Parental Sponsorship Course (Grandparents)

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A step-by-step guide on How to Sponsor Your Parents or Grandparents to Canada

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.


Parental/Grandparent Sponsorship Course Steps – Table of Contents



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:

PO Box 8020 STN T CSC
Ottawa ON
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.


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


Have someone from our team call you back and answer all your questions.

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