Grandmother helping out with the kids

Sponsoring your parents and grandparents is not quite the same process as sponsoring a spouse.

In the first place, it has a generally rather short period during the final months of each year when you can file a preliminary application and then be chosen in a sort of lottery where the winners get the chance to then submit an application to sponsor their parents or grandparents.

In other words, there are quite a few stages to the process.

So, if you’re serious about finding out more regarding how to sponsor your parents or your grandparents, keep reading.

We’ll tell you:

  • Each step you have to take in the proper sequence
  • Documents and forms you have to fill out
  • Taking on the role of Representative of your parents or grandparents
  • Waiting times – be prepared for processing times of up to 24 months
  • What to do after you’ve submitted your application including getting your parents or grandparents to authorize the IRCC to share their information with you so you can track the application

Before we get into the details and start covering the process step by step, it’s important to keep these two key definitions clear:

  • Principal Applicant = the parent or grandparent who’s applying to be sponsored.
  • Sponsor = the Canadian citizen or permanent resident (usually) living in Canada who is sponsoring their parents or grandparents to come to Canada.

This might seem obvious to you, but as you’ll see, there are a number of forms to be filled out, usually by both the principal applicant and the sponsor, but not necessarily in all cases.

You have to make sure that the right person is signing the right section of each form.  One mistaken signature, for example, and your form will be sent back to you to be filled out again involving a delay of weeks or even months.

This is a long application process; the average time is around 18 months and you can wait up to 2 years in some cases. Don’t wait any longer than you already have to. Keep who is who clear in your head throughout the application process as you work through each form.

 

Step 1: Can I Afford to Sponsor my Parents to Canada? - Financial Requirements

A sponsorship involves what Canadian immigration authorities call an undertaking. This is because you undertake to financially support your parents or grandparents and any dependents they may have (generally it’s only the case that parents have dependents as we’ll explain further below). That means you the sponsor have to have a certain minimum income level depending on how many members of your family qualify as dependents in addition to those who you are directly sponsoring.

It’s a long undertaking as well. You have to undertake to support them financially for 20 years from the date they become permanent residents of Canada.

If your sponsored parents or grandparents (and any dependents in Canada) have to go on social assistance, you the sponsor are liable for that amount and must commit to repaying the money to the government of Canada.

However, the sponsored parents or grandparents (and dependents) also have the responsibility to make every effort to support themselves financially.

This means that you have to provide proof to immigration authorities that your income will be sufficient to support them. While each specific case will be assessed after you apply, IRCC uses the following table as a guide:

Number of people you’ll be responsible for

2020 tax year

2019 tax year

2018 tax year

2 people

$32,899

$41,007

$40,379

3 people

$40,445

$50,414

$49,641

4 people

$49,106

$61,209

$60,271

5 people

$55,695

$69,423

$68,358

6 people

$62,814

$78,296

$77,095

7 people

$69,935

$87,172

$85,835

For each additional person beyond 7 people

$7,121

$8,876

$8,740

Income levels are significantly lower for 2020. This is due to the effect of COVID restrictions on the economic position of many Canadians. Normally, the required income levels would be slightly higher than those for 2019. Additionally, for the 2020 tax year, Sponsors can count the following as income (for 2020 only):

  • Regular Employment Insurance Benefits (rather than just special EI benefits)
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefits issued under:
    • The Employment Insurance Act, or
    • The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit Act
  • Any other COVID-related temporary benefits as long as they are not part of a provincial or territorial social assistance program.

 

Assessing Whether or Not You Can Afford to Sponsor Your Parents/Grandparents

In form IMM 5768 Financial Evaluation for Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship, the first set of questions is mostly concerned with calculating how many family members you may have to support as a result of sponsoring your parents and/or grandparents.

Here’s what you should see near the beginning of form IMM 5678:

IMM 5678 Checklist

What you place in the box for question 7 is the number which normally determines your required income level. Note that it depends on:

  • The number of people listed in your IMM 0008 in Application Details
  • The number of people that you are still responsible for from previous sponsorship undertakings
  • The number of people you’re still responsible for from previous co-signings (see Chapter 3 for more on co-signing a sponsorship)
  • The number of all the above people your spouse/partner is responsible for if they have co-signed your application
  • Any other family member not included in those categories who is financially dependent on you.

In other words, if you have been involved in other sponsorships, or co-signings, or have co-signed your spouse/partner’s application, the number of people could easily exceed 7 persons and you could be looking at a 6-figure (CAD$100,000 and up) required income.

If you have other sponsorship obligations that are not for parents and grandparents – that is, that have periods of undertaking of much less than 20 years – you may want to consider paying them off any obligations and waiting until those undertakings are over before sponsoring your parents or grandparents.

Of course, this decision is entirely up to you and depends on your income level.

 

You have to prove your level of income by providing Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Notice of Assessments (NOA) for each of the 3 previous tax years. That means you have to send a copy of your 3 most recent NOAs as part of your application package. There are 2 ways to do this:

Giving IRCC Consent to Obtain Your Tax Information From CRA

Give IRCC permission to obtain your tax information directly from CRA. You do this by looking for question 8 in form IMM 5768 Financial Evaluation for Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship. This is what you should see:

IMM 5768 statement of consent

If you want to give IRCC permission to directly obtain your tax information from CRA, then check Yes and write down your Social Insurance Number (S.I.N.) and sign and date this part of the form.

Proving Your Income Without Giving IRCC Permission to Speak to CRA: Form IMM 5478

If you don’t want to give IRCC permission then check No and then you must fill out form IMM 5748 Income Sources for the Sponsorship of Parents and Grandparents.

You must also provide paper copies of your NOAs from the last 3 tax years. If you don’t have paper copies of your NOAs go to your CRA MyAccount, where you can find online copies which you can then print. Go here for information and an instructional video on registering for or logging in to your CRA MyAccount.

 

Finally, here’s a useful method to calculate your income needs if you are planning to sponsor your parents or your grandparents:

  • First, calculate the number of people in your family – including those you sponsored previously:
    • You
    • Your spouse/partner
    • Your dependent children
    • Your dependent children’s dependent children
    • Your spouse’s dependent children
    • Your spouse’s dependent children’s dependent children
    • Any person you (and your co-signer if you have one) have sponsored in the past and are still financially responsible for.
  • Next, calculate the number of people you wish to sponsor:
    • Every grandparent you want to sponsor this year
    • Every parent you want to sponsor this year
    • The spouse (even if separated) or common-law partner of every parent and every grandparent
    • Their dependent children
    • The dependent children of their dependent children.
  • Add the total of each step (total family and total of those you wish to sponsor) and this will be your total amount of persons which you should use in the income table above to calculate your required income.

Please note that immigration authorities will calculate this total for each of the 3 previous tax years, so your calculations will only be an estimate. IRCC has the last word on the total number of people you may directly or indirectly be responsible for and therefore IRCC will have the last word on what your required income should be.

And here’s one final point you need to be aware of as far as income requirements go: You are responsible for maintaining your required income level:

  • From the date IRCC receives your sponsorship application
  • Until the date ALL your sponsored family members become permanent residents of Canada.
  • This does NOT mean your sponsorship undertaking ends at that point. You will remain responsible for your parents and grandparents for 20 years.

To find out more about form IMM 5768 see Step 9.

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Step 2: Am I Eligible to Sponsor My Parents/Grandparents?

  • You have to be 18 years of age or older
  • You have to be living in Canada
  • You have to be one of the following:
    • A Canadian citizen,
    • A permanent resident of Canada, or
    • A registered Indian under the Canadian Indian Act – go here for more information.

There are also disqualifying factors. You cannot sponsor a parent or grandparent if:

  • You’re under 18 years of age.
  • You are not living in Canada when you apply to sponsor your parents/grandparents until when a decision is reached on their permanent residence status. Ideally you should live in Canada continually but the minimum necessary is to have a Canadian primary residence from the time you first submit your application until they receive (or are denied) their permanent resident visa.
  • You’re neither a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a Registered Indian i.e. you’re a temporary resident of Canada (visitor, work, or study permits)
  • Your permanent resident application is still being processed, in other words, you cannot sponsor someone until you receive your permanent resident card/visa.

 

What other factors can make You Ineligible to Sponsor Your Parents or Grandparents?

The following factors may also disqualify you:

  • You’re in jail.
  • You haven’t paid back:
    • An immigration loan
    • A performance bond
    • A court-ordered family support payment.
  • You haven’t complied with previous sponsorship undertakings and didn’t give financial support to those you previously sponsored. Until the full amount of social assistance or any government debt owed by any family member you have sponsored in the past is repaid, you cannot sponsor someone.
  • You have declared bankruptcy and are still not discharged – which means you are released from the obligation to pay back debts due on the date bankruptcy was declared. For first bankruptcies this is automatically 9 months after bankruptcy is declared.
  • You received social assistance for something other than a disability.
  • You have agreed to a performance bond to ensure an immigrant fulfills their obligations and you haven’t paid the amounts owing under than performance bond.
  • If you have missed payments on an immigration loan, a right of permanent residence fee loan (formerly a landing right fee loan) you cannot sponsor someone until they are paid back. To find out how to pay back these government loans, call Collection Services at 1-800-667-7301 (only for calls made in the USA or Canada).
  • You were convicted of:
    • a violent criminal offence
    • an offence against a relative
    • a sexual offence in or outside of Canada
  • You are under a Removal Order and must leave Canada

Here’s a list of phone numbers for Provincial and Territorial Governments for information on how to pay back money owed by sponsored family members from provincial support programs. Remember, until you pay back this money, you cannot sponsor anyone, including your parents or grandparents.

Province

Office

Contact

Ontario

Ministry of Community and Social Services
 Overpayment Recovery Unit

Toll free: 1-888-346-5184
 See website for more information

Quebec

Centre du recouvrement
 1415 Jarry St. Est, Suite 400
 Montréal, QC H2E 3B4

Telephone: 1-514-873-4362
 Fax: 1-514-352-2395

British Columbia

Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Sponsorship Default Line
 1-877-815-2363

Alberta

Alberta Human Services

Income Support Contact Centre
 Telephone: 1-866-644-5135
 Edmonton: 1-780-644-9992

Manitoba

Family Services
 Employment and Income Assistance

Telephone: 1-877-812-0014

Saskatchewan

Department of Community Resources and
 Employment

Saskatchewan Social Services
 Website

Nova Scotia

Department of Community Services

See website for contact information

New Brunswick

Department of Social Development

Telephone: 1-866-444-8838

Newfoundland and Labrador

Department of Events, Education, Skills and Labour

Income Support Section
 Telephone: 1-877-729-7888
 [email protected]

Prince Edward Island

Family and Human Services

Telephone: 1-902-368-6440
 See website for more information

 

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Step 3: Whose parents or grandparents can I sponsor and what is co-signing all about?

