What is the change? Citizenship and Immigration Canada has announced it will reopen the Parent and Grandparent Program on Jan. 4, 2016.

What does the change mean? Those wishing to sponsor parents or grandparents for permanent residency are strongly advised to prepare their applications as soon as possible, as the program is extremely popular and usually reaches the quota within one month of opening. 

  • Implementation time frame: Jan. 4, 2016.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent residency.
  • Who is affected: Qualifying Canadian citizens or permanent residents seeking to sponsor their parents or grandparents for permanent residency.
  • Business impact: The quota and high demand severely limit this benefit in drawing expatriate employees to Canada.
  • Next steps: Applicants should prepare to file as soon as the program opens and may also wish to explore the alternative Parent and Grandparent Super Visa Program.

Background: The newly elected Liberal government has not announced the quota for 2016. In the past two years, the number of applications was capped at 5,000 and was exhausted within weeks.

Those eligible to sponsor a parent or grandparent are Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are living in Canada, are at least 18 years of age, meet basic income requirements and demonstrate they can provide basic support for the parent or grandparent.

BAL Analysis: The 2016 quota has not been announced, but the new government has pledged to double it. Nevertheless, applicants are encouraged to begin preparing their applications now and may wish to explore other options if their application is not accepted under the quota, including the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa which is valid for up to 10 years and allows parents and grandparents to visit family for up to two years without renewing their status.

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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