Canada Reopens Parents and Grandparents Program in 2023 to Reunite Families

2023-10-17 14:36:23 7

Family reunification is a central part of Canada’s immigration system. The government is determined to assist Canadian citizens and permanent residents in bringing their loved ones to live and work in Canada. 


The Parents and Grandparents Program, which plays a key role in family reunification, is flourishing, with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announcing plans for a significant intake of sponsorship applications in 2023.

IRCC’s commitment to reuniting families is evident in its historically high admissions numbers for parents and grandparents under the Multi-Year Levels Plan. This year, the government department is set to accept up to 15,000 complete applications for sponsorship under the Parents and Grandparents Program.

Canada Reopens Parents and Grandparents Program in 2023

The process will begin on October 10, 2023. The IRCC intends to send invitations to apply to 24,200 potential sponsors who have expressed interest. The goal is to receive up to 15,000 complete applications, with invitations sent out over two weeks.

To address the backlog of submissions from 2020, IRCC will randomly select potential sponsors from the pool for invitations.  This is instead of opening a new interest-to-sponsor form for them. This approach aligns with the process used in 2021 and 2022. Those who submitted an interest-to-sponsor form in 2020 but did not receive an invitation in the past two years are encouraged to check the email account they provided in 2020 when they submitted their form.

Also for applicants invited to participate in the 2023 intake will continue to benefit from the convenience of using the Permanent Residence Portal or the Representative Permanent Residence Portal, allowing them to submit their applications electronically. This reflects the government’s commitment to modernizing Canada’s immigration system. The goal is to speed up and simplify the application process.

For those not invited to apply this year but still wish to reunite with their parents and grandparents in Canada, the super visa remains a viable option. The Super Visa is a multiple-entry visa valid for up to 10 years, and recent enhancements now allow holders to stay in Canada for up to 5 years at a time, with the possibility of extending their visit by up to 2 years at a time without leaving the country. These changes make it easier for Canadian citizens and permanent residents to enjoy longer periods of reunification with their loved ones.

Streamlining Family Reunification by Addressing Backlogs

The significant increase in applications that were still in processing status in early 2021, was the motivation to expand the program in 2023. In 2020, IRCC reported a processing rate of 22% and a completion rate of 78% for parent sponsorship applications. However, these figures saw a notable reversal in January 2021. The applications for parent sponsorship reached a 78% in processing and only 22% completed. This shift resulted in a substantial backlog of more than 19,000 applications from 2020 that were still in process.

As of September 2023, the processing times for Parent’s sponsorship applications stand at 45 months for Quebec and 23 months for the rest of the provinces, according to official government website data. The government remains committed to improving processing times and facilitating family reunification for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

To gain insights into previous application intakes for the Parents and Grandparents Program, interested parties can refer to the recently published intake report on the official IRCC website, titled “The Parents and Grandparents Program: Intake Report 2014 to 2019.” Additionally, a more up-to-date intake report covering the 2020 to 2022 application intakes is expected to be published by the end of this year.

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