manner, and consideration of the best interests of any children impacted by the application.


Author Monique

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