First of all, understand that you CANNOT sponsor your in-laws. In other words, you CANNOT sponsor the following people:

  • Your spouse’s parents
  • Your spouse’s grandparents
  • Nor can you sponsor any person who is deemed inadmissible to Canada.

 

If I can’t sponsor my spouse’s parents or grandparents, is there any other way I can help?

Yes there is. You can co-sign your in-laws’ application. This means the sponsor will be your spouse who will sponsor their parents and/or grandparents and you will be a co-signer to that application, pledging to help support them. But you cannot directly sponsor them.

In order to co-sign a sponsorship application, your spouse will have to meet the requirements (including the financial ones) for a sponsor of parents and/or grandparents in order to successfully sponsor them.

However, IRCC may take into account your combined income in assessing your spouse’s sponsorship of their parents or grandparents.

Additionally, you the co-signer, will be liable for any obligations arising from your spouse’s sponsorship. In other words, if your spouse is unable to pay back any debts with social support etc. that their parents or grandparents incur, then you as co-signer will be equally liable for those debts.

As co-signer you will also be responsible in general for supporting your spouse’s parents or grandparents in Canada.

Finally, a co-signer must meet the same eligibility requirements as a sponsor.

 

Can I withdraw my support and no longer be a co-signer of a parental sponsorship application?

Yes, you can.

However, please note that if you change your mind and choose to withdraw your support as a co-signer of a sponsorship:

  • You must inform the Case Processing Centre (CPC) your application has been sent to in writing that you are withdrawing your support as a co-signer.
  • You must also inform the CPC before the person sponsored becomes a permanent resident. In that case:
    • The CPC will record the withdrawal in their records and inform you and the sponsor of that your withdrawal was received – as long as you informed them before the person sponsored becomes a permanent resident.
    • The CPC will then reassess the sponsorship application to see if there are enough financial resources on the part of the sponsor alone to meet their undertaking.
    • If the sponsor’s finances are deemed insufficient the application will fail.
  • If you inform the CPC of your withdrawal of support after the person sponsored becomes a permanent resident, you will remain responsible for their financial support as if you hadn’t withdrawn your support. 

Who Can I Sponsor to Come to Canada?

Now let’s review who you can actually sponsor under this program. You can sponsor the following people (under parental and grandparents’ sponsorship):

  • Your own biological parents
  • Your own adoptive parents
  • Your own biological grandparents
  • Your own adoptive grandparents
  • Your brothers or sisters if they are dependants
    • They must be under 22 years of age AND not have a spouse or partner. OR
    • If they are 22 or older they must have been financially dependent on their parents since before they were 22 AND have a mental or physical disability that prevents them from being self-supporting.
  • Your half-brothers and half-sisters if they are dependents as defined directly above.

Please keep in mind that the above-listed people must be eligible to come to Canada. This includes doing the following:

  • Providing all the forms listed below
  • Providing Medical Exam results
  • Providing Police Reports
  • Providing Biometrics.

The potentially tricky aspect here is Medical Exams, especially in the case of grandparents. As IRCC mentions in their guide to sponsorships of parents and grandparents, some medical conditions may delay the processing of a sponsorship application due to the need for further tests and consultations.

It’s time to take an in-depth look at Medical Inadmissibility.

 

Medical Inadmissibility to Canada due to a Danger to Public Health

If your sponsored parents or grandparents have certain infectious diseases like tuberculosis or syphilis, then they may be considered a danger to Canada’s public health. Clearly a pandemic like COVID-19 fits into this category of medical conditions, but there are already numerous controls in place in Canada and abroad to deal with COVID, like not being allowed to board a flight to Canada if you show symptoms at the airport.

IRCC may request third-party laboratory tests if something in your parents or grandparent’s medical exam alerts them to the possibility of an infectious disease. Their medical officers may also request specialist reports if they are worried about anything in a medical exam.

 

Medical Inadmissibility to Canada due to a Danger to Public Safety

Some other issues that may cause medical officers to raise alerts are:

  • mental health issues – especially those involving violent behavior,
  • a history of substance abuse problems,
  • and any sexual health issue that could be of concern, especially predatory pathologies.

These conditions and their associated behaviors clearly could constitute a danger to the Canadian public’s safety so IRCC medical officers are always on the lookout for them.

 

Are My Parents/Grandparents Medically Admissible to Canada?

When IRCC talk about the term Medical Inadmissibility, it involves 3 possible reasons for an applicant to be considered medically inadmissible to Canada:

  • Danger to Public Health
  • Danger to Public Safety
  • Excessive Demand on Health and Social Services.

We’ll go through each of these reasons and see which ones are more likely to affect a parental or grandparent’s sponsorship.

 

Medical Inadmissibility to Canada due to an Excessive Demand on Health or Social Services

This last type of medical issue is one that is perhaps a little more likely to apply to a parent or especially a grandparent that is being sponsored to come and live in Canada.

There are 2 factors that are weighed by officials when making a decision on medical inadmissibility due to excessive demand on health or social services:

ü  Will the sponsored person’s medical condition result in unacceptably longer wait times for medical services in Canada? Remember that Canada’s health care service is largely public, so healthcare has to be rationed to a certain extent, and wait times are a key metric for any provincial or territorial healthcare system.

ü  Will the healthcare services required to treat the sponsored person’s medical condition exceed what is called the excessive demand cost threshold?

This threshold is a ceiling above which your medical costs are considered excessive and an unnecessary burden on Canada’s healthcare system. In other words, in assessing medical inadmissibility, IRCC officials look at the likely cost per year of the applicant’s medical condition (assuming they have a condition) and then compare it to the average amount spent per year in healthcare services on permanent residents and Canadian citizens.

Let’s see how the amount is calculated, and more importantly how the threshold changed radically in 2018 and what that means as far as potential medical inadmissibility for a parent or grandparent being sponsored is concerned.

Health Spending in 2017 Average of $6,604 per person spent in Canada in 2017.
Previous threshold was this average (x 5 over 5 years = $33,275)
 
Annual cost threshold in 2018 $6,604 x 3 = $19,812 per year
Cost threshold tripled between 2017 & 2018 and has raised slightly every year since
 
5-year cost threshold in 2018 $19,812 x 5 = $99,060 the 5-year cost threshold for 2018
This is 3 times the previous 5-year cost threshold.

From this table it’s clear that a decision was made by the Liberal government in 2017-2018 to raise the threshold dramatically and make medical inadmissibility less of a threat to potential family reunification. Why is that?

Compare two theoretical applications, one in 2017, and one in 2018:

  • In 2017: You only had to have a medical condition that involved potentially spending more than the average annual cost of healthcare spending per person. Additionally, potential spending on things like special education services, vocational and rehabilitation services, and personal support services were included in their estimates of what an applicant’s medical condition might cost the Canadian health system.
  • In 2018: You now had to have a medical condition that involved spending 3 times the average. And as well, special education services, vocational and rehabilitation services, and personal support services were no longer included in the estimates of what an applicant’s medical condition would cost Canada’s healthcare system.

So, the government did two things in the 2017-2018 transition with regard to medical inadmissibility:

  • They lowered estimates of the potential cost of an applicant’s medical condition.
  • They raised the threshold for excessive demand on healthcare services in Canada.

Bottom line, in 2018 medical inadmissibility became less of a potential problem for parents and grandparents sponsored to come to Canada.

 

So, what is the current excessive demand threshold for medical admissibility to Canada?

$21,798 per year (or 3 times the Canadian average) and $108,990 per 5-years.

Please remember, however, that how much an applicant’s medical condition will potentially cost Canada’s health system is a calculation done by IRCC officials and medical officers over which you have no control.

What you can do is ensure your parents or grandparents try to treat and improve any medical condition they may have, in as much as that is medically possible, before you apply to sponsor them. (See the next chapter for more information.)

 

Finally, can my parents’ dependent children (my siblings) be medically inadmissible?

Sponsored dependent children, spouses, or common-law partners CANNOT be medically inadmissible.

 

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Strategies for Dealing with the Medical Inadmissibility of Your Parents/Grandparents

 

Responding to a Procedural Fairness Letter on Behalf of Your Parents/Grandparents

If the sponsored parent or grandparent is deemed medically inadmissible, they will receive what is called a Procedural Fairness Letter before a final decision is made. This is done to allow the possibility of remedial action to mitigate the medical condition. Let’s see how this works.

Procedural Fairness is a set of rules that IRCC officials must follow throughout the decision-making process across all applications and procedures including parental and grandparent’s sponsorship.

Under procedural fairness rules, applicants must:

  • Be provided with a fair and unbiased assessment of their application
  • Be informed of the decision-maker’s concerns
  • Have a meaningful opportunity to provide a response to the concerns raised (in our case to concerns about medical conditions).

A key right of applicant’s is the so-called right to be heard. This means that an applicant must be given a reasonable opportunity to bring evidence or make arguments in support of their application.

So, the Procedural Fairness Letter will explain clearly why an applicant is considered medically inadmissible and the applicant will then be given an opportunity to submit information in response to the procedural fairness letter. This will all be done before a final decision is made.

You are permitted to get professional advice (legal and medical especially) in writing your response letter which might include things like:

  • Any treatment your parent/grandparent may have received or be currently receiving to improve their medical condition
  • The fact that their doctor has switched your medication to perhaps a more effective one that is treating their condition more successfully
  • The fact that their doctor has switched your medication to a cheaper one that will lower the cost of your treatments while still treating your condition effectively.

Please note that the response letter must be sent within 90 days from the date of the Procedural Fairness Letter.

As well, the contact information will be included in the Procedural Fairness Letter, so be sure to keep it stored safely and DO NOT lose it.

