How to sponsor parents to Canada if you already live there and have permanent resident status or Canadian citizenship – this is a common question, especially as so many people want to have their family with them. With this being said, living in Canada has a lot of perks, and some of these include great healthcare, a good educational system, and a great welfare system. These are all the reasons you may want to bring your family to Canada.

When it comes to family immigration, there are several ways to do so. Your parents and grandparents (assuming they are still in their working years) can apply for an Express Entry stream. This will give them the right to work and settle in Canada as they please, as close to you as they want. In addition to this, they can also apply for a Super Visa. This is a multiple-entry visa, one of the temporary visas, that Canada issues. However, when it comes to the Super Visa, you will not be able to work in Canada with it.

For this reason, it is best that you use a family sponsorship agreement and move to Canada for an indefinite period. With this type of immigration program, you need to have a family member in Canada, your child, and they need to be willing to bring you into Canada. They need to be at least 18 years of age, live in Canada, be a permanent resident or a citizen, and have sufficient funds to support the stay of their parents in the country. Let’s consider this program in more detail.

Benefits for Sponsored Parents in Canada

Those who get parent visas in Canada can enjoy many benefits through these programs. First of all, they can gain access to living in a wonderful, developed country where they may not lack anything. Great healthcare systems and a society open to foreigners are some of Canada’s cultural landmarks and something that other developed nations may not provide you with.

In addition to this, it is important to note that with sponsorship programs, there is very little financial burden for most parents seeking to immigrate to Canada. The sponsorship means that your child or grandchild will be taking over the financial care over you, although for a short period – during this time, you can seek employment to secure enough funds for your livelihood. You will be able to join the work market, just like anyone else, and you will be able to work and enjoy all the benefits of living in Canada. After several years of living there, you will also be able to apply for the citizenship certificate to enjoy the full benefits that Canada has to offer, including

  • the right to vote
  • the right to hold any job position, including those for the Canadian government
  • the right to work and live in Canada permanently (even the permanent resident status can be revoked, so it is permanent, but not indefinite)

Eligibility Criteria: Can You Sponsor Your Parents to Canada?

The parents & grandparents PR visa is a great type of visa, but as with any other form of the immigration program, it also has some eligibility criteria that have to be met to make sure that the immigration itself is done legally and will end up with parents and grandparents who are satisfied with their move, can live a comfortable life and have a fruitful stay in Canada. When it comes to this, the person inviting you to Canada should:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • be a permanent resident of Canada OR
  • be a resident of Canada
  • have sufficient financial funds to support themselves, their families, and you upon your arrival to Canada
  • have no other sponsored dependents or have enough funds to support all of them, including you over a longer period (usually 3-20 years)

Requirements To Sponsor Parents To Canada

Income Requirement for Sponsoring Parents

One of the biggest eligibility criteria/requirements is the financial status. Beware that you will need to support both your existing family in Canada, if you have one, and the parents and grandparents arriving. Here is the income requirement for sponsoring parents into Canada (in CAD dollars per person):

Family SizeMinimum Income Threshold in CAD
per Additional Person in your Family7,172

Required Documents Needed From The Sponsor

As the programs for family reunification through sponsorship are dual (meaning that two parties are submitting their applications), let’s consider all the documents that both parties need to submit. These are the documents that you need to submit as potential sponsors – the person living in Canada applying to bring their parents and grandparents into Canada:

  • IMM 1344 – Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking
  • IMM 5768 – Financial Evaluation for Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship
  • IMM 5409 – Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union
  • Parents and Grandparents 2023 Invitation to Apply Letter
  • Proof of Status in Canada (one of):
    • Permanent Resident Card (both sides)
    • IMM 1000 – Record of Landing
    • IMM 5292 or IMM 5688 – Confirmation of Permanent Residence
    • Canadian Citizenship Certificate (both sides)
    • Canadian Birth Certificate for those born outside of Quebec. For those born in Quebec, only the Directeur de l’état civil Birth Certificate is accepted
    • Canadian passport – pages showing passport number, date of issue, date of expiration, photo, name, surname, place of birth, date of birth
    • SCIS – Secure Certificate of Indian Status
  • Marriage Certificate – if the spouse is the co-signer
  • If the spouse is the co-signer, also upload one of the following (for the spouse):
    • Permanent Resident Card (both sides)
    • IMM 1000 – Record of Landing
    • IMM 5292 or IMM 5688 – Confirmation of Permanent Residence
    • Canadian Citizenship Certificate (both sides)
    • Canadian Birth Certificate for those born outside of Quebec. For those born in Quebec, only the Directeur de l’état civil Birth Certificate is accepted
    • Canadian passport – pages showing passport number, date of issue, date of expiration, photo, name, surname, place of birth, date of birth
    • SCIS – Secure Certificate of Indian Status
  • Proof of Relationship to the principal applicant (the person being sponsored is considered the principal applicant):
    • The Sponsors Birth Certificate
    • The Sponsor’s Parents’ Birth Certificate, if grandparents are being sponsored

