An Overview of the Parents and Grandparents Program and Super Visa

The Parents and Grandparents Program in Canada allows eligible individuals to sponsor their parents and grandparents to become permanent residents of the country. If you were invited to apply, it required submitting two applications for the Parents and Grandparents Program: the sponsorship application and the permanent residence application. Both of these applications needed to be approved for the sponsorship process to proceed.

Upon approval of both applications, you, as the sponsor, would be required to sign an agreement called an undertaking. This agreement commences on the day the person you are sponsoring, along with their family members (if applicable), becomes a permanent resident of Canada. Details regarding the eligibility criteria for sponsoring a parent or grandparent can be found under the “Who is eligible to sponsor a parent or grandparent” section of the program guidelines.

In addition to the Parents and Grandparents Program, there is also an alternative option called the Super Visa. The Super Visa allows parents and grandparents to visit their family in Canada for up to five years at a time without needing to renew their visa. It also provides opportunities for visa extensions, allowing sponsored individuals to remain in Canada for up to seven years and granting multi-entry to Canada for up to 10 years. More information on the Super Visa can be found on the program’s website.

Please note that all communication and documentation for these processes must be in English language as per the requirements of the programs.


Eligibility to Sponsor a Parent or Grandparent

If you have been invited to apply, are at least 18 years old, live in Canada, and are a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act, you may be eligible to sponsor your own parents and grandparents. Additionally, you must have enough money to support the people you want to sponsor and provide proof of income. If needed, you may have a spouse or common-law partner co-sign to combine your incomes. You must also meet all other requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

If you live outside Quebec, becoming a sponsor means you must make a promise called an undertaking to financially support the people you are sponsoring for a period of 20 years, starting when they become permanent residents. You will also be responsible for repaying any provincial social assistance your sponsored family members receive during that time. Both you and your sponsored family members must agree to certain responsibilities during the undertaking period, which is outlined in the sponsorship agreement. This includes providing for the basic needs of your sponsored family members such as food, clothing, shelter, utilities, and health care not covered by public health insurance, and ensuring that the person you sponsor makes efforts to support themselves and their family members. The sponsorship agreement remains valid even in the case of events such as marriage ending, separation or divorce, family rifts, unemployment, change in finances, or death of the main applicant if you are also sponsoring their family members.

If you live in Quebecyou must meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements after being approved as a sponsor. The Quebec ministry in charge of immigration will assess your income, and you must also sign an undertaking with the province of Quebec for a length of 10 years.


Ineligible Conditions for Sponsoring Parents and Grandparents in Canada

There are certain conditions under which you may not be eligible to sponsor your parents and grandparents. These include not being invited to apply, being less than 18 years old, not planning to live in Canada when you apply to sponsor your parents and grandparents and/or when your parents and grandparents become permanent residents (your primary residential address must be in Canada when you submit your application and until a decision is made on your application), not being a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act, being a temporary resident (e.g., visiting, studying, or working in Canada on a visa or permit), or having a pending permanent residence application. You must have permanent resident status at the time you submit your sponsorship application. Additionally, if your proof of income shows that you do not have enough money to support the people you want to sponsor, you may not be eligible.


There are also certain circumstances that may make you ineligible to sponsor your parents and grandparents, such as:

  • Are in jail, prison, or penitentiary
  • Have not repaid an immigration loan or performance bond
  • Have failed to fulfill court-ordered family support payments
  • Have not provided financial support as agreed in a previous sponsorship agreement
  • Have been declared bankrupt and not discharged
  • Are receiving social assistance for a reason other than a disability
  • Have been convicted of a violent criminal offence, offence against a relative, or sexual offence
  • Have received a Removal Order and are required to leave Canada

If you are deemed ineligible to sponsor, you will be informed of the reasons by the relevant authorities.


Alternatives to the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP): Super Visa

As mentioned earlier, the PGP is a highly competitive program that many Canadian citizens and permanent residents consider as a pathway to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada. However, due to its limited intake and high demand, not all Canadians are successful in sponsoring their loved ones through this immigration pathway.

Fortunately, there is an alternative option called the Super Visa, offered by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The Super Visa has a separate set of eligibility criteria compared to the PGP and provides Canadians with several benefits:

  • Availability year-round: Unlike the PGP, which is open for only a limited period of time each year, the Super Visa is available year-round, providing more flexibility for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
  • Extended visitation period: The Super Visa allows parents and grandparents sponsored by Canadian citizens or permanent residents to visit their family in Canada for up to five years at a time without the need for visa renewal.
  • Visa extension opportunities: The Super Visa also offers different visa extension options, which allow sponsored individuals to remain in Canada for up to seven years and grants multi-entry to Canada for up to 10 years. Details on these different visa extension options can be found here.
  • Travel flexibility: The Super Visa enables sponsored parents and grandparents to travel freely between Canada and their home country of residence, eliminating the need to reapply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) if their home country requires one for entry to Canada.
  • Entry authorization: Acceptance into the Super Visa program includes a letter that authorizes a sponsored person’s entry into Canada for up to two years, for those living in countries that do not require TRVs for entry into Canada.

In summary, the Super Visa provides an alternative option for Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are unable to sponsor their parents or grandparents through the PGP. It offers year-round availability, extended visitation periods, visa extension opportunities, travel flexibility, and entry authorization, making it a viable option for family reunification in Canada. Learn more about how to apply for a Super visa, click here.

If you are considering submitting a Parental/Grandparent Sponsorship application, our team of Canadian immigration lawyers and consultants are here to help! With our experience and knowledge, we can effectively guide you through the process of gathering documentation, completing forms, and submitting the best possible application. Akrami & Associates has a wealth of experience in dealing with these matters. Contact us today to find out how we can assist you! There’s always a way with Akrami & Associates! Don’t forget to check out our blogs at and follow our Facebook page for more information.



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