TORONTO: Bringing in their foreign-based parents and grandparents will become tougher for Canadians as the immigration minister unveiled a revamped parent and grandparent (PGP) program on Friday.
First off, those wishing to sponsor their parents and grandparents under the revamped program will need to show higher levels of incomes. The higher income requirement is one of the fixtures of the revamped PGP program that immigration minister Jason Kenney announced at the Mississauga office of his ministry.
The PGP program, which was frozen in 2011 because of the very high backlog of over 165,000 applications, will now reopen from January 2, 2014, for submission of applications to sponsor parents and grandparents.
Those sponsoring parents and grandparents will now have to show minimum necessary income (MNI) for the past three years – not just one year as required previously.
Furthermore, the sponsors will now have to agree to a sponsorship period of 20 years, as against 10 years previously. Which means that the sponsor (and co-signers) will be responsible for repaying provincial social benefits to their parents and grandparents for that period. This step has been taken to stop sponsored parents and grandparents from going on social welfare.
As minister Kenney said, “Families say they want to bring their parents to Canada not to be a burden on taxpayers but a large number actually do end up being a burden.”
The minister said the backlog of applications would be reduced by half when the revamped PGP program opens next January.
In all, 5,000 applications will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis.
Kenney also said that the Super Visa – a ten-year, multi-entry visa for parents and grandparents that allows them to stay up to two years at a time in Canada – will now become a permanent fixture of immigration policies. The Super Visa was introduced in 2011 after the government froze the PGP program to revamp it.
The minister said Canada has decided that it doesn’t want to go the way of the US where families have to wait for 20-plus years to get their parents into America.
In all, 50,000 people will be admitted into Canada under the PGP program in 2014 from the pending backlog, Kenney said.
Main Points of the revamped PGP program:
- Under parent and grandparent (PGP) program, Canadian can sponsor their parents and grandparents into Canada.
- The PGP program was frozen in 2011 because of the heavy backlog of 165,000 applications which would have made sponsors wait up to eight years to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada.
- The PGP program re-opens on January 2, 2014, after its revamp. In all, 5,000 new applications will be accepted on first-come-first-served basis.
- 50,000 parents and grandparents will be admitted into Canada in 2014 from the pending backlog which will be reduced to half from the levels of 2011.
- The major revamp is the increase in minimum necessary income (MNI) for sponsors to be eligible to sponsor their parents and grandparents. They will now have to show MNI for the past three years, as against one year previously.
- Another major point of the revamped program is the raise in sponsorship undertaking period from 10 years to 20 years.