Parent Sponsorship Program to Reopen on January 2, 2018

Canada will be reopening its parent and grandparent sponsorship program as of January 2, 2018.  This program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to file an application to sponsor their parents and grandparents for permanent residence.

How does it work?

Before you can file an application as a sponsor, you must first submit an online Expression of Interest, which involves inputting personal information that is used to assess whether you are eligible to sponsor.  This can only be done between January 2, 2018 and February 1, 2018, as after that date, Immigration will randomly select potential sponsors and invite them to file an application to sponsor.  Only those who receive an invitation will be able to file a sponsorship application.  If you do not receive an invitation to apply, you will not be able to file a sponsorship application in 2018.

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, they aim to receive 10,000 complete applications for 2018.

Who can I sponsor?

This program allows eligible sponsors to sponsor parents and grandparents for permanent residents.  Your parent or grandparent can include their spouse or common-law partner in the application, regardless of whether they are also your parent or grandparent, as well as any dependent child under the age of 22 years old.  This means that in some circumstances this program will enable you to sponsor a younger sibling to Canada.

Any family members who are being sponsored as part of the application must also be admissible to Canada, meaning that they pass criminal, medical, and security checks.

Who is eligible to apply to be a sponsor?

There are strict requirements to be eligible to sponsor a parent or grandparent, including the requirement to meet a minimum necessary income for the three years before you file your sponsorship application.  The minimum necessary income is calculated on the basis of the size of your family in Canada, as well as how many family members you are applying to sponsor.  You can find more information about this here:  The income of your spouse or common-law partner can be counted toward the minimum necessary income, as long as they are willing to sign as a co-sponsor on the application.

What are my responsibilities as a sponsor?

If you sponsor your parent or grandparent, you will be responsible to repay any social assistance that they receive within a period of up to 20 years from when they become a permanent resident of Canada.  This responsibility applies equally to any spouse or common-law partner who signs as a co-sponsor.

I am interested in applying.  What do I do next?

If you are interested in finding out whether you are eligible to sponsor, feel free to contact us at or at 416-323-0339.  Remember, Expressions of Interest will only be received until February 1, 2018, so don’t miss your opportunity to apply!

This post is for informational purposes only and is neither legal advice nor a substitute for obtaining legal advice. Immigration policies and programs change frequently, and so the information in this post may have changed since it was prepared on December 29,

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Aisling Bondy, B.A., LL.B. is the Principal of Bondy Immigration Law.