 

Responding to a Request for a Mitigation Plan on Behalf of Your Parent/Grandparent

Another possible option is what is called a Mitigation Plan. Be advised that the government will be the ones that request a mitigation plan from you if your specific situation (that is, the specific situation of the parent or grandparent concerned) merits it. You cannot put together a mitigation plan if you have not been asked to do so.

You will be asked for a mitigation plan in your procedural fairness letter, if and only if IRCC decides your situation merits one.

A mitigation plan must be:

  • Credible
  • Detailed
  • Specific to your condition.

You will have to explain how you will support future medical expenses related to your parent’s or grandparent’s condition including:

  • Prescription medication – your mitigation plan might include employer-based or even private health insurance to cover the costs of your medication.
  • Social services – your mitigation plan might detail how you have found a private long-term care facility to help you with your medical condition, assuming the sponsor or the parent or grandparent themselves have the financial means to pay for this. However, you cannot opt out of most other publicly funded healthcare services, so your mitigation plan can’t include covering these services with private insurance.

Here’s what your mitigation plan should include:

  • An explanation of how the services you need will be provided
  • An explanation of how you or your parents/grandparents will pay for those services (aside from those that are publicly provided and which you can’t opt out of)
  • An explanation of your financial situation for the entire time you estimate you will need these healthcare services including bank statements and other financial statements
  • A signed Declaration of Ability and Willingness form where you agree to take responsibility for arranging the health services you will need in Canada along with assuming their costs

Send the mitigation plan to the same contact address given in the procedural fairness letter.

 

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Step 4: When to apply for sponsorship and what is an Interest to Sponsor form?

Every year a certain number of sponsors (around 10,000) are invited to apply to sponsor parents or grandparents.

This involves a 2-stage process.

 

I. An Interest to Sponsor form is made available for a short period, usually only a few weeks.

In 2020, for example, it was available from noon EDT October 13 to noon EST November 3. Anyone interested in sponsoring their parents had to submit an Interest to Sponsor form within that time frame.

Next, a certain number of potential sponsors are selected by lottery (randomly) and then sent an Invitation to Apply.

This is a little like the process with Express Entry. However, in Express Entry once you submit your profile and are placed in a pool of candidates, you are then sent an Invitation to Apply based on your qualifications as measured by Express Entry’s point system.

But in the case of parent and grandparent sponsorship, you are selected randomly, not based on your qualifications.

 

II. Potential sponsors selected by lottery receive their Invitations to Apply and are given a window (usually 60 days) to submit their applications early in the year.

For example, potential sponsors who were selected by lottery after submitting Interest to Sponsor forms in October and early November of 2020, were sent their ITAs in early January of 2021, from the 4th to around the 11th. They then had 60 days to submit their applications.

This means you have to start putting together your parent or grandparent sponsorship form well before that time frame. You should have as much as possible prepared beforehand. Having said that, you have to ensure that you send the most recent forms and thus you have to wait for your application package. But you can begin to gather documents from document checklists used in previous years. (See below for more information on documents)

 

III. Only the following eligible Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or registered Indians can submit applications to sponsor parents and grandparents:

  • You have successfully submitted an Interest to Sponsor form, AND
  • You have received a confirmation number, AND
  • You have received an Invitation to Apply letter.

Please note that you CANNOT transfer an Invitation to Apply to another person. Only the person to whom the ITA was sent can use that ITA to submit an application to sponsor their parents or grandparents.

 

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Step 5: Getting started with Documents and Forms – The Sponsor

Before we start on the forms, you should ensure that you provide photographs according to IRCC specifications. If they are not taken according to these specifications, they will not be accepted.

  • Provide 2 photographs for the principal applicant and each accompanying dependant.
  • The photograph must have been taken within the last 6 months before applying
  • They may be in colour or black and white
  • They must be taken by a commercial photographer
  • They must be clear and sharp in focus
  • The photograph itself must be 50mm x 70mm
  • The height of the face from the chin to the crown(top) of your head should be 31 to 36mm
  • Your facial expression must be neutral
  • There must be uniform lighting – no shadows etc.
  • The photograph must be taken straight on with shoulders and face centred towards the camera
  • It must be taken in front of a plain white background with the face clearly distinguishable from the background
  • The following should be written on the back of 1 of your photographs:
    • Your name and date of birth
    • Name and complete address of photography studio
    • The photographer’s studio information may be stamped or handwritten but NOT placed by means of a label.

 

IMM 5771 Document Checklist for sponsorship of parents or grandparents

Let’s start with form IMM 5771 Document Checklist (for sponsorship of parents or grandparents). What do you think the first document listed for the sponsor is? The one you have to place a copy of at the top of your application package.

Let’s have a look at form IMM 5771 to see the answer:

IMM 5771 document checklist

You see the answer? What goes 1st in your application package is a copy of your Invitation to Apply letter. PLEASE NOTE: Your application will not be accepted without a copy of your ITA. Remember, this is a process based on a lottery which assigns who gets an ITA. They need your ITA to ensure that you’re on the list of lucky recipients who are authorized to apply for sponsorship of their parents or grandparents.

Here’s the rest of the Document Checklist, it includes the following:

  1. Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking (IMM 1344)
  2. Financial Evaluation for Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship (IMM 5768)
  3. Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409), if applicable
  4. Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)
  5. Additional Dependants/Declaration (IMM 0008DEP)
  6. Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)
  7. Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
  8. Use of Representative (IMM 5476), if applicable
  9. Processing Fees

IMM 5771 document checklist

 

IMM 5771 document checklist

Supporting Documents for Parental Sponsorship:

  1. Proof of status in Canada
  2. Marriage certificate, if applicable
  3. Partner’s proof of status, if applicable
  4. Proof of relationship to sponsor
  5. Copy of your passport
  6. Proof of relationship to accompanying spouse
  7. Proof of relationship to accompanying dependent children (if applicable)
  8. Resume
  9. Travel history
  10. Details of military experience, if applicable
  11. Photos (see above for requirements)
  12. Proof of income (only if you did not provide permission to IRCC to contact CRA)

Please note that you should NOT send Police Certificates with your application. If IRCC wants any, they will request one from you or your dependants later in the process after you’ve submitted your application.

As well, do NOT complete a Medical Exam until you receive instructions from IRCC later on during the application process.

 

Now it’s time to work our way through that Document Checklist, form by form, starting with the sponsor.

 

Step 6: Completing the Form IMM 1344: Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement, and Undertaking

If you’ve worked your way through our How-to guide for spousal sponsorship, this form will be familiar to you.

This is the form where you give your personal information and your sponsored parent or grandparent’s information and, most importantly, you sign a declaration that you are assuming the responsibilities that are part of sponsoring them to come to Canada. This is listed near the end of the form.

As well, if you have any previous or ongoing issues with IRCC – deportation orders, support payments not made for a previous sponsorship, any criminal convictions, etc. – you have to list them in the Sponsor Eligibility Assessment section. Be aware that answering “Yes” to any of those may cause your sponsorship to be deemed ineligible.

 If you believe that you may have to answer yes to any of these questions, you should consider getting advice from an experienced immigration consultant or lawyer.

IMM 1344 application to sponsor and undertaking

Question 1 asks you to choose an option in case you are deemed ineligible to sponsor your spouse/partner:

  • Withdraw the application and get a partial refund, OR
  • Proceed with the application and get NO refund.

The first option – withdrawing – is if you will not be appealing any decision finding you ineligible to sponsor. It is the “safe/cautious” option. You might consider this if you have a history with IRCC that includes the following:

  • Previous sponsorships that involved those sponsored going on social assistance, incurring a debt with the government that you haven’t repaid in full yet
  • Missing payments on an immigration loan for things like transportation, assistance, or permanent residence fees
  • Missing support payments to a spouse or child
  • Not having paid into an agreed-upon performance bond
  • You were sponsored to come to Canada within the last 5 years
  • Any violent crimes against a long list of relatives (partners/spouses & their children, grandparents, parents, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins … etc.)

The second option is if you are willing to appeal that decision. It may mean paying a lawyer or immigration consultant to handle the appeals process. This is the more “aggressive/assertive” option. Choose this option if you feel that the specific issue that made you ineligible to sponsor will soon be fixed by you. You should consult with a lawyer or immigration consultant to see the steps necessary to solve the issue (generally one of the ones listed above).

Question 3 will depend on if you have a co-signer or not. The decision to have a co-signer is often based on concerns you may have about whether your financial situation is strong enough to meet the income requirements, depending on how many dependents your parents or grandparents may have.

Questions 4 & 5: Provide full name and date of birth of your sponsored parent or grandparent.

Question 6: Choose the nature of your relationship with the person you are sponsoring, which in this case is one of the following options:

  • Parent
  • Grandparent

Remember you cannot sponsor your spouse/partner’s parents or grandparents.

It is most likely that your parents or grandparents will not be in Canada for the full application process so you in that case, should choose Living Outside Canada.

IMM 1344 sponsor details

Completing the Sponsor Personal Details Section

Question 1: Make sure your name is exactly as shown in your passport. If you don’t have a family name then enter all your given names in the Given Names field (box).

Question 2: Only fill this in if you have had/used different names in the past (aliases, nicknames, maiden names etc.)

Question 4: Use an asterisk (*) if you don’t know your complete birth date: for example, 1992/*/03 if you are unsure of the month you were born.

Question 8: Make sure you write your current marital status (not previous ones). Go here for a list of the different marital status states. Remember to include the date:

  • Of your marriage OR
  • The date your relationship became common-law (this is NOT the same as the date you met).

IMM 1344 sponsor contact information

Completing the Sponsor contact information

This is where your correspondence from IRCC will go unless you indicate an email address further below in the form. So remember, if you do indicate an email address, look for any communication from IRCC in your inbox of that email address.

IMM 1344 sponsor eligibility assessment

IMM 1344 sponsor eligibility assessment

 

Completing the Sponsor eligibility section

This section of form IMM 1344 is key. Be very careful answering these questions because they deal with any outstanding issues you may have with IRCC that could cause you to be ineligible.

As we stated above, if you have a reasonable expectation that the issue or issues that may be resolved soon then go ahead and apply – but remember to check “Yes” if those issues are unresolved at the time you submit your application.

You may have to later prove to IRCC that these issues have been since resolved in order to show you are eligible to be a sponsor. As well, please understand that this could delay your application.

