The meaning of family has never been more pronounced during the pandemic. Many individuals in Canada endure the hardship of separation from loved ones in the past year. Nevertheless, with climbing vaccination rates and adjusted border measures, Canada is ready to accommodate travellers. Particularly, the country focuses on reuniting families through the Parents and Grandparents Program.
In recent years, Canada’s Parents and Grandparents (PGP) Program has manifested numerous achievements. The program offers families reunion in Canada, as well as opportunities to make a living. Like many other immigration projects, family reunification also plays a vital role in attracting immigrants who contribute to Canada’s success. Given the program’s past success, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Minister Marco E. L. Mendicino announced today that the PGP Program will issue a record breaking number of invitations for 2021, featuring the following changes:
- In addition to the original 10,000 intake cap, IRCC will accept 30,000 more applications. Hence, more Canadian citizens and permanent residents will obtain the opportunity to bring their families to Canada.
- To ensure an equal, translucent, and just process, IRCC will issue invitations based on random selection. Even if an applicant has demonstrated eligibility, whether he/she receives an invitation ultimately depends on chance;
- IRCC will start its invitation cycle on September 20, 2021, sending all invites over the course of 2 weeks. Those invited will have 60 days to submit the application; and
- Moreover, all applications will be handled by the Permanent Resident Digital Intake tool. As part of Canada’s plan to modernize immigration, this electronic portal aims to expedite and simplify the application process.
IRCC has acknowledged the financial difficulties brought upon families by the pandemic. Thus, the agency will adapt flexible standards for income evaluations. For the 2020 tax year, the requirement will still be the minimum necessary income without the plus 30% as before. COVID-19 employment and regulatory benefits (e.g. Canada Emergency Response Benefit) may also be considered as part of the sponsor’s income. Even if their financial assets have shrunk during the pandemic, PGP Program applicants will not have to worry about rejection due to income.
While IRCC makes efforts to fulfill Canadians’ need for reunion, not all PGP Program applicants are guaranteed an invitation. In addition, sponsors who are yet to submit an interest to sponsor form do not qualify for this new policy. However, alternative routes are available – super visa, a 10-year visa that allows multiple entries into Canada for up to 2 years at a time. With border measures now adjusted to welcome non-U.S. travellers starting September 7, both channels are viable for settlement in Canada.