Family Matters - Part One

Q. What is my financial responsibility to sponsor my family to Canada?

Submitted by David W.


You came to Canada on a work or study permit and fell in love with what Canada has to offer. You became a Permanent Resident and now realize how terribly you miss your parents and want them to join you in your new life. Maybe you were born in Canada and have met and fallen in love with someone from another part of the world and want them to move to Canada so you can be together. Maybe you've adopted a child from another country and need to navigate the best way to bring them to your family.


Regardless of your situation, sponsoring can be complex. In this three-part series, we will explore the financial undertaking that is related to family sponsorship.




Spouse & Dependent Children


You can sponsor your spouse, partner, or dependent child if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old

  • You’re a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act

  • You’re able to prove that you’re not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability

  • you can provide for the basic needs of any persons you want to sponsor

If you’re a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada when the persons you want to sponsor become permanent residents and you can’t sponsor someone if you’re a permanent resident living outside Canada.


Income requirement

In most cases, there isn’t an income requirement to sponsor your spouse or partner, or dependent child. You only need to show that you have enough money to meet the income requirements if:

  • you’re sponsoring a dependent child that has 1 or more dependent children of their own, or

  • you’re sponsoring a spouse or partner that has a dependent child, and their dependent child has 1 or more children of their own.


When you agree to sponsor, you sign an undertaking, promising to give financial support for the basic needs of the people you’re sponsoring, and any of their dependent children. The undertaking is a binding promise of support, meaning that it is your responsibility to support the applicant(s) for the length of the undertaking period even if your situation changes. For example, the undertaking won’t be cancelled even if:

  • the person you are sponsoring becomes a Canadian citizen

  • you become divorced, separated or your relationship with the sponsored person breaks down

  • you or the person you sponsor moves to another province or country

  • you have financial problems

The length of time you are legally responsible for the person you sponsor varies based on the type of family member you are sponsoring and is either 3 or 10 years for non-residents of Quebec. (Quebec has different undertaking lengths)



To read more about the requirements of spousal sponsorship, read a recent #AskAnnie about proving your relationship for sponsorship





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Immigration Station Canada is a dedicated, professional Canadian Immigration firm practicing out of Northumberland County, just east of Toronto, in Canada. We serve clients from Kingston, Belleville, Brighton, Cobourg, Oshawa, the GTA, Guelph, Milton, Stratford and St. Catharines and around the world. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Anne C. McCaughey (Annie) is an experienced immigration services provider and a fifth-generation Canadian who values the immigration process and the unique individuals who immigrate to Canada to become part of the fabric of this wonderful country. If you would like to submit a question to Ask Annie, use the contact form.



How Can We Help? We do work permits, study permits, visitor visas, Express Entry, spousal sponsorship, family class sponsorship, and Canadian citizenship with expertise in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications and Global Talent Stream applications. Please contact us if you would like assistance with your immigration application or to book an appointment.






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