2. Learn about minimum necessary income
Question & AnswerCan I be a sponsor for a member of my family?
Next Steps1. Learn about the financial responsibilities of a sponsor 2. Learn about minimum necessary income 3. Learn about other rules concerning your financial situation 4. Learn how criminal law or status problems affect whether you can be a sponsor 5. Get legal help if you gave incorrect or incomplete information to IRCC
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has guidelines that say what minimum necessary income a sponsor must have. These amounts usually go up each year.
But the income guidelines don’t usually apply to sponsoring:
- your , , or
- your , as long as they don't have dependent children of their own
- the children of the spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner you're sponsoring, as long as those children don't have children of their own
You don't have to meet a minimum necessary income for the sponsorships listed above. But you must show IRCC that you can support the people you're sponsoring. This means you cannot be getting social assistance. And you usually need to show that you're working.
Special rules for minimum necessary income during COVID-19
As of October 2, 2020, IRCC will be more flexible in applying the minimum necessary income for sponsors relying on income for the 2020 tax year. But they must also meet the conditions outlined in the policy.
When figuring out the minimum necessary income that applies to you, IRCC will also include income from:
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
- regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
- other COVID-related benefits
When the guidelines apply, your sponsorship package includes a Financial Evaluation form that you complete and include with your application.
Figuring out minimum necessary income
The minimum necessary income you need as a sponsor depends on:
- the number of people in Canada who you already have a responsibility to support financially, plus
- the number of people you want to sponsor.
Co-signing a sponsorship application
If you have a spouse or common-law partner, who also meets the requirements to be a sponsor, they can co-sign your sponsorship application. This means that they're also responsible to make sure the sponsored person's basic needs are met. This responsibility lasts as long as the sponsorship agreement is in effect. Co-signing is not possible for spousal sponsorships.
A co-signer's income can be included when calculating whether you have the minimum necessary income you need for your sponsorship application. And the number of people will include anyone the co-signer is already responsible to support financially.
Financial responsibility for others
When counting the number of people that you as a sponsor are financially responsible for, you include:
- a spouse, partner, or dependent child who lives with you
- a spouse, partner, or dependent child, even if they don't live with you
You also include anyone who you or your co-signer sponsored or co-signed a sponsorship for in the past, if the sponsorship agreement is still in effect or not yet in effect.
For example, if you're a single parent with a dependent child in Canada and you want to sponsor both of your parents, you need to show that you have the minimum necessary income for 4 people. This is because you have to show you can support yourself, your child, and both parents. This applies even if your child does not live with you.
Proving your income
You and any co-signer can prove your income for the last year using the notice of assessment that you get from (CRA). You'll get this after you send in your income tax return. You can download a copy if you create an account with CRA.