In other words, it is probably safer to wait until all those eligibility issues for you as a sponsor have been resolved before you apply to sponsor your parents/grandparents. Of course, sometimes that may not be possible, and you wish to go ahead and apply before they are resolved. That decision is up to you.

  1. "Are you 18 years of age or older?" You must be at least 18 to sponsor your partner or spouse.
  2. "Are you a Canadian citizen or permanent resident?" Temporary residents cannot sponsor their partners/spouses. If you are temporary resident (visitor, student or worker) your spouse or partner should apply for an open work permit instead.
  3. "Are you sponsoring a member of the family class or a member of the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class?" We reviewed this distinction between inland and outland in Chapter 2.
  4. "Do you reside in Canada and in no other country?" We strongly recommend that sponsor live in Canada permanently before submitting a sponsorship application.
  5. "In the five years preceding this application, did you become a permanent resident after being sponsored as a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner?" If so, you are not yet eligible to sponsor your new spouse or partner.
  6. "Have you submitted a previous application in respect of which a final decision has not been made for the person being sponsored and their family members?" You cannot have two sponsorship applications in progress at the same time.
  7. "Are you in receipt of social assistance for a reason other than disability?" If yes, you are ineligible to sponsor your spouse or partner for PR.
  8. "Are you an undischarged bankrupt under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act?" If yes, you are ineligible to sponsor your spouse or partner for PR.
  9. "Have persons you previously sponsored or their family members receive social assistance during the validity period of undertaking?" If yes, you are ineligible to sponsor your spouse or partner.
  10. "Did you co-sign an undertaking where the sponsored person or his or her family members received social assistance during the validity period of the undertaking?" If yes, you are ineligible to sponsor your spouse or partner.
  11. "Have you ever been ordered to leave Canada?" Answering "yes" to this question does not necessarily make you ineligible, as it depends upon the circumstances of the order.
  12. "Are you late in making a required payment on an immigration loan, a performance bond or any other amounts you agreed to pay under Canadian immigration legislation, and have not made arrangements to defer payments?" If yes, you are ineligible to sponsor your spouse or partner for PR.
  13. "Are you currently detained in jail, prison, penitentiary or reformatory?" If yes, you are obviously ineligible to sponsor your spouse or partner. (And yes, Canada has too many names for jails.)
  14. "Have you been convicted of a sexual offence or serious violent offence against anyone, or an offence causing bodily harm against someone who is or was related to you, or an attempt to commit such an offence?" If yes, you are obviously ineligible to sponsor your spouse or partner.
  15. "Are you in default of a court order to make support payments to your spouse, former spouse, common-law partner, former common-law partner or child?" If yes, you are obviously ineligible to sponsor your spouse or partner.
  16. "Are you the subject of an application to revoke your Canadian citizenship?" If so, the processing of your sponsorship application may be suspended.
  17. "Are you the subject of a report on inadmissibility?" If so, the processing of your sponsorship application may be suspended.
  18. "Have you been charged with an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years.?" If so, your application may be suspended. You should included details of the charge in the space provided.

 

Completing the Co-signer Details (if applicable)

If you decide to have a co-signer, they must fill out this section of form IMM 1344. It includes the following section on their personal information as shown in the following image:

Remember with parent or grandparent sponsorship only your spouse or your common-law partner can be co-signers and they have to meet the same eligibility requirements as you the sponsor.

IMM 1344 co-signer details

There is also a section on contact information and importantly, a co-signer residency declaration stating their intention to reside in Canada if they are living outside Canada.

IMM 1344 co-signer residency declaration

And finally, there is a co-signer eligibility assessment similar to the sponsor’s eligibility assessment a few pages previously in the form.

IMM 1344 co-signer eligibility

Shown below is a listing of the responsibilities you will undertake as a sponsor. You should review them and be familiar with them. When you sign and date this form, you are legally assuming responsibility for the sponsored person and because this is parent or grandparent sponsorship, the length of your undertaking is 20 years.

 

Undertaking by Sponsor and Co-Signer (if applicable)

IMM 1344 undertaking

  • "I undertake to provide for the basic requirements of the sponsored person and his or her family members who accompany him or her to Canada, if they are not self-supporting. I promise to provide food, clothing, shelter, fuel, utilities, household supplies, personal requirements, and other goods and services, including dental care, eye care, and other health needs not provided by public health care. I understand that the money, goods or services provided by me must be sufficient for the sponsored people to live in Canada."
  • "I promise that the sponsored person and his or her family members will not need to apply for social assistance."
  • "I make these promises so that the sponsored person and his or her family members listed on this undertaking can be admitted to Canada as permanent residents. I understand that the sponsored person and his or her family members will be admitted solely on the basis of their relationship to me (as sponsor) and that they do not need to have the financial means to become established in Canada."
  • I understand that the validity period of this undertaking begins on the day on which the sponsored person enters Canada if that person enters Canada with a temporary resident permit or, if already in Canada, on the day on which the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident. The length of the undertaking will vary according to the relationship of the sponsored person and his or her family members to me (as sponsor) and their age and it ends:
    1. if the sponsored person is my spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, on the last day of the period of 3 years following the day on which they become a permanent resident;
    2. if the sponsored person or family member is a dependent child of the sponsor or of the sponsor's spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner and is less than 22 years of age when they become a permanent resident, on the earlier of
      • the last day of the period of 10 years following the day on which they become a permanent resident, or
      • the day on which they reach 25 years of age,
    3. if the sponsored person or family member is a dependent child of the sponsor's spouse, common-law partner and is 22 years of age or older when they become a permanent resident, on the last day of the period of 3 years following the day on which they become a permanent resident;
    4. if the sponsored person is a parent or grandparent of the sponsor, or a family member accompanying the parent or grandparent of the sponsor, on the last day of the period of 20 years following the day on which they become a permanent resident, and
    5. if the sponsored person is a person other than a person referred to in A to D above, on the last day of the period of 10 years following the day on which they become a permanent resident."
  • "I understand that the undertaking remains in effect no matter what may change in my life. For example, if I am divorced, change jobs, become unemployed, and/or go back to school, I will still be responsible to the sponsored person and his or her family members I am sponsoring or for whom I am co-signing."
  • "I understand that, pursuant to section 125 of the Regulations to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, if I breach any of my sponsorship obligations I will be in default. I also understand that I will be in default if a government makes a payment that I have promised to repay in this undertaking. For example, if I fail to provide for the basic requirements of the sponsored person and his or her family members and they receive social assistance during the validity period of the undertaking, I will be in default. I understand that I will continue to be in default until the amount of benefits received are repaid in full or repaid to the satisfaction of the government concerned."
  • "I understand that all social assistance paid to the sponsored person or his or her family members becomes a debt owed by me to Her Majesty in right of Canada and Her Majesty in right of the province concerned. As a result, the Minister and the province concerned have a right to take enforcement action against me (as sponsor or co-signer) along, or against both of us."
  • "The Minister and the province concerned my choose not to take enforcement action to recover money from if the default is the result of abuse or in other circumstances. The decision not to act at a particular time does not cancel the debt. The Minister and the province concerned may recover the debt when circumstances have changed."
  • "I understand that I will not be allowed to sign or co-sign an additional application to sponsor another person under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its Regulations if I am in default of any sponsorship undertaking. This holds true for both this undertaking and any past undertakings where I have not satisfactorily paid back my debts. As a co-signer, I understand that I am jointly and severally or solidarily bound with the sponsor to perform the obligations of the sponsorship undertaking and am liable with the sponsor for any breach of those obligations. If the sponsor and, if applicable, the co-signer do not provide support as required, the sponsored person can take legal action."

 

Obligations of the Sponsor and, if applicable, the Co-Signer

IMM 1344 obligations of the sponsor

"As sponsor or co-signer, I promise to provide the sponsoredperson and his or her family members' basic requirements for a period that begins the day on which the sponsored person enters Canada with a temporary resident permit or, if already in Canada on the day on which the sponsored person obtains a temporary resident permit following an application to remain in Canada as a permanent resident, and in any othercase on the day on which the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident and ends:

  1. if the sponsored person is the spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner of the sponsor, on the last day of the period of 3 years following the day on which they become a permanent resident;
  2. if the sponsored person or family memberis a dependent child of the sponsor or the sponsor's spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner and is less than 22 years of age when they becomea permanent resident, on the earliest of
    • the last day of the period of 10 years following the day on which they become a permanent resident, or
    • the day on which they reach 25 years of age;
  3. if the sponsored person or family member is a dependent child of the sponsor or of the sponsor's spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner and is 22 years of age or older when they become a permanent resident, on the last day of the period of 3 years following the day on which they become a permanent resident;
  4. if the sponsored person is a parent or grandparent of the sponsor, or a family member accompanying the parent or grandparent of the sponsor, on the last day of the period of 20 years following the day on which they become a permanent resident;
  5. if the sponsored person is a person other than a person referred to in A to D above, on the last day of 10 years following the day on which they become a permanent resident.

Basic requirements include food, shelter, clothing, fuel, utilities, household supplies, personal requirements and health carenot provided by public health, including dental care and eye care.

I promise that financial obligations or other personal circumstances over the applicable period referred to above will not prevent me from honouring this agreement and the sponsorship undertaking I signed or co-signed;

I promise that the sponsored person and his or her family members will not needto apply for social assistance benefits; and

I promise to respond promptly to requests for help from the sponsored person and his or her family members by giving money, buying items or providing services for their living expenses."

IMM 1344 signatures

As final note on form IMM 1344, if your spouse/partner is co-signing so they should sign and date the middle line and your sponsored parent or grandparent should sign and date the bottom line while you the sponsor signs and dates the top line.

Who signs where is thus slightly different from a spousal sponsorship. If you have previously sponsored a spouse, remember to review this section of form IMM 1344 and make sure you, your parent or grandparent, and your co-signer (if applicable) all sign on the correct line. Otherwise, your application will be returned to you causing substantial delays while you correct the error.

 

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Step 7: Completing Form IMM 5768: Financial Evaluation for Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship

Just as the sponsor is evaluated financially in a spousal sponsorship, you the sponsor have to show IRCC officials you have a strong enough financial situation to be able to sponsor your parents, grandparents, and any dependents of theirs.

