What are my alternative options if I was not selected for the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship program in Canada in 2023?
As we anticipate the launch of the highly awaited Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program (PGP) on October 10, 2023, our office has been receiving numerous inquiries from individuals who are willing to reunite with their parents and grandparents in Canada. The recent announcement by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has stirred significant interest, with many seeking guidance on alternative options to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada if they are not selected and provided an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
Amidst this anticipation, we understand the concerns of those who may anticipate the possibility of not receiving an invitation through the PGP program. This blog aims to provide comprehensive insights into alternative avenues for family reunification in Canada as of the year 2023: the Super Visa and the Humanitarian & Compassionate (H&C) application for permanent residency.
These alternatives can serve as viable options for those who may not secure an invitation through the Parents and Grandparents Program, offering hope and possibilities for reuniting with loved ones in Canada.
What is a Super Visa?
A Super Visa is a special visa designed for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. It allows you to visit your children or grandchildren in Canada for extended periods, making it a great alternative if you are not selected for the sponsorship program.
Who is eligible for a Super Visa?
To be eligible for a Super Visa, you must meet the following criteria:
- Have a child or grandchild who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- Your child or grandchild must meet or exceed the minimum necessary income and sign a letter of invitation promising financial support during your visit. Your child’s family income can be calculated using both the income of your child and their partner, if applicable.
- You must be outside Canada when you apply.
- Undergo an upfront immigration medical exam.
- Maintain valid health insurance for your stay in Canada.
- Meet other specified conditions.
What are the pros and cons of a Super Visa?
When considering the Super Visa as an alternative for family reunification in Canada, it’s essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons to help you make an informed choice:
- Extended stays: Super Visa holders can stay in Canada for up to 5 years at a time, offering more time with family compared to standard visitor visas.
- Multiple entries: The Super Visa can permit multiple entries into Canada over up to a 10-year period, providing flexibility for travel and family visits.
- Faster processing: Super Visa applications typically have shorter processing times compared to sponsorship applications, allowing for quicker family reunification.
- Health insurance costs: Super Visa applicants must purchase and maintain valid health insurance, which can be costly.
- No path to permanent residency: Unlike some other immigration pathways, the Super Visa does not lead to permanent residency in Canada. It is a temporary visa option.
- Stringent eligibility: Applicants must meet various conditions, including being outside Canada when applying, passing an immigration medical exam, and meeting other criteria, which may be a complex process.
- No dependents: The Super Visa is exclusively for parents and grandparents. It does not allow the inclusion of dependents in the application.
- Return to home country: Super Visa holders must demonstrate that they are genuine visitors to Canada who will leave voluntarily at the end of their visit, potentially limiting the duration of their stay.
- Discretionary: Although there are extended periods of stay, eventually, you will be required to extend your visa and there is always a risk it can be refused at the discretion of the visa officer.
What is a Humanitarian & Compassionate application?
The Humanitarian & Compassionate (H&C) application is a unique pathway for foreign nationals in Canada to seek permanent residency based on exceptional circumstances. This avenue is tailored to individuals confronting significant hardships or potential inadmissibility under standard immigration categories. The H&C considerations carefully weigh compelling humanitarian and compassionate factors.
Interestingly, Canadian citizens and permanent residents can also leverage this pathway to apply for permanent residency on behalf of their parents or grandparents who are facing significant hardships or potential inadmissibility under standard immigration categories. This approach aims to address the specific challenges experienced by parents and grandparents.
Who is eligible for Humanitarian & Compassionate application?
Just about anyone inside of Canada who is a temporary resident, or without status, can apply for permanent residency through a humanitarian & compassionate pathway. Notably, in circumstances where a family is exploring this as an alternative to the parent and grandparent sponsorship program, there are a number of factors to consider:
- The application is made from the perspective of the parents or grandparents – they are the primary applicant.
- While the application is processing, it is highly recommended that the parents or grandparents remain inside of Canada throughout the processing of the application.
- Simply not being selected for the parent and grandparent sponsorship program is not sufficient grounds for being granted this exceptional relief.
- While the application is processing, the primary applicant needs to continue to extend their status if they face a possible expiry of that status. If the Primary Applicant does go out of status during the processing of the humanitarian & compassionate application, that does not mean that they must leave but it does add complications and need to be addressed in any updates by your immigration lawyer.
- The circumstances of the “sponsor” or the children inside of Canada who wish to reunite with their parents or grandparents is relevant to the application, but not determinative.
What are the pros and cons of Humanitarian & Compassionate application?
When evaluating Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) applications as an option for family reunification in Canada, it’s essential to consider the pros and cons. Here’s a concise overview to provide you with insights:
Exceptional cases: H&C applications for parents and grandparents are for unique situations where they face severe hardships or inadmissibility issues that cannot be resolved through regular immigration channels.
- Family reunification: This pathway allows for family reunification, ensuring that parents and grandparents can live with their Canadian citizen or permanent resident children and grandchildren.
- In-Canada application: The application can be made while the parents or grandparents are in Canada, eliminating the need for them to return to their home country for the application process.
- Humanitarian considerations: The application takes into account humanitarian factors, such as family establishment in Canada, hardship to family members, and the best interests of affected children.
High threshold: H&C applications require compelling and exceptional reasons to be granted an exemption.
- No guaranteed approval: Approval for H&C applications is not guaranteed, and the decision is at the discretion of Canadian immigration authorities.
- Long processing times: H&C applications may take a significant amount of time to process, which can be challenging for applicants and their families.
- Complexity: The application process can be complex, requiring detailed documentation and explanations of the exceptional circumstances.
If you were not selected for the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship program in 2023, do not lose hope. The Super Visa and the Humanitarian & Compassionate pathways offer viable alternatives to make your dream of reuniting with family in Canada a reality. Our office has extensive experience putting forward these kinds of applications for families who fit the criteria.
To ensure you make the best choice for your unique situation, consult with Shory Law. We provide personalized guidance and assistance to help you reunite with your loved ones in Canada. Contact Shory Law today to explore your immigration options and take the next step towards achieving your Canadian dream.
Jatin recently spoke on CBC Radio about the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program. Tune in to listen to Jatin’s insights here.