Intake process for family class applications for parents and grandparents

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This page contains instructions on the intake process for the sponsorship of parents and grandparents.

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2020 and 2021 parents and grandparents programs

The outbreak and impacts of COVID-19 delayed the launch of the 2020 Parents and Grandparents (PGP) Program. To ensure all applications are received by the end of the 2021 calendar year, the 2021 program will select potential sponsors from the remaining 2020 interest to sponsor forms rather than conducting a new interest to sponsor form submission period. As a result, applications from both the 2020 and 2021 intake processes will be received in the 2021 calendar year.

Rounds of invitations

Due to time constraints, only 1 round of invitations to apply will be issued for the 2021 program. The department will issue more invitations to apply than the annual cap on applications, since previous years have shown that not all invitees submit an application. For the 2021 program, IRCC will randomly select and invite potential sponsors from the remaining pool of interest to sponsor forms submitted in 2020. Potential sponsors had a 3-week period in 2020 (from October 13, 2020 to November 3, 2020) to let the department know that they were interested in sponsoring their parents or grandparents.

Randomized selection of intake

IRCC is using a randomized selection intake process to manage the intake of applications for the PGP Programs in 2020 and 2021. The Ministerial Instructions authorize the implementation of the randomized selection intake process and specify the number of complete applications the department can accept for processing.

Interest to sponsor form

Potential sponsors let the department know that they were interested in sponsoring their parents or grandparents by submitting an interest to sponsor form when it was available on IRCC’s website. Potential sponsors uploaded a copy of their status in Canada document with their interest to sponsor form, as this assisted IRCC in identifying duplicate submissions. All fields on the interest to sponsor form had to be completed in order for a potential sponsor to be considered for randomized selection.

The interest to sponsor form is not an application for sponsorship. From among those who successfully submitted an interest to sponsor form in 2020 and were not selected to apply as part of the 2020 program, the department will randomly select potential sponsors and invite them to submit a sponsorship application as part of the 2021 PGP Program. A new interest to sponsor form will not open in 2021.

Client confirmation numbers for successfully completed forms

If the potential sponsor was successful in submitting an online interest to sponsor form in 2020, a confirmation screen displayed a computer-generated confirmation number, which the potential sponsor was instructed to write down. The department also automatically sent the potential sponsor a computer-generated email, which included their confirmation number.

Potential sponsors who completed an alternative copy of the interest to sponsor form received a pre-generated confirmation number (either by mail or by email). IT Operations pre-generated and provided a list of confirmation numbers to Centralized Network – Headquarters (CN-HQ) before the 2020 program launched. The pre-generated confirmation numbers had a slightly different numerical format than confirmation numbers that were randomly generated by the web-form submissions.

Note: For the 2020 PGP Program, no alternative formats of the interest to sponsor form were received by the department.

If the potential sponsor’s online interest to sponsor form was not successfully submitted in 2020, they would have seen an error message on the webpage advising them that their submission was not transmitted and they had to try again.

Supporting documents

Potential sponsors uploaded and included a scanned or photographed copy of one of the following status in Canada documents with their interest to sponsor form:

  • permanent resident card (PR card) with both sides scanned
  • Record of Landing form [IMM 1000], only if the sponsor has not received a permanent resident card
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence form [IMM 5292 or IMM 5688]
  • Canadian citizenship certificate or card with both sides scanned
  • Canadian birth certificate
  • birth certificate from the Quebec Directeur de l’état civil
  • passport page showing all of the following:
    • number
    • date of issue and expiration
    • photo
    • first name
    • surname
    • place and date of birth
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS)

When potential sponsors submitted their interest to sponsor form in 2020, the potential sponsor’s status in Canada document did not have to be valid.

