Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Lottery System Continues Despite Outrage from Sponsors

Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Lottery System Continues Despite Outrage from Sponsors
Honourable Ahmed Hussen

Those who wish to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents in 2018 must first fill out the online “Interest to Sponsor Form” starting January 2, 2018 up to noon of February 1, 2018.

However before filling out the form sponsors must ensure that they meet the sponsorship eligibility requirements. This one month period gives sponsors a chance at one of the 10,000 spots that allows them to apply to sponsor their parents or grandparents.

This lottery system replaced the old system which was a first come-first served process last year. This new system received criticisms from sponsors upon learning that some people picked in the 2017 pool did not meet financial requirements and other qualifications set by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

According to IRCC, the introduction of a new application intake process for the parent and grandparent program aims to improve people’s access to the application process by making it more fair and transparent. As per IRCC’s report, over 95,000 people completed the “Interest to Sponsor Form” between January 3, 2017 to February 2, 2017 which demonstrated the popularity of the PGP.

Of the 95,000 IRCC randomly chose 10,000 sponsors and emailed them inviting them to submit the Sponsorship application. Those who were not randomly selected were also informed by email of the results.

IRCC said that a limit on applications is necessary in order to address the existing backlog in the processing of the applications. In 2016 alone, the number was doubled from 5,000 to 10,000. These 10,000 applications represent approximately 17,000 people, as a sponsorship application can include more than one person.

Below is the number of applicants in the parent and grandparent backlog by year
Year      Number of Applicants
2008     129,697
2009     138,512
2010     150,951
2011     167,007
2012     125,599
2013     87,027
2014     72,007
2015     50,661
2016     40,511

With the increasing interest in the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP), the annual 10,000 application limit is necessary to ensure the backlog doesn’t grow again according to IRCC. The limit ensures that new applicants have the chance to apply, while the levels plan for parents and grandparents ensures enough are processed each year so that processing times are reasonable and the backlog is further reduced.

Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada Minister Honourable Ahmed Hussen recently said that the government is committed to family reunification. He added that helping more people reunite with their parents and grandparents in Canada demonstrates the government’s commitment to keeping families together, leading to successful integration and stronger ties to Canada.

The online form is available until Feb 1st 2018, when IRCC will remove duplicate submissions and randomly select potential sponsors, who will be invited to apply.

Parents and Grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents can also apply for a super visa, a multi-entry visa that provides multiple entries for a period up to 10 years. It allows an individual to stay for up to two years on initial entry into Canada while, while a 10 year multiple entry visa would only have a status period for each entry of six months only.

If you have questions regarding the above article you may contact Marjorie at

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

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