Form IMM 5768 is where you do this, so let’s take a look at the form:

IMM 5768 financial evaluation

Is this image familiar? It should be, seeing it’s in Step 1 where we talk about the financial requirements that come with being a sponsor and how to calculate how many people depend on you and thus what your required income is estimated to be.

Just remember, IRCC has the final say on your income requirements, but using our table and form IMM 5768 and form IMM 5748 (see the next chapter) you can get a pretty good idea if your income is high enough to be a sponsor.

 Let’s keep working through form IMM 5768.

Do you recall what we advised for question 8 in form IMM 5768? It’s where you can choose to hand your Social Insurance Number (SIN) over to IRCC and let them directly obtain your tax information for the 3 preceding years.

Or, you can choose to obtain your NOA (Notice of Assessment) which is what Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) sends you after you file your annual taxes in April. You will have to obtain and print out the 3 most recent NOAs. See Chapter 1 above for details on how to do that through your account at CRA (or how to create an account at CRA).

Please note that you (as well as any co-signer) will also have to complete a form IMM 5748: Income Sources for the Sponsorship of Parents and Grandparents, if you choose NOT to allow IRCC direct access to your tax information. See below for more information on this form.

 

IMM 5768 financial evaluation

You’ll notice that after choosing whether to let IRCC obtain your tax information in question 8, you will then have to list any current or yet-to-begin undertakings you are responsible for. If you have any current sponsorships in effect – often this may be your spouse who you sponsored and then after a few years but before that sponsorship’s term has ended – you have to list each one.

Next in question 10, we return to the issue of a co-signer. If your spouse has agreed to co-sign you must complete this section:

IMM 5768 co-signer information

As you can see, this is a declaration by your spouse of any undertakings still current that they have agreed to.

Questions 12 asks you to list any family members not being sponsored but who are dependent on you financially even if they are not living with you. This is IRCC’s way of estimating your total financial obligations by including any possible obligation you may have beyond those you have formally agreed to undertake through a sponsorship.

Question 13 asks you about your current employment situation. 

IMM 5768

Question 14 asks you about your previous employment over the past 3 tax years. 

Question 15 asks your co-signer about their current employment situation.

IMM 5768

Question 16 asks your co-signer whether they consent to giving IRCC authority to obtain their tax information directly from CRA by giving them their SIN and signing the consent.

If the co-signer (your spouse) does NOT want to give IRCC direct access to their tax information and check NO on question 16, then they must download and fill out form IMM 5748: Income Sources for the Sponsorship of Parents and Grandparents. (see the next chapter for more information on form IMM 5748). This is the same requirement as we mentioned applies to you the sponsor if you choose not to give IRCC direct access to your tax information.

Finally, Question 17 asks your co-signer to list their previous employment over the past 3 tax years.

IMM 5768

 

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Step 8: Completing Form IMM 5748: Income Sources for the Sponsorship of Parents and Grandparents

This form is to be used if either the sponsor or the co-signer does not want to allow IRCC to access their tax information directly at CRA. In other words, you may have to file 2 separate IMM 5748 forms if you have a co-signer and neither you the sponsor nor your co-signer want to allow IRCC direct access to your tax information. But you also may not have to complete this form.

Let’s review form IMM 5748:

IMM 5748 income sources

As you can see, there is a direct connection between IMM 5748 and IMM 5768. You need to use the answer to question 7 from IMM 5768 – your income level necessary to support your sponsored parents, grandparents, and dependents (if any) – and use that income level for tax years 2018 and 2019. Because of COVID your income for 2020 will be treated differently, as we explained at the beginning.

You then have to calculate your income based on your tax returns in questions 3 and 4 and then compare those amounts with the required income in the upper boxes. If your actual income is less than the required income, you are not eligible to sponsor.

IMM 5748 income sources

This is part is key. You can use these images and the relevant lines from your Notice of Assessments from the past 3 tax years and compare it with required income levels by doing the calculations we laid out for you at the beginning to see if you have the required income.

If you don’t earn the required income you can:

  • Add your spouse as a co-signer (in which case you use both questions 3 and question 4), or
  • Decide not to apply and wait for your income levels to improve.

IMM 5748 proof of income

Please note that your income sources are different for 2020 seeing that you are allowed to include some of the government income-support programs put in place due to COVID – as we explained in Chapter 1. Hence 2020 has its own itemized list of income sources for both the sponsor and co-signer:

IMM 5748 income sources

Of course, you can take the easier route and check Yes for question 8 in form IMM 5768 and avoid having to fill out form IMM 5748. But for many of you, privacy of information is likely worth a little inconvenience.

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Step 9: IMM 5409 – Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union

This is filled out by both the Sponsor and the co-signer (who has to a spouse or common-law partner) ONLY when the co-signer and sponsor are in a common-law relationship. The form is used to establish the validity of a Common-Law Union where you are not legally married but have been continuously co-habiting for at least 1 year. If you are legally married or do not have a co-signer, then you do not have to fill out this form.

Because it is a legal declaration it must be sworn in the presence of a notary or similar official like a Commissioner of Oaths or Commissioner of Taking Affidavits. It essentially asks you whether you have:

  • Question 1
    • Co-signed a lease or mortgage
    • Jointly (the two of you) own any other property aside from your residence
    • Have joint bank accounts or credit cards
    • Have declared your common-law union when filing income taxes in Canada.
  • Questions 2 and 3: named each other as beneficiaries of life insurance policies
  • Question 4: Any other evidence you can give of co-habiting

IMM 5409 statutory declaration

IMM 5409 statutory declaration

 

Step 10: Completing Form IMM 5476 – Use of a Representative

As you can see, we like to give you plenty of information that you can act on. You’re also becoming aware that a Parental and Grandparents Sponsorship Application is a lengthy and detailed process where a few mistakes – or sometimes even a single mistake – can slow down of even derail your application.

Now remember that both, either, or neither the Sponsor (the child or grandchild of the parent/grandparent) and the Principal Applicant (the parent or grandparent) can appoint a representative.

Whichever of the two (sponsor or principal applicant) appoints the representative, it makes sense to have the representative handle the entire application, seeing (as you have seen) that both sponsor and principal applicant are involved together in most of the forms and in some of the documents.

So, if the following is true:

  • You’re organized and efficient and good at detail.
  • You don’t mind reading and re-reading the fine print to make sure you got it right.
  • You have the time and energy to devote at least an hour a day for a month or two and not lose track.

Then continue to use this guide and after a couple of months (taking into account the delays in obtaining all sorts of documents – like police certificates for example) you will have completed your application!

If you have doubts about whether you have the time, or patience, to do it all, then you might want to choose a representative. That means filling out IMM 5476:

The important thing to note here is that both the sponsor and principal applicant can use a representative to complete their part of the application.

Clearly, it would be best if one uses a representative to have them do the whole package for both the sponsor and the principal applicant, given how inter-related the roles of sponsor and principal applicant are.

However, in that case both the sponsor and principal applicant should each fill out a form IMM 5476.

Remember that any dependent over 18 included in the application has to fill out and sign their own form IMM 5476.

Finally, both the person appointing the representative and the representative have to sign the form.

Let’s take a look at the first part of form IMM 5476:

IMM 5476 use of a respresentative

The fine print here gives you several important facts:>

  • You don’t have to hire a representative. You can do it all yourself by taking the time to gather documents – including photographs, medical exams, police checks, and any other documents the IRCC asks you to provide – fill out the required forms completely and accurately, and pay the right fees. If you have the time and energy and focus by all means do it this way.
  • You can only appoint ONE representative per application. If you appoint a second representative, the first one you appointed will be automatically removed as representative by IRCC.
  • You also use form IMM 5476 to:
    • cancel the appointment of your current representative and to represent yourself;
    • cancel your current representative and hire another representative; or
    • if the contact information for your representative changes.
  • Finally there are:
    • unpaid representatives – like friends or family members and
    • paid representatives – lawyers, immigration consultants, or Quebec notaries – as well as law students working under their supervision.
    • If you hire a paid representative, they must be in good standing with their provincial or territorial governing body.

The following organizations can help you check whether your paid representative is licensed and therefore authorized to represent you.

 

Fee fraud warning about IRCC fees:

You’ll never be asked to have your consultant pay you IRCC fees.  Be aware.

Let’s now look at the remainder of form IMM 5476

You will always have to fill out Section A:

IMM 5476 applicant information

Section B is for when you appoint a representative and includes their signed declaration:

IMM 5476 appointment of representative

IMM 5476 representative's contact information

Section C – as you can see above – is for cancelling a representative.

And finally, section D is your signed declaration:

IMM 5476 declaration

 

IMM 5475 – Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual

This is only to be used when you wish to authorize IRCC to release your information to someone other than a representative. The person you designate on form IMM 5475:

  • Can obtain information on your case file such as your application’s status.
  • CANNOT conduct business on your behalf with the IRCC.

In other words, they are not your representative but they can monitor how your application is proceeding.You have the same two options to send the form as in the case of IMM 5476 as shown directly above:

  • Use the IRCC Webform found here to upload IMM 5475, OR
  • If you know the address of the IRCC office processing your application then send your form to that office. Go here for a list of IRCC Offices. 

 

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Step 11: Completing Form IMM 0008 – Generic Application Form for Canada

This is one of the principal applicant’s key forms. The principal applicant (parent or grandparent) is responsible for the information given here and should review it carefully – even if using a representative – to make sure it is all accurate and up to date. There are several sections with a lot of information required.

The IMM 0008 form has to:

  • Be downloaded to your computer
  • Be filled out electronically (filled out on your computer)
  • Be validated (after filling it out you have to click on the Validate button at the top or bottom of the page)
  • Have the 2D Bar Code pages properly printed (which only happens after you validate the form and thus only happens when you fill out the form electronically).

If your application form does not have the Barcode pages, or if they are not machine-readable (in other words if your printer does not work well and the image is blurred or otherwise unclear) your application will be returned to you.

 

Filling out the IMM 0008 form

Please note that there are several sections and as with many IMM forms each section has several questions that start again in each new section at question 1.

