Parent, grandparent sponsorship program to select applicants by lottery

14 Dec 16



What is the change? Canada has announced a new system for selecting applicants in the popular parent and grandparent sponsorship program.

What does the change mean? Applicants will have 30 days from the opening of the program (from noon EST Jan. 3, 2017 to noon EST Feb. 2, 2017) to fill out an online form expressing their interest. The government will randomly select 10,000 applicants and invite them to complete their application forms.

  • Implementation time frame: The program will open noon EST Jan. 3.
  • Visas/permits affected: Parent and grandparent sponsorship program.
  • Who is affected: Canadian citizens and permanent residents seeking to sponsor a parent or grandparent for permanent residency.
  • Business impact: The system will no longer be first-come, first-served and should help relieve the perennial rush to file in January.
  • Next steps: The program remains extremely popular and applicants should prepare to file within the 30-day window beginning Jan. 3.

Background: The parent and grandparent visa program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor a parent or grandparent for Canadian permanent residency. The program is capped and perennially oversubscribed though the government doubled the quota to 10,000 last year.

Under the new system, sponsors will have 30 days to fill out an online form and the department of Immigration Refugees and Citizenship will randomly select 10,000 individuals who will be invited to complete the visa application process. Individuals who are invited to apply will have 90 days to submit their completed applications.

BAL Analysis: The lottery system will make selection more equitable for applicants seeking to sponsor a parent or grandparent. Due to the popularity of the program and introduction of the online form, applicants who are interested are advised to apply early in January and not wait until the end of the 30-day period to complete the online form. The online form will be available on the IRCC website starting at noon EST Jan. 3, and the 2017 visa application kit and guide will be available on IRCC’s website Jan. 9.

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.

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