Invitations to apply for PGP Program 2021 continue; potential sponsors await selection
By Sarabpreet Kaur
Wondering what’s happening with the ongoing Parents and Grandparents sponsorship program? Well, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) began the Invitation To Apply (ITA) process for PGP Program 2021 on September 23 and potential sponsors will be invited till October 7.
The PGP Program opens once a year. It lets citizens and permanent residents sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada. With a few days left before the closing date, IRCC will continue to randomly select and invite enough hopeful sponsors to receive 30,000 new applications for the 2021 process.
The welcome move of IRCC aiming to accept a record number of applications this year has upped the hopes of all those who submitted their interest in October 2020 but didn’t get an invitation in the subsequent draw in January 2021, which targetted 10,000 applications. One such individual is Sandeep Singh Goraya, who landed in Canada as a student in 2008 and holds a Permanent Resident (PR) status now. He applied to sponsor both his parents in 2020. “We are excited and thrilled to know that we might get lucky this time as IRCC is going to invite 30,000 people,” he says.
While Goraya awaits an Invitation To Apply, he is happy to share that one of his friends has got it already. “Hopefully, we will also get an invitation for at least one parent. We’ll apply for their PR; they’ll get all the benefits from next year and we won’t have to pay for the super visa insurance,” he adds.
From expressing interest to getting an invitation
For those not so familiar with the process, filling out the Interest to Sponsor form is the first step for sponsoring your parents or grandparents. In 2020, the form was available from October 13 to November 3. “The quota and the process of submitting an expression of interest may vary slightly each year; the details are annually released by July. For example, this year the potential applicants are being invited from the pool of remaining candidates from 2020. There will not be a new Interest to Sponsor form in 2021,” says Dhruvdeep Singh Saini, a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, and Founder of Electo Immigration and Citizenship Services.
PGP Program 2021: What’s next for those who get an Invitation To Apply
In the PGP Program process, once a potential sponsor receives the invitation to apply, they have to submit the sponsorship application and the permanent residence application for IRCC’s review.
Potential sponsors need to meet the income requirements for each of the three tax years before the date they apply to prove that they have enough money to support the people they want to sponsor. Their spouses or common-law partners can co-sign the application to combine their incomes.
Many hopeful sponsors may have been affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, IRCC has reduced the income requirement for the 2020 tax year to the minimum necessary income, instead of the minimum necessary income plus 30%.
What to expect, and alternative options if you do not meet the eligibility criteria
“The number of expressions of interest, and the time it takes to remove duplicates from the system affect the time of the next draw. There are no fixed trends in the process; IRCC introduced first-come-first-serve basis selection in 2019 but was highly criticized by sponsors and potential applicants,” says Saini. “Previously, the potential sponsors started receiving invitations to apply in January and the potential applicants were given three months to submit their complete applications,” he adds.
If you want to sponsor your loved ones, then you need to remain patient and plan ahead. To help IRCC manage the pool well and remove duplicate applications, potential sponsors should submit only one Interest to Sponsor form. “Two siblings submitting individual Interest to Sponsor forms for the same set of parents does not increase their chance of receiving an ITA. Potential applicants are chosen on a lottery basis after removing the duplicates from the pool; hence, each application has an equal chance of getting invited,” says Saini.
It is important to make sure that potential sponsors meet the eligibility criteria before they express their interest. It will ensure “no one ends up wasting the ITA that could have been given to someone who meets all the sponsorship requirements”.
Don’t lose heart if you did not receive an Invitation To Apply. You can reunite with your family by applying for a Parent and grandparent super visa. It allows your parents or grandparents to remain with you for two years at a time, instead of just 6 months in case of a visitor visa.
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