Do your parents or grandparents live overseas? If you want them to come live with you in Canada, now could be your chance.

Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has re-opened the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program (PGP) for 2018. The PGP permits Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada.

In order to apply under the PGP, eligible Canadian citizens and permanent residents must first submit the “Interest to Sponsor Form” before 12 p.m. EST on February 1, 2018. It should be noted the “Interest to Sponsor Form” is not an application but is the necessary first step in participating in the PGP.

Before submitting the “Interest to Sponsor Form” potential sponsors should check to ensure they are eligible to sponsor their parents and grandparents. For 2018 additional eligibility requirements have been added, such as a minimum income requirement. The “Interest to Sponsor Form” should not be submitted multiple times as it will not increase the chances of being chosen by IRCC.

After the online “Interest to Sponsor Form” closes on February 1, 2018, IRCC will review the submitted forms and randomly select 10,000 individuals. These individuals will be invited to complete the sponsorship application within 90 days of being invited to apply.

By introducing the “Interest to Sponsor Form” in 2017, IRCC created a fairer and more transparent lottery-based application process for potential sponsors to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada. This replaces the former arbitrary “gold rush” system that required applicants to be the first to submit their application form in order to participate in the PGP.

As Canadian citizens and permanent residents only have until February 1, 2018 to submit the “Interest to Sponsor Form,” individuals wishing to sponsor their parents and grandparents should act fast, taking the first steps under the PGP.

For more information, see IRCC’s latest notice regarding the PGP.