On August 20, 2018, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”), announced the department would accept up to 20,000 applications under the parent / grandparent sponsorship program in 2019.
Up from a target of 17,000 applications in 2018, this increased quota comes as a result of the high demand for the parent / grandparent sponsorship program, as well as a significant reduction by the government in the number of pending applications currently in the pipeline.
This increase comes just over three weeks after IRCC announced an increase to 2018’s quota, from 10,000 to 17,000 complete applications. As a result of that announcement, many potential sponsors who had indicated their interest in participating in the program received an invitation to submit an application.
Additional changes to the program announced today include an amendment to the application intake system. Previously administered as a lottery system where interested sponsors submitted an interest to sponsor form and received an invitation to apply at random, 2019’s application intake system will be based on a first-in, first-out principle. In other words, those qualifying sponsors who submit an interest to sponsor form will receive an invitation to apply to the program based on the time at which their form was submitted, with those submitting their forms earlier receiving their invitation to submit an application earlier.
In the recent past, IRCC has taken several steps to underscore its commitment to the principle of family reunification, including decreasing processing times for the majority of spousal sponsorship applications and increasing the age of dependent children from under 19 years of age to under 22 years of age. The increase in the maximum number of completed parent and grandparent sponsorship applications that IRCC will accept in 2019 will result in more interested sponsors being eligible to submit an application to bring their parents and/or grandparents to Canada, leaving less to chance.
For more information about the parental sponsorship lottery, or any temporary or permanent immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.