Canada has announced on July 20, 2021 that it will be inviting a record number of families to apply under the 2021 Parents and Grandparents program. Using the same randomized selection process as years before, IRCC will be accepting up to 30,000 additional applications this year. IRCC will be randomly sending invitations to potential sponsors who already submitted their interest to sponsor form in 2020. Invitations will begin being sent the week of September 20, 2021 and will continue over the course of two weeks.
Changes to 2021 Program
In addition to increased spots, IRCC is announcing that those invited to apply will be able to use IRCC’s new Permanent Resident Digital Intake tool to submit their application electronically.
IRCC has also recognized that many Canadian families have faced financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. As a result, for the 2020 tax year, the income requirement to sponsor one’s parent/grandparent will continue to be the minimum necessary income, instead of the minimum necessary income + 30%. Also, the calculation of the sponsor’s income can now include regular Employment Insurance benefits and temporary COVID-19 benefits, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This ensures that applicants are not penalized for having lost income during the pandemic.
Increased Spaces for 2021
IRCC advises that it aims to receive up to 40,000 completed applications for 2021. Up to 10,000 of those applications will be taken from the 2020 intake process, with the remaining being set aside for new interested sponsors for 2021.
This means that if one has submitted an interest to sponsor form for 2020, IRCC will include them in the randomized selection process for up to 10,000 spots for the 2021 intake.
As before, families will have 60 days to submit their applications once invited to apply. IRCC’s news release can be found here.