Family Class

Important changes in Family Class


mmigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has raised its annual quota to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada as permanent residents. The Government of Canada has significantly reduced its sponsorship backlog. Canada will admit an annual total of 20,000 sponsored parents and grandparents, an increase from the 17,000 quota for 2017. Nearly one million permanent residents will be accepted through various  immigration streams and programs between 2018 and 2021.

The Express Entry management system remains the main source of  newcomers to Canada, responding to the immigration dreams of skilled professionals, skilled trades and individuals who would have acquired Canadian work experience through such opportunities as a Post Graduate Work Permit and permits obtained through the Foreign Worker program.

The Caregiver program has been made more robust, with three streams through which individuals may apply for permanent residency. However, some important rules and procedures have changed as they apply to Family Class immigration, how you can sponsor your parent and grandparents to Canada, and who does and does not qualify as a dependant. Processing times for applications have been reduced, and the government has been demonstrating a dynamic approach to labour market needs as seen in recent Express Entry draws.

Family Class

In the next three years, Canada will welcome more than a quarter of a million new immigrants through family class sponsorships. These individuals will be sponsored by their Canadian citizen or permanent resident relatives as spouses, common law partners, dependant children, parents and grandparents.  Sponsorship of spouses and common-law partners along with dependant children is currently processed within a 12 month period as promised by the current government.

This processing time reflects a 50 percent reduction (from last year) in the time it now takes to receive a permanent resident visa under spousal sponsorship. As well, spouses and partners being sponsored from within Canada are permitted to apply for a work permit during processing time, and are therefore able to get a head start on their careers.  All spousal applications from outside Canada are now processed at CPC-Sydney, Nova Scotia. Before making a decision as to whether or not you should submit an application inside or outside Canada, please contact us for informed and expert advice and guidance.

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Parents and Grandparents

Qualified citizens and permanent residents are able to sponsor their parents and grandparents through a streamlined process that was first introduced in January of 2017, requiring applicants to first express an interest in sponsoring their loved ones and then waiting for an invitation to apply. Random selections were made from the pool of interested potential sponsors and invitations were issued.

In January 2018, interested individuals  once again were able to first  express an interest in sponsoring their parents and grandparents by filling out an on-line application form within a strict timeline that spanned approximately four weeks. The requirement for 2019 is still the same for this first step. However, there  will no longer be random draws from the pool of interested applicants to submit a full-blown application.

Invitations will now be issued on a first-come-first-served process. This makes it especially important for sponsors to submit their expression of interest as soon as the portal is open, so that they can be among the first-come applicants who will receive an Invitation to Apply.

Successfully sponsoring your parents or grandparents requires submitting a complete and accurate application, with supporting documentation. If your family’s objectives are to bring parents or grandparents to Canada, you should consider working with us.

The number of permanent resident visas in 2018 for parents and grandparents has increased to 20,000. In 2019 the admission level  is set at  20,500, while 2020 will see the level rise to 21,000. If you are not successful in receiving an invitation to submit an application, you should consider submitting an application for a Super Visa (10-year multiple entry) for your parents or grandparents. Contact us to help you submit a successful application.

New definition of Dependant

As of October 24, 2017, a dependant for immigration purposes is defined as someone under the age of 22.

Previously, this definition referred to individuals under the age of 19 years.  As such, there is now an opportunity for individuals who were not able to come to Canada under the old definition,  to now be sponsored by their family in Canada, provided they still qualify under the new definition.

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