Canada reopens application period for parent, grandparent sponsorship program

24 Dec 14



What is the change? On Jan. 2, Canada will begin accepting applications from Canadian citizens and permanent residents hoping to sponsor parents or grandparents to become permanent residents of Canada.

What does the change mean? Canada will cap the number of applications at 5,000. Those interested in submitting applications should begin preparing them as soon as possible.

  • Implementation timeframe:The application period opens on Jan. 2 at 8 a.m. EST.
  • Visas/permits affected:Residency for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Who is affected:Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsoring parents or grandparents for permanent residency.
  • Impact on processing times:The current processing time for sponsorship for parents or grandparents is approximately five to six years.
  • Business impact:The program, though limited in numbers, may provide an incentive to Canadian business people to stay in Canada by providing a mechanism for them to bring parents and grandparents to the country.
  • Next steps: Those who qualify are urged to prepare their applications as soon as possible.

Background: Canada reintroduced the sponsorship program in 2014 after suspending it in 2011 to reduce a large backlog. In its new form, the program raised income requirements by 30 percent and introduced a ceiling of 5,000 applications. This year, the cap was reached within about three weeks.

The program is expected to fill up quickly again in 2015, and the cap is likely to be reached soon after the Jan. 2 filing date. Applications must be received by mail or courier; in-person applications will not be accepted. Applications currently approximately five or six years to process.

Whether or not a sponsorship application is pending, parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents can visit Canada for an extended period by obtaining a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa. The Super Visa is valid for up to 10 years and allows parents and grandparents to visit family for as long as two years without renewing their status.

BAL Analysis: The sponsorship program benefits citizens and permanent residents seeking to sponsor parents or grandparents, but the cap will likely be reached very quickly. Those interested are urged to apply as soon as possible beginning Jan. 2.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Canada. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact