Mon | Sep 27, 2021

Immigration Corner | New date for Parents and Grandparents Lottery

Published:Tuesday | July 27, 2021 | 12:06 AM

Dear Miss Powell,

My mother and my grandmother live in Jamaica, and I applied last year to sponsor them but haven’t heard anything. The problem is that I am not sure if I qualify to sponsor them as I am single and only a permanent resident. I plan to apply for citizenship soon. Is it that as a permanent resident I don’t qualify? Or did I not qualify because I got employment benefits due to COVID? I’m anxious as the pandemic has made me realise that I need my family close now more than ever. I look forward to your guidance.

– A.N.

Dear AN

The government of Canada’s programme known as the Parent and Grandparent (PGP) Immigrant programme is available to Canadian permanent residents or citizens provided that all the parties qualify. So since you are a permanent resident, you would qualify to sponsor your parents and grandparents.

You indicated that you applied last year but have not received any information about being selected. Do not despair as Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has recently announced that there will be a new system introduced on September 20, 2021. Under the 2021 intake of the PGP, IRCC will accept up to 30,000 additional applications, giving more Canadians and permanent residents the opportunity to reunite with their loved ones. They also indicated that they plan to accept up to 40,000 complete applications in 2021. This includes 10,000 from the 2020 intake process and 30,000 from 2021.

FINANCIAL UNDERTAKING

Permanent residents and citizens are authorised to sponsor their parents if you qualify as a sponsor. The most significant requirement for a sponsor is that you are required to clearly demonstrate that you have the financial resources to take care of your mother and grandmother. You will need to undertake to the government of Canada to be fully responsible for the cost of caring for aging parents or grandparents and that you will not require government assistance.

Sponsors are required to provide an undertaking to be responsible for your parents’ welfare and possible healthcare costs. You will need to sign and present this undertaking as part of the final stages of the application to the Canadian government, and this undertaking will remain in effect for approximately 20 years.

The government has published an updated table known as the ‘minimum necessary income’ (MNI) per household for this year,which has taken into consideration the financial effects of the pandemic. The MNI requirement is lower this year. This means that you will still be required to present proof of your income for each of the three years preceding the date of your application.

For the 2020 tax year, the income requirement will continue to be the minimum necessary income, instead of the minimum necessary income, plus 30 per cent. If you received government assistance during the pandemic, you will not be penalised. You will be allowed to apply and your regular employment insurance benefits and temporary COVID-19 benefits, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, will be part of the sponsor’s income. The government announced that this measure would ensure that applicants are not penalised for losing income during the pandemic.

As a sponsor, you will be required to submit your official annual tax returns or Notice of Assessment or an equivalent Option-C print-out, issued by the Canada Revenue Agency as proof of income.

If you receive an invitation to apply, you will need to provide your notice of assessment for the years 2020, 2019, and 2018, and it must be above the low income cut-off point. So, for example, since you are single and living alone, your income for the past three years should reflect a minimum of CND$39,672 for 2020, CND$50,414 for 2019, and CND$49,641 for 2018 if you would like to sponsor both your mother and grandmother.

SUPER VISA OPTION

This application process is really based on luck as individuals who submit an interest to apply for sponsorship in 2020, as well as new applicants under the 2021 intake, will be invited to apply for permanent residence for their parents or grandparents. You will be notified by email if you are invited to apply. Invitations will be sent over the course of two weeks, starting the week of September 20, 2021. Those who are invited to apply will have 60 days to submit all the supporting documents to IRCC via the portal.

If your application is not selected, you could consider applying for a super visa for your mother and grandmother. This would allow your mother and grandmother to visit you for up to two years at a time without the need to renew their status. A super visa allows multiple entries for up to 10 years.

For more information and for immediate assistance, please contact an immigration lawyer to assist you with your application.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa. Submit your questions and comments to: Email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration. Tel: 613-695-8777, Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.