Family Reunification

Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship

Sponsoring Parent or Grandparent

Sponsorship or Parents and Grandparents is by far one of the most popular, and at the same time, most difficult immigration program to enter. Due to the yearly quota of applications under this program and the limited period that the program is open to the public, a prospective sponsor may or may not be selected to receive an invitation to apply their parent(s) or grandparent(s) in any given year.


Upon submission of sponsorship application, a sponsor undertakes to be financially responsible for their sponsored parent/grandparent for 20 years. This undertaking is enforceable from the time an applicant becomes a permanent resident and it cannot be cancelled, despite any changes in the sponsor’s employment or personal situation.


To be approved as a sponsor, a Canadian citizen/permanent resident must meet certain eligibility criteria. One of the requirements is meeting the Low Income Cut Off (LICO), plus 30% based on the number of family members for 3 years prior to the application. Income must be proved based on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Notice of Assessment (NOA). Only income declared to the CRA can be considered. Foreign income not claimed on the Canadian tax return cannot be included for the purposes of the income calculation. The sponsor must meet the increased levels of income after submitting the application until a decision is made. The immigration officer is authorized to request proof of meeting the required income by the sponsor at any stage of application processing under the following two conditions:


  • if the officer has received the information that the sponsor is no longer able to meet obligations of the undertaking (for example, loss of employment, death of a co-signer, change in the family composition) or
  • more than 12 months passed from the date the sponsorship application was received.

Sponsorship of Parents and Grandparents allows for the co-signer to be added to the sponsorship application if the sponsor's financial resources are inadequate. This way the sponsor and the co-signer may combine their income to meet the required income level. It must be noted that the co-signer may only be a spouse or a common-law partner. No other family members (such as sister/brothers and children) may co-sign. Income cannot include pooled financial resources from other relatives to meet the income test. The co-signer must meet the same eligibility requirements as the sponsor.


One should not underestimate professional advice given during the sponsorship application of parents/grandparents. There are certain rules on how to calculate the number of the family members included and on what income indicated on the CRA Notice of Assessment can be considered for the purposes of meeting the financial requirement.


Our team at ICC specializes in sponsorship cases. Contact us and one of our counsels will thoroughly review your situation, advise if your relative meets the definition of a family member eligible to be sponsored, evaluate sponsor’s eligibility, advise on the income levels applicable to your family unit and prepare a tailored sponsorship application.

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