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Canada to re-open parents and grandparents sponsorship

Canada’s immigration minister Marco Mendicino announced on October 5, 2020 new details for the opening of the 2020 Parents and Grandparents (PGP) Program. The popular program will open for a new application window later in October, after it was delayed earlier in the year due to coronavirus. A three-week window for the submission of an interest to sponsor forms will open at noon EDT on October 13, closing again at noon EST on November 3.

Over a 3-week period, from 12 p.m. EDT on October 13, 2020, to 12 p.m. EST on November 3, 2020, Canadians and permanent residents who wish to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada will have an opportunity to submit an interest to sponsor form online.

In order to ensure a fair, transparent and equal opportunity for applicants, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will randomly select potential sponsors and send them an invitation to submit an application. Selected applicants will have 60 days to submit their application.

Given that many sponsors may have been financially impacted by the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC is introducing a temporary public policy that will reduce the income requirement for the 2020 tax year to the minimum necessary income, instead of the minimum necessary income plus 30%.

The government knows how important it is for families to be together, particularly during difficult times. The launch of the 2020 Parents and Grandparents Program builds on the government’s initiatives to prioritize the approval of 49,000 family sponsorship applications by December 31, 2020, as well as last week’s announcement of a process to reunite more families and approve compassionate cases within the current border restrictions.

A maximum of 10,000 applications will be accepted for processing as part of the 2020 PGP intake. In 2021, IRCC will open a new intake of interest to sponsor forms to accept a total of 30,000 new applications.


“Our government strongly believes in the importance of keeping families together—particularly during difficult times. The Parents and Grandparents Program is a dedicated pathway to reuniting more families in Canada. Our government has strengthened the program by increasing the number of people who can apply, making the intake process more fair, and steadily increasing the number of families who will be able to reunite. Now, more than ever, family reunification is an important component of Canada’s immigration system. It plays a key role in attracting, retaining and integrating the best and the brightest from around the world.”

– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that the PGP Program is accessible and fair for all Canadians and permanent residents. IRCC worked with stakeholders on ways to better accommodate persons with disabilities in developing the 2020 program design.
  • Due to COVID-19, the launch of the 2020 PGP Program was delayed to allow the Government of Canada to prioritize its efforts to contribute to the whole-of-government response to the global pandemic.

Associated links


Contacts for media only

Mathieu Genest
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

How to sponsor your parents and grandparents

How to apply

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC will delay the opening of the 2020 Parents and Grandparents program. IRCC will post details on the opening of the program online and our social media channels once they’re available.

If you’re invited to apply to sponsor your parents and grandparents, there are 2 applications:

  1. You must apply to become a sponsor.
  2. Your parents or grandparents must apply for permanent residence.

Send both the sponsorship and the permanent residence applications together at the same time.

IRCC must receive your application package 60 days from the date of your invitation. The deadline is clearly indicated in your invitation to apply.

There are 6 steps to apply to sponsor your parents and grandparents.

1. Submit the interest to sponsor form

The first step to sponsor your parents or grandparents is filling out the interest to sponsor form.

After the form closes, we review submissions and remove duplicates. We only keep your last submission.

2. Get an invitation to apply

IRCC randomly selects and invite potential sponsors to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents. In 2020, IRCC will send enough invitations to make sure we can accept 10,000 applications.

3. Get the application package

To avoid using outdated forms or the old instruction guide from 2019, don’t start filling out your application unless you’re invited to apply.

The application package includes the:

  • document checklist for you and the people you want to sponsor
  • forms you and the people you want to sponsor need to fill out
  • instruction guide to help you and your family members fill out the forms correctly

Read the instruction guide carefully before you complete the application forms. Make sure:

IRCC can’t refund the sponsorship application processing fee.

If you live in Quebec, find out the steps to take to sponsor your parents and grandparents in Quebec.

Helping your parents and grandparents with their application

You have to ask permission and provide the right forms if you want to:

  • prepare or help prepare your parents’ and grandparents’ application and communicate with us on their behalf
  • check on their application status

Find out how to act as a representative or access your family members’ information.

How to find your Canadian citizenship information

To sponsor your parents or grandparents, you need the

  • date you became a Canadian citizen
  • your UCI or client ID number

To find the date and the number, check the back of your citizenship certificate.

If you don’t have your citizenship certificate, you can apply for a

If you can’t get proof of your citizenship within the 60-day period you have to apply, you can include an explanation letter saying

  • why you don’t have it and
  • what steps you’ve taken to get it

4. Pay your application fees

In most cases, your fees will include:

You have to pay your fees online (opens in new tab).

Biometrics fee

In most cases, you must pay a biometrics fee when you submit your application. Otherwise you may experience delays. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo.

Third party fees

Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for:

The instruction guide can help you understand which fees apply to you.

5. Submit your application

IRCC must receive your complete application within 60 days. The deadline is specified in your invitation.

The mailing instructions are in the application guide.

You may use a courier service to submit your application, if you want to. Courier services will help you track your application. You can also use regular mail.

Find out how long it will take to process your application.

IRCC will return your application to you if:

  • it’s incomplete
  • fees are missing
  • you weren’t invited to submit a complete application
  • we didn’t receive it within the deadline specified in your invitation

6. Send us additional information during processing

During processing, we’ll ask the person you’re sponsoring to submit their:

  • biometrics
    • When the biometrics fee is paid, we’ll send your family members a letter asking them to give their biometrics.
    • Your family members must show this letter when they give their biometrics.
    • They have 30 days to give their biometrics in person at their closest collection point.

COVID-19: Changes to biometrics requirements and collection procedures

Temporary measures have been put into place for biometrics requirements and collection procedures.

Find out what to do for your biometrics.

  • medical exams
  • police certificates
    • You don’t have to include police certificates when you apply. We’ll ask you for them later in the process.
    • You need a police certificate for the people being sponsored and each family member 18 or older (who isn’t already a Canadian citizen or permanent resident).
    • Police certificates are generally valid for 1 year from the date they’re issued.
      • Depending on processing times, we may ask you for new certificates.

IRCC will send instructions and let your family members know how much time they have to send IRCC this information.

You must tell IRCC of any change in circumstances, such as:

  • birth or adoption of children
  • marriage or divorce
  • death of an applicant or dependant

For complete information please go to IRCC information at Sponsor your parents and grandparents: How to apply.

Related: Canada speeds up spousal sponsorship application processing.