IMM 0008

Question 1: from the drop-down menu choose Family

Question 2: from the drop-down menu choose Parents/Grandparents

Question 3: Fill in the total number of family members whether they are coming with the principal to Canada or not. Please remember that IRCC defines family members as:

  • Spouse or Common-law partner
  • Your dependants (dependent children)
  • Your dependants’ dependants (dependent children of your dependent children).

Question 4: Language preference will often be important for parents or grandparents whose command of English may not be sufficient for understanding an interviewer for example. You have 3 choices to make as to language preference:

  • Language of correspondence
  • Language for the interview (You must be functionally fluent in English or French if you select them. Otherwise, you should choose your native language)
  • Interpreter requested (if your language for the interview is NEITHER English nor French, click Yes).

Question 5: Select the province/territory and city/town where the principal applicant will be living in Canada. This will generally be the same city/town where the Sponsor is living, but not necessarily.

Question 6: Only answer this question if you are planning to live in Quebec.

 

Next comes the Personal Information on the Principal Applicant

IMM 0008 principal applicant's personal information

Question 1: Make sure your name is written identically to how it appears in your passport.

Question 3: If this is the Principal Applicant’s first application for IRCC, then leave Question 3 (UCI) blank seeing you won’t have one.

Question 5: Either give your height in:

  • Centimetres OR
  • Feet and Inches.

Question 7: If you do not know your full birth date then enter “01” in any of YYYY (year), MM (month), or DD (day) for which you are uncertain or do not know.

Question 8: Your place of birth should be as shown in your passport.

Question 11: If you have previously been in Canada, enter the date when you last entered Canada (it should be stamped in your passport).

IMM 0008 marital status

Question 13: Choose your current marital status from the following list:

  • Annulled Marriage: your marriage was legally declared invalid or declared invalid by the Catholic Church.
  • Common-law: you have lived continuously with your partner for at least 1 year. (You have NOT officially married in a civil or religious wedding with registration and a certificate.)
  • Divorced: you have separated and legally ended your marriage.
  • Legally separated: still officially married but not living with spouse.
  • Married: you have been married to your spouse in a legally binding ceremony.
  • Single: you have never been married and are not in a common-law relationship.
  • Widowed: your spouse has died and you have not remarried nor entered into a common-law relationship.

 Question 14: If you ticked “Yes”, provide the following for previous spouses or previous common-law partners:

  • Family name
  • Given names
  • Type of relationship
  • Dates of relationship
  • Date of birth.

IMM 0008 contact information

Remember that if you include an email address, all correspondence will be sent electronically to that email address. Otherwise, it will be sent to your mailing address that you fill in the first part of this section.

 

Next comes the Passport and National Identity Document Sections

Question 2: Write your passport number exactly as it appears in your passport – but taking care not to put any spaces between the numbers and/or letters.

Question 6: Indicate Yes or No if you are using a passport issued by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a personal identification number.

Question 7: Indicate Yes or No if you are using a National Israeli Passport.

If you also hold a National Identity Document, fill in that information in the section just below the Passport Section as shown above. Make sure your document number in Question 2 is correct.

 

Education/Occupation Detail and Language Details for the IMM 0008

IMM 0008 education/occupation details

Question 1: List the highest level of degree you have earned.

Question 2: Give the total number of years of formal education you have had.

Question 3: Enter your current occupation.

Question 4: Give your intended occupation when you live in Canada.

For the Language Details section make sure to answer:

Question 1: Your native tongue.

Question 2: Whether you can communicate in English or French.

Question 3: The language you are most comfortable speaking.

 

Adding Dependants

You have essentially the same questions with the same sections outlined above for the principal applicant that now must be answered by you (the principal applicant) on behalf of any dependants you may have.

For each new dependant, click on the Add Dependant button at the bottom of the page as shown below:

IMM 0008 adding dependants

To remove a dependant, click on the Remove Dependant button at the start of the Dependants section as shown below:

IMM 0008 removing dependants

Finally, did you notice another button in our second-to-last image above?

It’s the Validate button. When you finish your form, click that button and any missing or mistaken fields (boxes) on your online form will be outlined in red. Make sure you complete each one correctly to ensure your form is complete (in other words, validated).

The last part is the consent (Yes or No) to allow IRCC to use your educational and occupational details to help them to better hire workers. Finally, the principal applicant has to sign and date the application form.

And at the end of the form is the validate button again.

The Validate button should be clicked after you’ve carefully reviewed all the information on the form and are confident it is truthful and accurate and any missing or mistaken fields should be filled out correctly.

This will generate the barcode pages which you will then print and place on top of this form. So, you should have a well-functioning printer ready to go before you take this final step in completing form IMM 0008.

Finally, sign and date the form after you have printed it. Remember, place the barcode page at the TOP of the form.

 

Completing the IMM 0008DEP Form (if applicable)

This form is only completed if you find you have more than 5 dependants meaning you have additional dependants you haven’t listed in form IMM 0008. Remember, you have to validate form IMM 0008 so once that’s done, if the principal applicant then realizes they have to add other dependants they can use this form. It asks the same questions as form IMM 0008 does as regards dependants.

Here’s an image of the first part of the form:

IMM 0008DEP personal details

You have exactly the same sections as IMM 0008’s regarding dependants:

  • Personal Details – with 17 questions
  • Passport – with 5 questions
  • National Identity Document – with 5 questions
  • Education/Occupation Detail – with 4 questions
  • Language Detail – with 2 questions
  • Consent and Declaration of Applicant

The form should be filled out by the principal applicant and the consent question – as with form IMM 008 is whether you consent to IRCC sharing your educational/occupational details with prospective employers in Canada to help them to hire workers. 

 

Step 12: Completing Form IMM 5669 – Schedule A Background/Declaration

With this form EACH of the following people must complete their OWN form IMM 5669, so you will usually have several separate form IMM 5669s in your application package:

  • The principal applicant (your parent or grandparent)
  • The principal applicant’s spouse or common-law partner, whether they are coming to Canada or not (your other parent or grandparent, or your parent’s or grandparent’s spouse)
  • Any dependent children of the principal applicant who are aged 18 or older, whether they are coming to Canada with you or not (your siblings, half-siblings or step-siblings).

As well, it is also a form with a Validate button that should be clicked after the form has been completed to ensure there are no missing or incorrect fields.

The first part of the form looks like this:

IMM 5669 schedule a background

Question 1: If you haven’t previously applied to IRCC, you won’t have a Universal Client Identifier (UCI) or application number.

Question 2: You only have to fill this in if you applied and did not include this form in your package and are doing so after having applied and after having been requested to do so by IRCC officials. In that case you will have received your application number and you should put it there.

IMM 5669 background

For questions 1 to 3 at the beginning of personal details make sure you write the information exactly as shown in your passport.

Question 4 & 5: Asks for your parent’s details.

IMM 5669 parents' details

The next section is important if you have any previous issues with immigration or the judicial system in your country or anywhere else.

IMM 5669 questiona about living in Canada

If you click Yes on any of the options - (a) through (k) - then you have to provide details in the shaded space directly below them. These questions are essentially about issues that can lead to inadmissibility to Canada. Think carefully before answering them, because if you mistakenly check Yes then you may find your application denied.

The next questions drill down into your life over the past 10 years or since you turned 18.

  • Question 5 asks about your education history. You have to give the total number of years if various levels of education from primary through post-secondary and then detail your secondary and post-secondary activity (institutions attended, dates, etc.)
  • Question 6 asks about your personal activity for every year since you turned 18 or for the last 10 years, whichever is longer. DO NOT LEAVE OUT ANY PERIODS OF YOUR LIFE, EVEN IF YOU WERE UNEMPLOYED. Detail what you did according to basic types of activity such as:
    • School
    • Work
    • Training
    • Unemployed
    • Travelling.
  • Question 7 asks you about membership in any organization such as:
    • Trade unions
    • Professional associations
    • Political organizations
    • Social organizations
    • Youth organizations.
  • Question 8 asks whether you have held any government positions.
  • Question 9 asks whether you have belonged to any paramilitary or military organizations, including whether you have served in your country’s armed forces.
  • Question 10 asks about your residences – where you have lived for the past 10 years or since your 18th birthday, whichever is more recent.

Finally, you press the Validate button and correct any errors (usually indicated by a pop-up) or fill in any missing fields. Once printed you can sign and date the form.

Please make sure – if you are filling the form out online (electronically) you do the following:

  • Type in the date
  • Type in your name
  • Validate and print the form
  • Then sign the form next to your typed name in the signature box

If you do not follow these instructions, your form will NOT be accepted

 

Step 13: IMM 5406 – Additional Family Information

As with IMM 5669, EACH of the following people must complete their OWN form IMM 5406, so you will usually have several separate form IMM 5406s in your application package:

  • The principal applicant (your parent or grandparent)
  • The principal applicant’s spouse or common-law partner, whether they are coming to Canada or not (your other parent or grandparent, or your parent’s or grandparent’s spouse)
  • Any dependent children of the principal applicant who are aged 18 or older, whether they are coming to Canada with you or not (your siblings, half-siblings or step-siblings).

IMM 5406 – Additional Family Information

To fill in Section A, do the following:

  • If you (principal applicant) were at your wedding ceremony, write “married-physically present” in the marital status box.
  • If you weren’t, write, “married-not physically present” in the marital status box.
  • Your spouse or common-law partner should do the same.
  • Fill in the remaining personal details as well.

IMM 5406 children

 

Section B

Write the personal details of ALL your children – even if they are permanent residents or citizens of Canada. You should include:

  • Married children
  • Adopted children
  • Stepchildren
  • Children of your own that were adopted by another couple
  • Children in the custody of an ex-spouse (after a divorce)

 

IMM 5406 siblings

In Section C you should write the personal details for

  • Brothers and sisters
  • Half-brothers and half-sisters
  • Stepbrothers and stepsisters

In Section D please sign and date the form.

 

Step 14: IMM 5562 – Supplementary Information Your Travels

In this form you the principal applicant have to list your travels and your spouse and dependants over 18’s travels.

Here’s what the beginning of the form looks like:

IMM 5562 travel information

This form asks the principal applicant to list their travels over:

  • The last 10 years, or
  • Since you turned 18
  • Whichever is more recent – that is, if you are older than 28 then list your travels for the last 10 years while if you are younger than 28 list your travels since you turned 18 years old.

If you haven’t travelled over this period, tick “did not travel.”

