In their goal to reunite more families, on August 20, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that it will be ending the lottery system for the Parents and Grandparents (PGP) Sponsorship Program. A new sponsorship program will launch in 2019 for Canadian citizens and permanent residents meeting the eligibility requirements who wish to sponsor their parents and/or grandparents. Parents and grandparents admission levels will increase:
up from 17,000 parents and grandparents admission limits to Canada in 2018.
Starting in January 2019, the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program, PGP, will be re-opened on a first-come, first-serve basis to accept 20,500 applications to help families reunite in Canada.
A key eligibility requirement for the new sponsorship criteria is demonstrating that minimum income requirements are met, with evidence that the sponsor can financially support their dependents and the applicant(s). Applicants being sponsored must also meet other immigration requirements.
The changes to the PGP Sponsorship Program are due to intense criticism about the unfairness of the lottery system. The Canadian government is implementing the changes to streamline access to the program and improve client experiences.
Canadian citizens or permanent resident who want to participate in the PGP in 2019 need to complete an online Interest to Sponsor application as soon as possible after January 1, 2019, because only the first 20,500 registrants will be granted ITAs (Invitations to Apply) to sponsor their family members. If you are not chosen as the first 20,500 applicants, additional applicants may receive an ITA even if they were not initially chosen because it is likely that IRCC will not receive qualifying or complete applications to meet their 20,500 targets. This can happen for many reasons, including cases where incomplete applications are submitted to IRCC or due to a change of heart from either the sponsor or the applicant about going through with the permanent residence application process.