Canada Celebrates Welcoming Week and Expands Family Reunification Efforts in 2023

In Ottawa on September 8, 2023, The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, emphasized the importance of Welcoming Week, a global initiative promoting unity among diverse communities. Minister Miller expressed the significance of celebrating this event, which runs from the 8-17 September, as a way to recognize and appreciate the principles and individuals fostering a sense of belonging within local communities.

Coinciding with this spirit of inclusivity, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has unveiled its revamped Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) for 2023. IRCC aims to welcome up to 15,000 complete sponsorship applications, aligning with its broader objective of strengthening family bonds within the Canadian immigrant community. This commitment to family reunification complements the values promoted during Welcoming Week, illustrating Canada's dedication to fostering unity and diversity within its borders.

Canada Celebrates Welcoming Week in September

On September 8, 2023, The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, issued a statement highlighting the significance of Welcoming Week. This global initiative fosters unity among diverse communities.

"From today until September 17, we embark on a celebration of Welcoming Week alongside the world, acknowledging and commending the individuals and principles that foster a sense of belonging within our local communities," stated Minister Marc Miller.

Miller emphasized the advantages of being a welcoming nation, noting that immigration has driven Canada's economic growth. He clarified that addressing demographic challenges is a key aspect of their economic strategy, and immigrants are integral to this effort. Their contributions span various sectors, from fueling innovation to addressing labor market needs and creating employment opportunities, thereby weaving an essential cultural and economic thread into the fabric of Canada.

Miller said, “By opening our doors to those seeking a better life, we open our communities to those wanting to build a stronger Canada. Other than Indigenous peoples, who have been here since time immemorial, all Canadians can trace their stories back to immigration. Whether your family has been here for many generations, like mine, or has just joined Canada, we can all celebrate the benefits of an inclusive, welcoming community.”

He encouraged communities and organizations to highlight their achievements on social media using the hashtag #WelcomingWeek2023. He believes that sharing these accomplishments originating within Canadian communities will inspire others to foster inclusivity in their areas. For many newcomers, their arrival marks the initial stage of their journey toward Canadian citizenship.

In a move that resonates with the welcoming spirit of #WelcomingWeek2023, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has just unveiled a significant update to the Parents and Grandparents Program 2023. As Canada gears up to celebrate the values that unite diverse communities during Welcoming Week, IRCC's announcement adds another layer to the country's commitment to inclusivity. This development is a testament to Canada's ongoing dedication to welcoming newcomers and an opportunity for families to reunite and share in this nation's cultural and economic fabric.

IRCC Expands Parents and Grandparents Program for 2023

In an eagerly anticipated announcement, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has revealed the details of its revamped Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) for the year 2023. IRCC has set an ambitious target of accepting up to 15,000 complete applications for sponsorship under the PGP, aligning with its goal of fostering family reunification within the Canadian immigrant community.

Starting on October 10th, IRCC will initiate the process by sending out invitations to apply to 24,200 potential sponsors who have expressed interest in participating.

This strategic move aims to ensure the program's success while accommodating the existing pool of submissions from 2020. Instead of opening a new interest to sponsor form, IRCC will handpick potential sponsors from this pre-existing pool, optimizing the chances for a reunion.

There is a renewed opportunity for those who submitted an interest to sponsor form in 2020 but did not receive an invitation to apply in either 2021 or 2022. IRCC encourages individuals in this category to monitor the email accounts they provided in 2020 when submitting their interest to sponsor form, as this may be their chance to participate in the 2023 intake.

According to IRCC, “Due to the number of forms remaining in the pool of submissions from 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will send invitations to apply to randomly-selected potential sponsors from that pool instead of opening a new interest to sponsor form,”

To streamline the application process, IRCC will continue to leverage the Permanent Residence Portal and the Representative Permanent Residence Portal, offering a seamless and electronic route for submission. This move aligns with Canada's commitment to modernizing its immigration systems for greater efficiency.

As part of Canada's broader Immigration Levels Plan, which guides its immigration operations and outlines its objectives for welcoming newcomers, the country aims to admit 465,000 new permanent residents in 2023. A significant portion of this intake, 28,500 individuals, will be parents and grandparents, reaffirming Canada's commitment to maintaining strong family ties and community bonds among immigrants.

Canada's forward-looking approach extends beyond 2023, with plans to welcome 500,000 newcomers by 2025, including an estimated 36,000 parents and grandparents. As IRCC kicks off its invitation process in October, these initiatives underscore Canada's dedication to fostering family reunification and strengthening its immigrant communities in the coming years.

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