IMM 5562 trips

This information also has to be provided by or for:

  • The principal applicant’s spouse
  • The principal applicant’s dependants aged 18 and over.

IMM 5562 spouse's trips

 

Step 15: Paying Fees and Other Expenses

As we mentioned in our In-depth Tutorial on Spousal Sponsorships, your total expenses to sponsor someone will depend on whether you appoint a representative and what you hire your representative for.

A paid representative who guides you through the entire application process can cost you anywhere from around $2,000 up to close to $5,000 for a high-profile immigration lawyer.

A good rule of thumb is to consider a $3,500 fee as a reasonable average for qualified and efficient representation during the whole application process.

However, please understand that there will be further costs involved:

  • Government fees the IRCC charges you – which we detail just below.
  • Fees for services like Medical Exams or Police Certificates which you must pay for and which IRCC does NOT pay for.
  • Courier fees to send documents from abroad to Canada and to send the application package. That is, unless you choose to use Canada Post if you are mailing the package from within Canada – this is a likely possibility seeing most sponsors are recent Canadian citizens or proud permanent residents of Canada.

Let’s go through these additional fees, starting with the fees IRCC charges you.

 

IRCC Fees for Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship

Fee Description CAN$
Sponsorship Fee Parent/Grandparent $75 $1,050
Principal Applicant Processing Fee $475
Right of Permanent Residence Fee $500
Spouse/Partner of Parent/Grandparent $1,050
Dependent Child of Parent/Grandparent $150 per child
Biometrics Fees CAN$
Fee per person   $85
Fee per family (2 or more people applying at same time & place)   $170

There are a few things to note about IRCC fees:

  • To avoid delays it’s suggested you pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee when you pay the rest of the fees which is done when you put together your application package. If your application is refused, your right of permanent residence fee will be returned to you.
  • The total in IRCC fees adds up to several thousand dollars. If for example you are sponsoring your parents and a dependent child that adds up to:
    • $1,050 x 2 = $2,100 plus
    • $150 plus
    • $170 which adds up to
    • $ 2,420 including biometrics fees.

If you now add Medical Exam costs, Police Certificate costs, courier and insurance costs, as well as any fees notaries or translators might charge, you’re probably looking at a figure of over $3,000 already.

Please recall that when we talked about Medical Inadmissibility above, we mentioned that one strategy is to put together a mitigation plan. A mitigation plan can sometimes include private health insurance that the sponsor promises to take out on behalf of their parents or grandparents who suffer from a medical condition that might otherwise cause IRCC to deem them inadmissible.

And of course, there are the plane tickets as well.

So, if you add all these fees to your representative fees, you could be looking at around $6,000 without even considering travel costs. Sponsoring your parents or grandparents is an investment on the part of the sponsor, and it can be a fairly substantial investment. However, given the overwhelming demand for this program every time it opens up annually, it’s an investment many new Canadians are more than willing to make.

Before we show you how to pay your fees – as we did in our Spousal Sponsorship Tutorial – we'd like to remind you NOT to give biometrics UNTIL you receive your Biometrics Instruction Letter. We’ll go through this in a later chapter.

 

How to pay your Parental Sponsorship Fees

 

If you are in Canada, you must pay your parental sponsorship fees online.

You will need the following:

  • A valid email address
  • Access to a printer (in order to print the receipt)
  • A Credit Card or Canadian Debit Card

Go here to pay your IRCC fees online. You will create an online account with a password that will enable you to pay your fees online.

Before we go through the steps to paying your fees online, let’s see how to set up your online account with IRCC.

Go here to set up your account. The IRCC webpage should look like this:

Sign in to your IRCC secure account

Go to the lower left-hand box that says Don’t have an account? Click on the blue Register button. This will take you here to this page where you should see the following:

Register for an IRCC secure account

If you scroll down, you will find instructions for 2 ways to register for an account:

  • Register with a GC Key
  • Register with a Sign-In Partner.

To register with a GC Key (we recommend this method):

  1. Click Register with a GCKey below.
  2. Click Sign Up.
  3. Read the Terms and Conditions of Use and click I Accept.
  4. Create a username. Click Continue.
  5. Create a password. Click Continue.
  6. Create your security questions and responses. Click Continue.
  7. Click Continue to get to the Sign-Up Complete page.
  8. Read the Terms and Conditions. Click I Accept.
  9. Enter your information and follow the steps to create your account.

The blue Register with GC Key button is just below these instructions on the linked page.

To register with a Sign-In Partner (These are Canadian banks or Credit Unions where you already have an account)

  1. Click Register with a Sign-In Partner below.
  2. Choose your financial institution.
    1. If you don’t see your financial institution listed, you need to register with GCKey.
  3. Enter your banking sign-in information and click Continue.
  4. Read the Terms and Conditions of Use and click I Accept.
  5. Enter your information and follow the steps to create your account.

The blue Register with a Sign-In Partner button is just below these instructions on the linked page.

We recommend the GC Key Account option because later on in Chapter 28 where we talk tracking your application, you can use your GC Key Account to track your application, but it must be opened by the Principal applicant not the Sponsor. Seeing the principal applicant may not have a bank account in Canada, they will have to use GC Key.

 

Now, let’s continue with the steps to pay your Fees.

 

The first step is to make sure you’re paying the right fees. We’ve done that for you with the table above.

The second step is to get your card ready. Please note that the Credit or Canadian Debit card does NOT have to be in your (sponsor or applicant) name. In other words, the cardholder’s name which will appear on the printed receipt does NOT have to match the applicant’s name, as long as the card is valid, and the payment goes through.

The following credit and prepaid cards are accepted for paying fees at IRCC.

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • JCB
  • UnionPay.

If you use a prepaid Card to pay your fees, keep your prepaid Card for at least 18 months as it will enable you to receive any refunds.

The following Debit Cards are accepted:

  • Any debit card from a Canadian Bank that uses INTERAC online
  • The debit card must also be registered for online use at your Canadian Bank’s website. Just go to your bank’s online website and follow the instructions to register your card (have your card handy so you can enter the full number).
  • Visa debit Cards.

The third step is to pay your fees. If you’re still uncertain as to how much you have to pay, go here (the fee wizard) and answer some questions to get your correct fee amount.

The fourth step involves receiving a copy of your receipt in your email inbox which you must then print out and include in your application package. DO NOT forget to include your receipts or your application will be sent back to you.

Finally go here and log in (you will have already created an online account with a password at the first link given just above the first step) to view all your receipts.

 

If you are living outside of Canada you have 2 options to pay your parental sponsorship fees:

 

Paying your IRCC fees online.

Go here to get instructions on how to pay online from abroad. Choose your country of residence from the drop-down menu:

Pay your IRCC fees

Here we’ve chosen Brazil just as an example to show how to pay online from abroad.

Next we choose what type of application and what specific application we’re paying fees for from the other 2 drop-down menus:

Remember to choose Family Sponsorship in the second drop-down menu, and then choose Parent and Grandparents Sponsorship from the last drop-down menu you see.

Next we click on Get payment instructions:

Remember to print your receipt before leaving the page. While IRCC says they will mail a copy of your receipt to your email address, make sure additionally that you print the receipt when you pay the fee. That way you ensure you have a copy of the receipt no matter what happens afterwards.

In other words, DO NOT LEAVE THE ONLINE PAYMENT SITE UNTIL YOU HAVE PRINTED YOUR RECEIPT. This means you must have your printer working and ready to go before you log in online to pay your fees.

 

Paying your IRCC fees off-line

You can only use this option if you are living outside Canada and do not have access to the internet. Your payment must:

  • Be an International Bank Draft or Money Order
  • Be payable to the Receiver General for Canada
  • Be in Canadian funds (in Canadian dollars NOT US dollars)
  • Be acceptable and therefore cashable at a Canadian Financial Institution (check with your local bank to see if this is the case)
  • Indicate clearly:
  • The name of the Canadian financial institution,
  • The address of the Canadian financial institution,
  • The account number of the Canadian financial institution,
  • All of which will show where your International Bank Draft or Money Order can be cashed. Consult with your local bank for details.
  • Better yet, if possible find an internet connection and printer and do it online following the steps we outlined just above. But you should know that you can indeed, under certain circumstances, do it offline.

Remember that if your fees are insufficient, your application will be returned to you. If you overpay (your fees total more than the correct amount) then your application will continue to be processed and you will be refunded the difference between what you overpaid and what you actually owe in fees.

 

Step 16: Mailing Instructions for your Parental Sponsorship Application

Please note that IRCC does NOT accept multiple applications in one envelope or package. Package different applications each in their own envelope/package.

Your envelope should include:

  • All fully completed and signed forms
  • All supporting documents – certified or notarized and translated if so required
  • Your printed receipts for payment of fees – DO NOT FORGET YOUR FEE RECEIPTS.

You must send the application by mail or courier.

  • It doesn’t matter if you live near the Case Processing Centre – DO NOT HAND DELIVER YOUR APPLICATION PACKAGE.

Send your application package – whether by mail or courier – to the following address:

CPC-PGP
PO Box 8020 STN T CSC
Ottawa ON
Canada
K1G 3H6

If you choose to send your application package by courier, make sure they send packages to PO Boxes without obtaining a signature. IRCC has agreements with various courier companies in Canada so please check that your courier service is one of these.

You may see an address different from the above one on your courier tracking slip. If so, check on the internet to see if the company that signed the tracking slip is one that has an agreement with IRCC to sort and scan application packages. As well you should:

Call your courier company to make sure they delivered the package to the above address. If not get a letter from them where they acknowledge their mistake and include the letter the letter with the application package the courier company has returned to you, and re-submit the application.

 

What Happens After you Apply to Sponsor Your Parent/Grandparent

If you’ve read through all the chapters so far, you’ll understand that a well-put together application with no missing signatures, all the required supporting documents, and a receipt for the correct amount of fees is the best way to ensure reasonably prompt processing of your parent and grandparent sponsorship application.