If a potential sponsor is invited to submit a sponsorship application for the 2021 PGP Program, a copy of the same status in Canada document that was submitted with their 2020 interest to sponsor form must be included in their application. In the case of any difference in information between the interest to sponsor form and the sponsorship application, the application must include an explanation of the reason for the change in information and satisfactory evidence that the application pertains to the same potential sponsor as identified on the interest to sponsor form submitted in 2020.

The status in Canada document’s unique number helps IRCC to more accurately identify duplicate interest to sponsor forms. Unlike names and birth dates, which can sometimes be the same for different people, there should not be any duplicate status in Canada document numbers. These documents will also contain the sponsor’s name, date of birth, and other identifying information, which can be used to validate the information the person filled out in the 2020 interest to sponsor form, and to confirm that they were invited to apply.

Note: If the potential sponsor submitted a passport other than a Canadian passport with their 2020 interest to sponsor form and they are invited to apply as part of the 2021 program, they will need to be a permanent resident by the time they apply in order to meet the eligibility requirements for sponsorship. In that case, the potential sponsor must submit a copy of their foreign passport and one of the documents listed above to confirm their status in Canada with the sponsorship application.

Changes to the interest to sponsor form after submission

In the event that a potential sponsor no longer has access to the email account that they used to submit their 2020 interest to sponsor form, they will be able to indicate that they have a new email address through the Sponsor your parents and grandparents: Find your lost confirmation number page once all invitations to apply have been sent out. On this page, potential sponsors will have an opportunity to enter and confirm their new email address if the email address they used to submit their 2020 interest to sponsor form is no longer active. This page will not update a potential sponsor’s email address on the interest to sponsor form submitted in 2020 or update their email address on their prospective application, but it gives IRCC the ability to communicate with potential sponsors who have been locked out of the email account that they used to submit their interest to sponsor form in 2020. Through this page, potential sponsors will also be able to receive their confirmation number and a copy of their invitation to apply letter, if applicable. All change requests, such as name, mailing address and email address, must be listed in the potential sponsor’s sponsorship application, along with evidence and an explanation for the change.

Invitations to apply

The selection of potential sponsors to be invited to apply for the 2021 PGP Program occurs from the already randomized list of the remaining interest to sponsor forms submitted in 2020. An agent in the CN uploads the selected number of email addresses to a bulk email tool, starting with the first sequential entry that has not already been invited. This bulk email tool sends potential sponsors an invitation to apply letter, which invites them to submit a sponsorship and permanent residence application package. For the 2021 PGP Program, IRCC will send out 34,500 invitations to apply to reach the goal of accepting up to 30,000 complete applications. IRCC sends out more invitations to apply than the 30,000 application goal because not everyone who receives an invitation to apply will submit an application.

Note: Because those applying from both the 2020 and 2021 intake processes will submit their applications in the same calendar year, IRCC aims to receive up to 40,000 complete applications in 2021.

Those invited have 60 days from the date of their invitation to apply letter to submit their sponsorship application and permanent residence application package. The invitation to apply is not transferrable to other potential sponsors or applicants. In cases where the invitation to apply letter email is undeliverable, IRCC agents will print the email and mail it to the sponsor’s mailing address as identified on their 2020 interest to sponsor form.

Determining whether to accept sponsorship and permanent residence applications for processing

A sponsorship and permanent residence application package is accepted for processing only if it is submitted within the stated application deadline and if it is determined that the sponsor who submitted the 2020 interest to sponsor form was invited to apply to the 2021 PGP Program.

The sponsorship and the permanent residence applications must be submitted together online through the Permanent Residence Portal. If there is a paid authorized representative, the paid authorized representative must submit the sponsorship and permanent residency applications together online through the Representative Permanent Residence Portal. The application package submitted online must be complete as per the Document Checklist requirements; however, documents may be requested in accordance with the deadlines in the Ministerial Instructions. At minimum, IMM 0008 and IMM 1344 must be provided and complete enough that IRCC can identify biographic and contact information for the sponsor and principal applicant, along with required fees. If applications do not meet these completeness requirements, they may be rejected and returned to the client through the Permanent Resident Portal.

