This much-coveted program which brings parents and grandparents to Canada to reunite with their children and grandchildren normally opens in January or February each year but, in 2020, did not due to the pandemic. Although Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said all along that the program would still open this year, many were beginning to lose hope. However, just yesterday, IRCC announced that it will indeed open. IRCC will accept expressions of interest to sponsor parents or grandparents between October 12th at noon EST and Nov 3rd at noon EST.


While the program has run in different manners in different years, after all of the difficulties encountered in last year’s “first come, first served” offering, this year, expressions of interest will be received over the three-week period and then a random draw for 10,000 invitations to apply will take place. Normally 20,000 such invitations are issued but the number is fewer this time because of the lateness of the program start and, instead, an extra 10,000 will be added to next year’s program.


Further, there will be a bit of a break in terms of the minimum income required to sponsor through this program. While, normally, an applicant must earn 30% above the “Low Income Cut-Off” (LICO) in each of the three years preceding their sponsorship application, for 2020, in recognition of the financial difficulties experienced by many due to the pandemic, an applicant’s income must only equal or exceed LICO. In addition, for 2020’s income, employment insurance benefits received may be included in the income calculation.


If you are a Canadian permanent resident or citizen who would like to sponsor a parent or grandparent, we can assist. Please contact:


[email protected]


This article represents general information and is not legal advice. Please contact us if you would like legal advice that is tailored to your particular circumstances. We would be happy to help.