Requirement Documents From Sponsored Parents

The story does not end there: the person being sponsored has to submit some of the documents as well – they are considered the principal applicant, and their documents are different from those of the sponsor. The application guide names the following documents that should be submitted by the principal applicant for the PGP immigration program:

  • IMM 0008 – The Generic Application Form for Canada
  • IMM 5406 – Additional Family Information
  • IMM 5669 – Schedule A – Background/Declaration
    • If the principal applicant is employed by the government of their country of citizenship, the form IMM 0149 will also be needed
  • IMM 5662 – Your Travels
  • IMM 5476 – Use of a Representative – this form has to be filled in and sent even if your child or grandchild is your representative
  • Travel Document or Passport of the Principal Applicant and all other Family Members or Dependents they would take with themselves – pages showing passport number, date of issue, date of expiration, photo, name, surname, place of birth, date of birth
  • Proof of relationship to the spouse:
    • Marriage Certificate
    • IMM 5409 – Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union
  • Proof of principal applicants’ relation to the dependents they would like to take with them:
    • Birth Certificate OR
    • Adoption Certificate
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV or resume) – for all applicants and dependents older than 18 (including)
  • Details of Police Service: IMM 0150
  • Details of Military Experience/Service: IMM 5546
  • 1 recent photo of the principal applicant and all dependents
  • Proof of Payment of the Processing fee (or the Application Fees)

How to Sponsor Parents to Canada

Canadian sponsorship visa is a special visa that you can use to bring your parents into Canada. Considering that this visa also includes the sponsorship aspect, there are two applications to be made. The first one is you applying to sponsor, and the second one is done by your parents, where they should apply for permanent residency.

So, can I bring my parents to Canada permanently? Yes, you can. With this type of program, you can bring them in permanently, and they will be able to stay with you for as long as they follow the Canadian laws and immigration laws, and for as long as they or you can provide for their life in Canada. Considering that this program also enables a work permit upon application, this is probably the best way to ensure your parents can have an independent life once in Canada.

Send the Interest in Sponsoring Form

The first step in any sponsorship application is sending in an Interest to Sponsor form. These forms are usually available at the beginning of each year, and they are very short in availability – in 2019, all available spots for the Interest in Sponsoring Form were taken in 11 minutes (!). For this reason, it is necessary to have your documents ready in time and to be able to send the application in as fast as possible.

Obtain an Invitation

These applications for the Interest in Sponsorship forms are available on the IRCC (Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada) platform. If your interest in the Sponsoring form is all good, you will receive an Invitation to apply. The IRCC goes through the applications in the order in which they arrive. Some say that this is not the best option, as the system favours people with a faster Internet connection. However, the lottery system, introduced later on, places everyone on equal footing but disregards the time of application – making potentially more responsible applicants less likely to get the visa. In any case, no system is perfect, but being among the first to apply is a great way to improve your chances of getting a visa.

Get the Application Bundle

Once you have made the initial application and have gotten your Invitation to Apply, it is time to consider the application package. The Canadian Visa Office will send you a document checklist, forms to complete, and an instruction guide. Once all this is done, you will need to submit the required documents and all other supporting and additional documents that may be required or necessary for you to increase your chances of getting the visa. Canadian immigration officials need to make sure that you will not misuse any kind of visa that is issued to you, and they want to make sure that all the information you have provided is truthful and verifiable.

Pay for the Necessary Fees

However, before submitting the documents, there is one more step that you should take, and that is to pay the necessary fees. These fees include the processing fees, the right of permanent residence fee, and even the biometrics fee. You will need to submit the proof of payment with all these fees and you will have to do so for a successful, complete application processing to take place.

Submit the Application

Once all the documents are read and the fees paid, you will need to submit all of these to the IRCC portal, the same portal where you initially sent the letter informing of Interest to the Sponsor. To do so, you will have 60 days, which seems plenty, but in reality, can be a short period to collect all the documents. For this reason, we propose that you start collecting the documents early enough, possibly even before sending the letter of interest, to make sure you have plenty of time to react to any changes, and so that you can send the full application as soon as possible.

Parent and grandparent sponsorship is a complex procedure. A lot is happening behind the scenes after you send in your complete application. The processing time for this type of visa is as long as 21 months at the time of writing this article, or just short of two years. Being fast with submitting your documents and making sure that you send complete applications as soon as you get the invitation to apply is a great way to save some two months – do not forget that the 21-month processing time only starts once you have submitted the documents – and waiting two months to do so is going to prolong the procedure.