If a sponsor or principal applicant has a disability that prevents them from applying online through the Permanent Residence Portal, they can request an alternative application format (which will be available in paper copy, Braille or large print) of the 2021 parents and grandparents application package by sending an email to IRCC at IRCC.2021PGPPaperApplication-2021PGPDemandesenversionpapier.IRCC@cic.gc.ca.

If the sponsor or principal applicant chooses to receive the paper application package by email, IRCC will send them the links to the application package, which they can then print. The sponsor and applicants must then fill out and sign the paper forms and return the forms by mail or courier to the mailing address in the department’s response. Otherwise, the sponsor or principal applicant can choose to have the paper application (notably if a request is made for Braille or large print) mailed to their address to complete.

The sponsor and applicant must include a copy of IRCC’s response, which is called the cover letter, with their mailed application submission to demonstrate that they received approval from the department to submit their application in an alternative format. Any applications submitted via mail that do not include IRCC’s cover letter response (giving the sponsor or principal applicant the approval to apply in an alternative format) may be rejected as per the Ministerial Instructions, as submitting through the Permanent Resident Portal is mandatory unless the client is granted an exemption by the department. Processing agents have been granted access to the GCDocs folder owned by the Client Experience Branch in order to verify and confirm the cover letters that have been sent out authorizing an alternative format application submission. The deadline to submit the alternative format application to IRCC is the same deadline that is indicated on the invitation to apply letter.

The cover letter authorizing a sponsor to submit an application in an alternative format must match the sponsor’s information (name and confirmation number) on the invitation to apply letter. Any applications where the 2 letters partially match must contain an explanation for the discrepancy; if one is not provided, the processing office may request one. Any applications where the 2 letters do not match at all may be rejected.

Accepting parent and grandparent applications within the cap for processing

When agents at the Case Processing Centre – Mississauga receive the sponsorship and permanent residence application online or in an alternative format (paper, large print or Braille) (if the sponsor or principal applicant has a disability), they do the following:

  • Check to ensure the application has been received within 60 calendar days of the date on the invitation to apply letter.
  • Verify that the person has been invited to apply (that is, they received a confirmation number) and ensure that the information in the person’s application matches the information provided on the 2020 interest to sponsor form (validation process).
  • Check the application for completeness, as per sections 10 and 11 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) and the Ministerial Instructions.

Priority of processing

IRCC will continue to process applications to sponsor parents and grandparents based on the first in, first out principle. This means that new applications submitted in this category when the program reopens will be placed in the queue behind the applications in the existing inventory of sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents.

Validating applications

An agent in the CN validates the name, date of birth, address, country of birth, name of potential sponsor, and status in Canada document number by comparing the information in the sponsorship application to the information in the master list of information provided in the 2020 interest to sponsor forms. Agents scan a bar code on the invitation (which the applicant submits with their application) and identify the associated 2020 interest to sponsor form. From here, 3 scenarios are possible:

  • an exact match is found
  • a partial match is found
  • no similar entry is found

Note: In the unlikely case of any difference in information between the 2020 interest to sponsor form and the sponsorship application, the application must include an explanation of the reason for the change in information and satisfactory evidence that the application pertains to the same potential sponsor as identified on the 2020 interest to sponsor form for which the department issued an invitation to make a sponsorship application.

If the application has one or more discrepancies, the officer reviews any explanatory documents sent by the applicant and either finds that the application passes validation or sends a letter to the potential sponsor requesting more information within a 30-day timeframe, thus giving them an opportunity to explain the partial match. The officer then reviews any response received and assesses either passed or failed validation in the Peregrine tool.

If the application does not match or appear similar to any interest to sponsor form submission from 2020, the application is considered to have failed validation and is not accepted for processing. The decision is recorded (as above) and the application is returned to the client with an explanatory letter.

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