The Financial Requirements for Family Class Sponsorships (Excluding Quebec)
In order to be eligible to become a sponsor, you must meet certain minimum income requirements. The low-income cutoff is adjusted every year and the IRCC uses this to determine your eligibility for sponsoring a family member into Canada. Statistics Canada established this low-income cut-off based on a number of factors and it depends on the family size. Your minimum necessary income is higher if you have a larger family.
The minimum income requirement doesn’t apply to the sponsor if:
- The person being sponsored is a spouse, a common law or conjugal partner
- The person being sponsored is a dependent child
These requirements were put in place by the IRCC to help protect sponsored persons from facing financial hardships when they enter Canada. The sponsor is required to meet the rules of the undertaking by providing the sponsored family member with the basic needs for a given time period. The financial requirements also ensure that the Canadian government doesn’t spend on social assistance for immigrants who have been sponsored into Canada without the financial capability to sustain their livelihood.
Is your total income sufficient?
The amount that you obtain must exceed the minimum necessary income level. This minimum income level is dependent on the size of the family unit. For instance, if you have a small family of just 2 people, the minimum necessary income is $37,708 whereas the level shoots up to $63,833 if you have a family size of 5 people.
What happens if you don’t qualify?
Should you fail to meet the minimum financial requirements for Canada family sponsorship programs, you may be allowed to have your spouse act as a co-signer. This means that the co-signer will also have the financial obligation to cater for the essential needs of the sponsored person.
However, an individual must also fulfill certain eligibility requirements to act as a co-signer. For instance, your combined incomes must meet the minimum income requirement according to your family size. The co-signer must also meet all the minimum requirements to qualify as a sponsor. For instance, if your spouse or common-law partner has not been discharged of bankruptcy, he/she cannot act as a co-signer. The same applies if the person has a history of criminal conviction or has been detained in a penitentiary jail or prison. Note that your spouse, common law partner or conjugal partner cannot act as a co-signer if he/she is in default of an undertaking.
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