How to Apply for Parent or Grandparent Sponsorship

Applying for Parental / Grandparental Sponsorship

Every year the government of Canada allows a certain amount of applications to be processed for Canadian citizens or permanent residents who want to sponsor their parents / grandparents for Permanent Residency. The demand for this type of application is extremely high. Due to the large volume of applications received for Parental/Grandparental Sponsorship (PGP), Citizenship and Immigration Canada has a cap that starts from the beginning of the year. For example, this year’s cap was 5,000 applications. After only 2 days of opening, the PGP cap was met with an excess of 10,000 applications! Needless to say, if you did not submit a completed application on the first day of opening you were likely to be locked out of the application pool.

One of the key reasons that Citizenship and Immigration enforces such a cap is that they are trying to reduce the amount of backlog in processing PGP applications. At this moment (March 2016) immigration is working on applications received on or before November, 2011. If this backlog continues into the future, an applicant might be expected to wait at least 5 years if not more to receive a decision on their application!

The reason for the Parental/Grandparental Sponsorship program’s popularity is the benefits the applicants will receive if approved. He or she will become a Canadian permanent resident and be entitled to all of the social services (including health care) that a Canadian citizen receives. As parents or grandparents age, quite often their children established in Canada want to get them settled in the country on a permanent basis. Frequent visits on Temporary Resident Visas can become quite expensive as well when you factor in the price of airfare and private medical insurance. However, due to the significant backlog that the parental sponsorship program is currently experiencing, there is always the option of obtaining a Super Visa instead. The requirements for a Super Visa are easier to meet than those of a PGP application. While parents or grandparents granted a Super Visa will not receive Canadian health care, they do get a multiple entry visa for up to 2 years which can be renewed over a period of 10 years. Quite often Canadians who chose to submit a parental sponsoring application will also simultaneously submit a Super Visa application as well. That way parents or grandparents can live with them in Canada while they wait for the PGP application to be processed.

Requirements for Sponsoring a Parent / Grandparent to Canada

A crucial requirement for any Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor their parents or grandparents for permanent residence is the ability to provide financial support. As of December 31, 2013, regulations were updated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to alter the conditions of financial support for parents or grandparents. Some of the new conditions introduced were:

  • Period of undertaking extended to 20 years: Basically, once your parents or grandparents arrive in Canada as permanent residents, you will be financially responsible for them for the next two decades.
  • Sponsors must meet the minimum amount of the Low Income Cut Off plus 30%: The Low Income Cut Off (LICO) is calculated by how many dependents the sponsor has and what the minimum amount of yearly income is required to support a family of that size.
  • Sponsors must meet the Low Income Cut Off plus 30% for the last 3 taxation years: It used to be that you only had to meet the LICO for the last year. The 1 year is still used for Super Visa applications.
  • If more than 12 months have gone by since the receipt of the PGP sponsorship application, an immigration officer may request updated evidence of income: Since the backlog is so long for PGP applications, officers may request updated documentation farther along in the application process. This means that you should maintain the necessary income levels even after applying for a Parental/ Grandparental sponsorship.

Low Income Cut Off (LICO)

The Low Income Cut Off is updated every year to reflect increases in the cost of living. The current Low Income Cut Off for sponsors of parents and grandparents (2016) is:

 size of family min income 2012 min income 2013 min income 2014
 2 people  $36,637  $37,708  $38,272
 3 people  $45,040  $46,354  $47,051
 4 people  $54,685  $56,280  $57,125
 5 people  $62,023  $63,833  $64,791
 6 people  $69,950  $71,991  $73,072
 7 people  $77,879  $80,153  $81,355

When calculating family size, you must include yourself (sponsor), your spouse, any dependent children, any other dependents or people that you sponsored previously and are still responsible for, and finally your parent(s) or grandparent(s). For example, a married couple with no children or other dependents wishes to sponsor the husband’s parents. In this case, the size of the family would be 4. That means that for 2014, the married couple would have to have an income of $57,125.

Documents for a Parent or Granparents Sponsorship Application

Family sponsorship applications tend to be some of the most complex types of application. Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires multiple forms and supporting documentation to be submitted in order to objectively process an application. As there are so many facets to a Parental / Grandparental Sponsorship, this blog will focus on one of the key documents to be submitted: the Financial Evaluation for Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship (IMM 5768).

Out of the many forms required in a PGP application, the Financial Evaluation is key in determining if the sponsor can meet the minimum income levels previously discussed in the Low Income Cut Off section. Let’s examine some of the information that form IMM 5768 requests:

Do you have a Co-sponsor?

The Financial Evaluation form gives you the option of assigning your spouse or common-law partner as a co-sponsor for the PGP application. This is a great way to boost your overall yearly income levels in your efforts to meet the Low Income Cut Off. If your spouse or common-law partner agrees to be a co-signer, that means he and she will also be agreeing to the 20 year undertaking period.

Your family members and other dependents

This section of the Financial Evaluation form concerns how large your immediate family is. You must include your spouse or common-law partner as well as any dependent children, whether they are living with you or not. In addition, if you sponsored someone else previously and the undertaking is still in effect, you must include him or her as a dependent as well. Any other family member financially dependent on you must also be included. Finally, the parent(s) or grandparent(s) you are applying to sponsor is included in this total.

Financial requirement

This section of the Financial Evaluation form requests your total income for the past 3 taxation years. You must enter a total income amount in the boxes for each of the corresponding years. By using the Low Income Cut Off chart for sponsors of parents and grandparents, you can determine if your total income meets the requirements. If not, there is no point in submitting the application as it will be rejected.

Please note, it is not enough to simply write down an income number for each year. The immigration officer will require documents that prove your income. One of the key documents to provide is the Notice of Assessment (NOA) from Revenue Canada for each of the 3 preceding years. There are other documents that may be necessary to verify your income as well.


For the sponsor (and co-sponsor), you will need to provide in depth employment history for the last 3 years. Even if you were unemployed temporarily, you will need to indicate this on the form as there should be no gaps in time. If you are currently employed, then documentation such as a signed employment letter should be included with your application for verification. If you are self-employed, articles of incorporation will help to convince the immigration officer that your claim is legitimate.

Submitting a Successful Parental / Grandparental (PGP) Sponsorship Application

Today we have focused in detail on the financial requirements needed to be met for a PGP application. However, this is only one facet of a complex application. There are many more forms that need to be completed and documents that need to be prepared before submitting a final application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Furthermore, if you application is not ready to submit on the day the PGP program re-opens, it is likely that your application will be too late and the cap will be met. The government has increased the cap to 10,000 for next year, but it is likely that those applications will be received in the first day or two of opening. In addition, if an application is submitted without the necessary forms or documentation, it will most likely be rejected anyway.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you are considering submitting a Parental/Grandparent Sponsorship application, contact our team of Canadian immigration lawyers and consultants today! We have the experience and knowledge to effectively guide you through the process of gathering documentation, completing forms, and ultimately submitting the best application possible.

With Akrami and Associates there is always a way!!

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