Provide More Information

As you send in all the required documents, the other party, your parents, will be making their permanent residence application. With this in mind, during the limited time there is, they are expected to provide their biometrics, medical exams, and police certificates. They may be required to provide even more additional documents for their immigration Canada pathway to take place.

The additional information the principal applicant (the parent) may be asked to provide is related to the medical and criminal admissibility to Canada. When it comes to the form, medical admissibility is necessary for as long as you have been travelling to potentially risky areas known for outbreaks of contagious diseases and in some more cases. When it comes to criminal admissibility, you will need to show a police certificate from your own country.

However, in case you lived in other countries during your lifetime, you will also need to provide police certificates from those countries. Regardless of where you live, you will need a police certificate from all the countries you have spent more than a year in after you’ve turned 18. This being said, there may be more documents you may be asked to provide.

Check Out How the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP):

What Is Canada’s Parent and Grandparent Program?

One of the many benefits for sponsored parents in Canada is that they do not have to provide financial funds to be able to immigrate to Canada. Rather, the financial requirements for the sponsorship programs fall on their children who live in Canada. So, if your child or grandchild has a residential address in Canada, is a Canadian citizen, or even a permanent resident, it is possible to have them fill out an application form (called a Letter of Interest) to sponsor you.

One of the programs that allows this is the PGP (Parents and GrandParents) program, which is aimed at helping parents and grandparents immigrate to Canada. The prerequisites are similar to other sponsorship programs, and you will have to meet some minimum income requirements, as well as have a healthcare insurance plan with a Canadian insurance company. The application is sent through the PGP immigration portal on IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) and an immigration lawyer or consultant can help you with this.

Canadian immigration programs are many, so you may want to consult an immigration consultant in any case: they can help you choose the best immigration program based on your income threshold, whether you have a conjugal or common-law partner or a spouse that you would like to invite if you are immigrating to Canada, or who could help you reach the minimum income if your income is not sufficient. The immigration programs are made to be transparent, but since this is a legal matter, it is always a good idea to have a professional help you on your way there.

What To Prepare for the Parent and Grandparent Program?

Canadian immigration authorities set some strict requirements when it comes to the PGP program. These requirements will not be automatically reviewed by the system, but they will be reviewed by an immigration officer. The government immigration policies are enforced this way, and this program is known for a high percentage of declined applications – around 30% of them get declined, mostly for not following the protocol outlined in the application program. Immigration professionals can help you avoid that your application joins ineligible applications.

To be able to submit an accurate application, you will need:

  • an electronic copy of your passport (scanned version in an electronic format ready for uploading to the IRCC platform)
  • proof of your status in Canada and your passport number – please be specific about this, a wrong passport number can cost you your application being deemed ineligible
  • your family name and given name (has to be written the SAME way as it is in the passport)
  • country or territory where you were both
  • your main home address and it has to be in Canada to sponsor. Canadian citizens living abroad can start the application process only if they will be returning to Canada. These immigrant applications can only be accepted under some strict conditions which have to be met
  • you need to fill out your complete address, including the street number, street name, apartment number o unit number, P.O. Box (if applicable), your territory or province, and the postal code
  • your email address – if you change it in the meantime, as the time it takes to process applications, please update this information on the IRCC platform
  • your family information, including the number of people who live with you, and the number of dependent children in your home – this will be considered for the minimum financial requirements, as someone living alone and making CAD40,000 a year has different financial abilities than a family with CAD40,000 of combined income inviting more into their home
  • the total number of people you have sponsored and are still financially responsible for (as there is a period when you are financially responsible for the family members whose arrival into Canada you sponsor, but it is not indefinite)
  • the number of people you want to sponsor – beware that the more people you want to sponsor, the more annual income you will need – a good proof of income shows that you have just enough, if not even over the minimum required income to bring in all the parents and grandparents you would like to sponsor
  • the names and other identity details of all the family members (parents and grandparents only with the PGP sponsorship program) you would like to bring into Canada

Please beware that these are just the information you need to enter. These may change at any moment and without prior notice, so be ready to submit more information when asked and be aware that you can be asked to provide more documents at any given moment during your application. These are the additional or supporting documents. The latter you will need to have at all times, to prove the statements made during the initial part of the application.

Another important thing to note here is that the program does not apply to the parents and grandparents of the applicant’s spouse. If you would like to bring your in-laws into Canada, you can only be a co-signer on your partner’s application, the same way they can be on yours. When it comes to the parents’ and grandparents’ PR visa and PGP application, you and your partner can co-sign for the reasons of having your income seen as a combined income. Be careful with this, sponsorship programs are seen as a binding contract between you and the government.

PGP Processing Time

When it comes to family-class immigration to Canada, the processing times differ from one program to the next, and so do the requirements. They will all ask for birth certificates to prove your family ties, marriage certificates, and more. Be ready to have and upload these documents at the earliest possible notice. When it comes to the programs themselves, you will also need to have a lot of patience, as the PGP programs take a long time to process – usually between 20 and 24 months per application.

As it is understandable, a lot can happen in two years. Whatever does happen, it is clear that you will need to communicate these details to the immigration authorities. A police clearance certificate can change, and so can your income – have your income documents ready and make changes on the go – for the most up-to-date application submission, you will need to change these details often. You can track your application status on the IRCC platform, and you will be informed of all the important changes to your profile and the application status via the email you have provided (therefore the need to update it as well, if there are changes).

What Is a Super Visa and How To Apply?

Visit Visa for parents is a great solution for all who meet the eligibility requirements, but their parents and grandparents do not want to move to Canada permanently. When it comes to this type of visitor visa, it is also called the Super Visa. This is a visa-type document that allows your parents and grandparents (only, other family members need to apply through different programs) to come and visit you for a period of up to five years.

The Super Visa is issued for 10 years, and it allows multiple entries into the country. This type of visa even allows extensions for up to two years, turning the five-year maximum stay into a seven-year maximum single stay. The Super Visa has its eligibility requirements, which include obligatory healthcare insurance covering a minimum of CAD100,000 and having sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Canada.

With this in mind, it is easy to conclude that the Super Visa does not allow you to work while in Canada. This is a big no, which can be enabled through other sponsorship programs. However, if you have children living, studying, and working in Canada, and if they have a permanent residency or even a citizenship status, this visa is the best way to visit them and enjoy the time together.

When applying for the Super Visa, you will need to submit your application online, also on the IRCC website. You will also need to collect all the documents, including the letter of invitation and you will also need to pay the processing fees and other fees connected to the Super Visa application. When paying the fees, you will be able to do that online, so make sure you have your credit or debit card and make sure that there are enough funds to pay for these. Here is how much the Super Visa costs:

Type of Expense/FeeAmount in CAD (cost per person)
Super Visa100
Biometrics Fee85
Biometrics Fee for a Family170
eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) per Person7
Health Insurance per Person800+
Other ExpensesN/A

Considering that the processing times for a sponsorship visa are around 2 years, the Super Visa may be a more viable option for many. The processing time is around 5 months, and in this time, you should be able to travel to Canada, visit your loved ones, and see if you are willing to move there permanently. If yes, but two years is still too long to wait, and you are ready to keep working (i.e. you are not retired), applying for Express Entry (with 6 months of processing time) is also a viable option.


Can a Permanent Resident Sponsor Parents?

Yes, a permanent resident can sponsor parents for arrival to Canada. If they would like to become residents in Canada, they will need to prove their status and relations to you, as well as their medical and criminal admissibility into the country. When it comes to the programs themselves, you can go for family immigration programs or the PGP program. Another program exists, the Super Visa program, but this program does not allow a stay longer than 5 years at a single entry into the country.

How Much Does It Cost to Petition Parents?

Depending on the program you choose, the costs may vary. When you sponsor your parents using the PGP program, you can expect to pay around CAD1050 per parent. They will also have associated costs, as the documents they have to provide cost and the fees for these are determined by their local government in their country of citizenship. When it comes to the travel expenses, both to Canada and within their own country, to the biometrics collection center and to other places to obtain the required documents, these expenses are imposed on top of the processing fees and are not included in the settlement funds or the minimum required income.

Can I Permanently Bring My Parents to Canada?

Yes, you can bring your parents to Canada, and there are multiple ways to do so. You can join a family immigration program, and sponsor their arrival once you have settled in Canada and have gotten your PR or citizenship status, or you can even help them with the application for a Super Visa for parents and grandparents. When it comes to the applications themselves, you should arm yourself with patience: the processing time for the Super Visa or some 5 months, and this is the fastest parents or grandparents program processing time there is.

Can I Sponsor My Parents to Canada without Income?

No, you cannot sponsor your parents’ arrival to Canada without any income. When it comes to sponsorship programs, they are not simple immigration programs. They are a binding contract between you and the Canadian government, where you are expected to provide for your parents. It is possible to join income with your significant other to reach the minimum income requirements of the program.

Final Thoughts

The PGP program is one of the most popular, but at the same time one of the most criticized programs for family migration to Canada. The program allows for a relatively simple immigration procedure, but there are many applicants, and the new Expression of Interest periods have not been opened since 2020, as the program still draws from that pool of Candidates. However, the program also has a long processing time of some 20-24 months. However, this is the best sponsorship program there is especially if the parents and/or grandparents cannot access or are ineligible for other forms of migration to Canada.