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Canadian Immigration laws to re-unite families

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The Canadian Parent and Grandparent (PGP) sponsorship program is likely to reopen for new applicants in January 2015.

The Program was reintroduced in January 2014 after being put on hold since 2011. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) placed a temporary hold on new applications in 2011. This was to enable Canada immigration to concentrate on dealing with the large backlog of immigration cases. In 2014 when the sponsorship program reopened Canada immigration decided to introduce an annual quota of 5000 visas.

Other changes to the program included an increase in the minimum income levels required for applicants. The Canadian government feels that this will make it less likely that family members will claim state benefits once they arrive in Canada. To confirm their income sponsors are required to submit their tax returns for the previous three years.

The program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come and live in Canada; demand for these visas is very high. This year the visa quota was reached within the first month of the start of the new visa allocation period. It is expected that the situation will be similar in 2015.

Applicants are encouraged to begin preparations now, to ensure that applications are submitted on time and contain all the correct documentation. Sanwar Ali, of says 'because there are a limited number of visas available, it is very important that you have your application ready to submit as soon as the new visa allocation becomes available – this will give you the best chance of success. Although it is inevitable because of the limited number of visas available that many applicants will be disappointed.'

In order to give your application the best chance of success, you should follow the following guidelines:

  • Try to ensure that your application is received at the CIC on the actual launch date for the new visa allocation.. The date has not been formally announced as yet, but many think the new visa allocation will be available from January 2015.
  • Check your application is complete, with signatures in the right places and all relevant documents.
  • Provide the past three years tax returns for the sponsor as proof of income
  • If paying by card make sure that your card will still be valid when Canada immigration processes your payment. Bear in mind that this could be many months after submission.
  • Download the latest versions of the visa forms, available from the CIC website.

Processing times can take years. In the meantime you may wish to apply for the Parent and Grandparent super visa, which allows entry to Canada for up to two years at a time. The visa is valid for up to ten years.

If you would like to apply for a visa can help. is a specialist visa consultancy with 26 years of experience dealing with visa applications. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Please feel free to contact us for further details.