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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

Sponsorship of parents and grandparents 2023

by Michael Scott

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has just announced an update to the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) for 2023. IRCC will accept up to 15,000 complete applications this year. This will be good news for some and disappointing for others. It is actually not open to new application submissions but from an existing inventory of potential sponsors. In a fashion similar to 2022, the invitations will be taken from the pool of existing sponsors that submitted expression of interest to sponsor back in 2020.

On October 10, 2023, IRCC will begin sending invitations to apply to 24,200 interested sponsors, aiming to receive up to 15,000 complete applications. The invitations will be sent to randomly selected potential sponsors from the existing 2020 pool and not open a new interest to sponsor option. If you submitted an interest to sponsor form in 2020 but did not receive an invitation to apply in 2021 or 2022, you are asked to check the e-mail account you provided on your 2020 interest to sponsor form. Potential sponsors were given a confirmation number with their e-mail confirmation, and you can use this number to find out if you were invited to apply. If you are invited to apply as part of the 2023 intake, IRCC will use the Permanent Resident Portal or the Representative Permanent Residence Portal to submit applications electronically.

Immigration levels

The sponsorship of parents and grandparents is part of IRCC annual Immigration Levels Plan. In 2022 the immigration authorities invited 23,100 potential sponsors to apply in order to meet their intended target of 15,000 completed applications. The differential between invitations and target numbers is set because some potential sponsors will have changed their minds or no longer meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) to sponsor their parents or grandparents. In terms of the immigration targets for the current year, Canada’s overall target is 465,000 newcomers and the goal is to welcome 28,500 parents and grandparents.

Super Visa option

If you are one of the lucky ones or a new potential sponsor, you can consider bringing your parents or grandparents into the country under the Super Visa, which continues to be a popular option for many. It is a temporary visa that allows sponsors to bring in parents or grandparents for up to five consecutive years with a possible extension for two additional years. There is no lottery system for the Super Visa, which is available throughout the year. It is a good option for those who were not selected or not eligible for selection in 2023. Some parent and grandparents may be visa exempt if they have travelled to Canada in the last 10 years or have an American visitor visa but can still apply for the Super Visa. If immigration approves your application for a Super Visa, they will provide you with a letter to give to CBSA officers at the port of entry.

In order to be eligible for the Super Visa an applicant must:

  • Be a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • Not be inadmissible to Canada on the basis of criminality, security or health;
  • Prove that the sponsors meet or exceed the income requirements by family size on Low-Income Cut Off (LICO);
  • Have a signed invitation letter from their child or grandchild inviting them to Canada and outlining their promise of financial support for the duration of the visit and list the number of people in their household;
  • Provide proof of medical coverage for at least one year with a Canadian insurance company for at least $100,000 coverage.

In closing, I encourage potential sponsors from 2020 to check their e-mail accounts, especially in the period following October 10, 2023, to see if they have been selected. Otherwise, they and new potential sponsor should consider the Super Visa or the Temporary Resident Visa options.

Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Immigration Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with Immigration Connexion International Ltd. Contact him at 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: