Canadian Law Group

Canada: Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program – Cap of 27,000 Met in less than 10 Minutes Worldwide!

We had been closely awaiting Canada's release of the Interest to Sponsor Form, which was to allow Canadians to sponsor their parents and grandparents from abroad. This famous program has been gaining in popularity across the world in light of the backlogs of parental sponsorship lines in the USA. To give our readers a better sense, in the United States there is no specific stream to sponsor a parent/grandparent. Instead, they are grouped together with other relatives in the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative form and are not treated as the highest priority.

On January 28th, the long-anticipated "interest to sponsor form" was released electronically by IRCC. The race was "on" as lawyers and applicants around the globe sat at their computers to upload their information onto the form and hope to have a chance to put their parents in line for Canadian sponsorship. We knew this would be a tight race, but no one expected what actually happened.

The form, to be released only once a year, was finally made public by IRCC around 12 pm on Monday, January 28th. Applicants raced to download the data on to the form, thinking that within a few hours, the cap of 27,000 applications would surely be met.

To everyone's surprise, the program suddenly shut down within 9 minutes of the form's release. IRCC announced that the cap had been met.

Those that were issued an invitation to apply must submit a complete parent/grandparent application within 60 days. While this is not a common occurrence, last year, the government of Canada issued another couple thousand invitations to apply.

Let's be clear: 27,000 applications filed across the world in under 9 minutes? Is this really possible?

More than 100,000 individuals attempted to access the form when it went live. Canadian immigration lawyers and interested sponsors alike have been left totally disappointed with the system.

The IRCC twitter account received thousands of complaints within hours of the form closing, as to the unfairness of the system, while major Canadian news outlets covered the story. Some interested sponsors stated the form was not available for them immediately and by the time they were able to access the form, the IRCC had already reached their cap.

CKR's Canadian law Group takes the position that the government of Canada cannot leave this situation unaddressed. We predict that in under 9 minutes, many forms were filled out incorrectly. IRCC stated on its website that it may open the interest to sponsor form again in 2019 if more sponsors are required, and we anticipate that this will be the case.

CKR is continuing to monitor the situation, in line with its commitment to help Canadians bring their parents or grandparents to Canada where possible.