The controversial lottery system to sponsor a parent or grandparent (PGP) opens on Oct. 13, for three weeks and will accept 10,000 candidates.
This PGP intake will receive all eligible applications that are submitted but will only accept 10,000 candidates. The candidates selected are chosen at random from the total number of applications IRCC receives.
The return to the lottery system is not without controversy. NDP MP and immigration critic Jenny Kwan was quoted by CBC News as saying “Reuniting with loved ones should not be subject to the luck of the draw,”.
October 13 PGP Intake details
The 2020 PGP intake will open on Oct. 13, 2020, at 12 p.m. EDT and run until 12 p.m. EST on November 3, 2020. The 2020 PGP intake was originally going to accept 21,000 candidates, however, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this number was reduced to only 10,000.
IRCC states that the 2021 PGP intake will accept 30,000 candidates to offset the 2020 quota shortfalls.
Who is eligible to sponsor their parents or grandparents?
In order to sponsor your parents or grandparents, you must be at least 18 years old, be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and also live in Canada. You must also plan to reside in Canada when the application for sponsorship is complete.
You also need three years of Canadian tax documents preceding the date of your application that show you have the minimum required income to sponsor a parent or grandparent.
How much money do I need to earn to sponsor my parents or grandparents?
For a family of four, two parents and two children, sponsoring two parents or grandparents, the family would need to provide Canadian tax documents demonstrating the combined household income was approximately $80,000. This household income amount needs to be shown for the three years preceding the date you apply. If the sponsor is residing in Quebec, the amounts differ slightly but not substantially.
IRCC also announced that the 2020 minimum income requirement to support a sponsorship application will be reduced. IRCC stated that the reason for lowering the 2020 amounts was because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has caused financial hardship for many.
First-come, first-served system failure
The lottery system currently employed by the Liberal government replaced a much-critized first-come, first-served system that operated prior to 2018. The first-come, first-served system created a frantic rush to submit applications the moment the program opened.
People would line up outside case processing centres to submit their applications. There were even reports of people being paid to be placeholders in line so individuals could submit their applications as quickly as possible to secure a spot in the PGP intake.
In response to criticism of the first-come, first-served system and the lottery system, some have pushed for a weighted system. Under a weighted system, candidates who have a better chance of receiving a spot in the lottery system based on how many years they have expressed interest in PGP sponsorship.
Super visa option
If you are not eligible to sponsor your parents or grandparents, the super visa could be another option. The super visa is a 10-year multiple entry visa that would allow parents and grandparents of Canadians to spend time in Canada.
The benefits of a super visa versus the sponsorship route are simply that a super visa is easier to obtain. The super visa program does not have such a strict quota like the PGP intake.
There are still minimum income requirements that the Canadian must meet. Additionally, parents or grandparents must have valid medical insurance.
With the recent announcement that extended family members can now visit Canada, a super visa could be the fastest way to get your parents in Canada for an extended stay.