Moreover, here are a few things you want to make sure you avoid because they will delay your application’s processing:

  • Making blurred photocopies of documents.
  • IRCC having to verify the information in your documents – admittedly there sometimes isn’t much you can do about this one. The best way to avoid it is to make sure any documents from abroad are official copies with any seals or certifications or required notarizations and are translated into English or French by a certified translator. It’s best –if possible – to have a certified translator in Canada translate your documents.
  • Forgetting to inform IRCC about any changes to your contact information.
  • Medical conditions that may need more tests or consultations will also potentially delay your application, but as mentioned in step 5, a good mitigation strategy will help here.
  • Criminal or security issues will of course delay things, sometimes for a considerable period. See our tutorial on Background Checks for more useful information on this.
  • Any consultation needed between different IRCC offices abroad and in Canada. This often means a security background check is being done. See our tutorial on Background Checks for more information.

 

How to track your parental sponsorship application

Contacting IRCC can take a number of forms, but please be aware that currently they make it very difficult on their website to find their phone number. That’s on purpose and if you ever do try calling them, be prepared for long waits and the fact that you may not get the information you need from that phone call. Here’s a list of some of the ways to contact IRCC:

  • View their questions ordered alphabetically at their Help Centre here.
  • Go here to see how to report change in your personal information.
  • This IRCC Webform (the URL is actually cic which is IRCC’s old name) helps you find information for monitoring your application. Scroll down to here and click on Tell us more:

What would you like to do?

 

Two questions will appear just below the Tell us more button. Answer them and click on the Go to Web form button. Please note that even though your parents or grandparents are outside Canada (in most cases) the office processing parent and grandparent applications is located in Ottawa so for the second question click No.

 

Give IRCC more information

You will be taken to the Web form on this page here. Please note that they list the requirements to use this Web form including at least one of the following:

  • You have already submitted an application. In other words, DO NOT use the webform to ask about processing times.
  • Your application has exceeded normal processing times – remember it can take up to 2 years to process a parent/grandparent sponsorship and that’s considered normal by IRCC.
  • You wish to report important changes in things like: contact information, marital status, deaths of family members, changes in employment etc.
  • You wish to appoint or cancel a representative and have form IMM 5476 and/or form 5475 completed and ready to upload. (See our above chapters on these forms.)
  • You require urgent processing to renew or replace your PR card.
  • You wish to report a technical issue with IRCC online services.

In other words, unless your application’s processing time is over 2 years, you shouldn’t use this form to ask about your application’s status. What you can do however is ...

Your sponsored parent or grandparent can link their paper application to an online account with IRCC. We have a tutorial on how to do this that you can find here. Meanwhile here’s a brief overview of how to do this.

  • Create an online account at IRCC.
  • Log in and where it says “What would you like to do today?” click on “Link application to this account”
  • Enter the requested information EXACTLY as on your original application. You should have copies of your original application’s forms and documents in order to ensure you can do this accurately when completing the questions in your IRCC online account.
  • It may take several tries to get your application linked. See our blog on this here.
  • Once your application is linked to your online account, login and click on “Check application status” and follow the instructions.

 

Can My Parents or Grandparents visit Canada during the application for permanent residence?

Bringing people who are well into their adult lives and perhaps even retired to settle and live in a new country presents a few extra challenges that you might not really have when sponsoring a spouse or a dependant. Let’s go through a few questions that arise from sponsoring your parents or grandparents.

 

Can my parents/grandparents visit Canada while their application is being processed?

That depends.

As we pointed out in our Spousal Sponsorship tutorial, getting a visitor visa to come to Canada while an application for permanent residence is being processed is a tricky proposition. Why? Because when it comes to visitor visas, IRCC officials always check for a key factor:

Will the visitor return to their country of residence after the visitor visa expires?

That leads to the concept of Dual Intent: you intend to leave Canada after your visitor visa expires, but you also intend to move to Canada permanently once you get your PR visa. Here’s what IRCC says about Dual Intent:

The possibility that an applicant for temporary residence may, at some point in the future, be approved for permanent residence does not absolve the individual from meeting the requirements of a temporary resident, specifically the requirement to leave Canada at the end of the period authorized for their stay, in accordance with section 179 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations(IRPR).

As they further say:

An officer should distinguish between a temporary residence applicant whose intention to fulfill their obligations as a temporary resident (namely, to leave at the end of their period of authorized stay as required by section R179) is bona fide and an applicant who has no intention of leaving Canada at the end of their authorized stay if their application for permanent residence is refused.

So, in the case of older adults who perhaps have medical conditions or are generally aged, this means you run the risk of having the visitor visa refused while your sponsorship application is being processed.

Here’s what IRCC says specifically about parent and grandparent sponsorships and requests for visitor visas:

If a parent or grandparent intends to become a permanent resident eventually and can satisfy an officer on a balance of probabilities that they will leave Canada at the end of the authorized period of stay, in accordance with section R179, officers will normally issue a TRV. A super visa may be issued if the applicant has provided the required documents for that type of visa

Again, you have to convince the officer that if your sponsorship application has not yet been approved when your visitor visa expires, you will leave Canada and return to your home country. However, there is also the option of Super Visas.

Old man holding an hour glass

 

Super Visas and Letters of Invitation

 

Super Visa for Your Parent

You should think of a Super Visa not as type of visitor visa – though in essence it is – but rather as a possible alternative to a sponsorship.

A Super Visa is what is called a Multiple Entry Visa. It’s a multiple entry Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) which is:

  • valid for up to 10 years and
  • which allows your parents or grandparents to stay for up to 2 years at a time

To be eligible for a Super Visa, your parent or grandparent must meet the normal eligibility requirements for a visitor visa but also must meet the following additional requirements:

  • Proof of their relationship to the child or grandchild who is sponsoring them:
    • Birth certificate of child or grandchild
    • Baptismal certificate of child or grandchild
    • Any other official document naming them as parent or grandparent
  • Results of Medical Exam showing they are admissible to Canada on health grounds
  • Proof of Private Medical Insurance policy with a Canadian insurance company which:
    • Is valid for at least 1 year from date of entry to Canada
    • Covers healthcare costs, hospitalization costs, and repatriation costs
    • Provides coverage of a minimum of $100,000
    • Is valid for each entry to Canada by the parent or grandparent
  • Evidence of Child or Grandchild’s means of financial support for parent/grandparent - one of following:
    • Copy of child/grandchild’s most recent NOA (Notice of Assessment from Canada Revenue Agency)
    • Copy of most recent T4 or T1 of child or grandchild
    • Letter from child/grandchild’s employer stating job title and description as well as salary
    • Child/grandchild’s employment insurance pay stubs
    • Proof of other sources of child/grandchild’s income including investment accounts etc.
  • A Letter of Invitation written by child/grandchild to the parent/grandparent who will be visiting on a Super Visa

 

Letter of Invitation for your Parents

The Sponsor has to write the letter according to the requirements we list just below and send it to the parent or grandparent coming to visit you on a Super Visa. You may be requested to notarize the letter in some cases.

The Letter of Invitation should include the following information on the person you are inviting to visit you in Canada:

  • complete name,
  • date of birth,
  • address and telephone number,
  • your relationship to the person,
  • the purpose of the trip,
  • how long the person plans to stay in Canada,
  • where the person will stay, and how he or she will pay for things, and
  • when the person plans to leave Canada.

As well, it should include the following information about the person inviting the parent/grandparent to visit them in Canada:

  • complete name,
  • date of birth,
  • address and telephone number in Canada,
  • job title,
  • whether you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident,
  • a photocopy of a document proving your status in Canada, such as
    • a Canadian birth certificate, if you were born in Canada,
    • a Canadian citizenship card, if you are a naturalized citizen, or
    • a copy of your PR card or your IMM 1000 proof of landing, if you are a permanent resident,
  • details of your family, such as names and dates of birth of your spouse and dependants. Please note that this information is mandatory for the parent and grandparent Super Visa.
  • the total number of people living in your household, including people you sponsored whose sponsorship is still in effect. Please note that this information is mandatory for the parent and grandparent Super Visa.

Finally, the following additional information is required because it is a Letter of Invitation for a Parent/Grandparent coming to Canada on a Super Visa:

  • a written and signed promise of your financial support for your parents or grandparents for their entire stay in Canada, and
  • proof that your income meets or is above the low-income cut-off or LICO for the total number of people, including the visiting parents or grandparents. See Chapter 1 to find out how to calculate what a Sponsor’s necessary income is.
  • Please note that with a Super Visa the Child or Grandchild is not officially considered a Sponsor, but does have to comply with some requirements similar to those of a Sponsor like showing that you have sufficient income.

 

Taxes, Savings & Pensions

 

What taxes will my parents/grandparents have to pay?

That also depends.

 

Moving Money to Canada – Canada's financial rules & requirements

Canada’s banking system is world-class, secure, and transparent. However, all Canadian financial institutions have so-called know-your-customer rules where they have to ensure that the source of any finds transferred into Canada are legitimate. We suggest having the sponsoring child or grandchild talk to their local bank manager about what kinds of documents their bank requires to fulfill these requirements.

Canada’s tax rates are generally very competitive with most jurisdictions around the world though they may be a little higher than places like Singapore, for example.

 

Moving Money to Canada – Your Home Country’s rules & requirements

This tends to be a more complex matter and depends on what country you’re moving funds from. Here, the parent or grandparent needs to consult with your local bank officials and tax consultants to see what the most efficient way is to handle this:

  • Should parents/grandparents leave most of their savings in their home country and only transfer needed amounts on a monthly basis?
  • Should they instead, pay the required taxes and move their funds to Canada?

We suggest first maintaining your funds mostly in your home country and then after having settled in Canada look at your options. Sometimes, however, parents/grandparents may wish to move their funds as quickly as possible. Consult a tax lawyer or accountant in your home country in that case.

 

Will my parents/grandparents be able to draw a pension in Canada?

To be eligible for an Old Age Security (OAS) pension in Canada you must:

  •  Be 65 years of age or older
  • Be either:
    • A Canadian citizen, OR
    • A permanent resident of Canada
    • When your application is approved
  • Have lived in Canada for at least 10 years since the age of 18 (if applying from inside Canada)

 

If you are applying for OAS from outside Canada, you must:

  • Have been a Canadian citizen or legal resident (PR status) when you left Canada
  • Have lived in Canada for 20 years since the age of 18

In other words, your parents/grandparents will have to wait for at least 10 years from the date they enter Canada in order to apply for OAS.

Sponsorship eligibility assessment IMM 1344


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