Looking to sponsor a family member to Canada? Wondering about the process, and what to do? There are many different types of applications when sponsoring members of the Family Class. This can involve spouses, conjugal partners, common-law partners, parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. There are many types of members you can sponsor, each with a different application depending on their specific situation. However, there is one thing in common with all sponsorship applications. That is the proof of finances. As a sponsor, your application will likely question your financial situation. Depending on the type of application or person(s) you are sponsoring, you would need to meet certain specific financial requirements in order to be an eligible sponsor.
When you sponsor someone under the Family Class, you will be asked to sign an undertaking. This is a contract in which you commit to being financially responsible for the person that you sponsor. This includes basic requirements, which are the essentials for living such as: food, clothing, personal requirements, shelter, utilities, fuel, household supplies, and health care (for those branches that aren’t covered in Canada, such as dentistry). This undertaking is assurance to the Canadian Government that your sponsorship will not result in a burden on the Canadian social assistance program. The undertaking only lasts a set number of years, dependent on the type of person you are sponsoring. For example, for a spouse, the length of the undertaking would be three years after the spouse becomes a permanent resident. Note that during this time period of three years, the undertaking is binding. This means that you would be responsible for them even if you divorce, separate, move away from each other, etc. This undertaking is the document that binds you to be financially responsible for the principal applicant. This means you must demonstrate that you have adequate financial resources to provide for the person(s) who will be coming to Canada.
The Financial Evaluation form (IMM 1283) is made publicly available on the Government’s website for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, cic.gc.ca. This form will assess your situation to see if you are, in the eyes of the Government, able to financial support the person you intend to sponsor. The basic requirement for seeing if you are financially ready to sponsor someone is dependent on who you intend to sponsor. If the person you are sponsoring is not your spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner (whether they have no family members, dependent children or no dependent children) or your child (who cannot have their own children), then you have a responsibility to prove a specific financial situation. This is that you have an annual income that is equal to or greater than the minimum income needed to be able to support:
Your family members (even those not living with you)
Other people you have sponsored, as well as their family members listed on that undertaking or potential undertaking
People for which you have co-signed an undertaking for
People for which your current co-signer has previously co-signed or initiated an undertaking for
This minimum income must be able to support ALL of the aforementioned people together.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has developed a chart with information on the minimum income you would require, dependent on how many people you must be able to support for. Firstly, you would need to count how many people you must provide for. For this, include anyone that applies to the previously mentioned group of people. This includes yourself as well as the person you intend to sponsor. Then visit cic.gc.ca and refer to the low income cut-off (LICO) table. This will tell you how much you must have in financial resources and must demonstrate to Canadian Immigration in your application. For example, for a total of 3 people, you would need to demonstrate $37 650 in financial resources. Note that this must be done in Canadian dollars. Generally, for each additional person, you would need to include $4891 more. However, it is important to note that the basic annual income changes per year. Thus, you would need to be looking at the most updated version available. Also, there are different requirements for sponsors who live in Quebec. This is determined by the Immigration Department of the Quebec Government. If this applies to you, visit their website rather than Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
If you cannot fulfill the financial requirements on your own, you may have a co-signer help to do so. This person must be your own spouse or common-law partner. If you have a co-signer, your financial situation together will be considered when evaluating whether or not you meet the basic annual income requirements for the people or person you wish to sponsor. However, the co-signer will be just as responsible for the person you are sponsoring as you are. This means being eligible to sponsor, signing the application, and accepting responsibility of the undertaking as well. Thus, if there are any commitments required for you to complete your application, the co-signer will be just as responsible as you are. If you have a co-signer, only the two of your finances together will be combined. Finances from the co-signer family, assets, etc will not be considered when assessing whether or not your application meets the income requirements.
All evidence of your financial situation can only date back to 12 months prior to your application. The specific documents you would need to include is a Notice of Assessment from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). You can also get personal tax information from your online CRA account, as there is a print option. Note that each individual signing the undertaking must produce a Notice of Assessment. This includes the co-signer. Other documents you can include can be: pay stubs, business activity statements, certificates, official documents from other potential sources of income (for example, special benefits), etc. After you have these documents, you can adequately fill out the Financial Evaluation form. This will determine your precise financial situation and help you determine if you are eligible/if you need a co-signer. After this, the form must be submitted (along with any documentation) with the final sponsorship application.
If you are looking at sponsoring a member of the Family Class, consider contact Akrami and Associates. Our experienced and dedicated team will be able to assess your situation and provide you with advice regarding what documents you will need to prove your financial situation or if you are financially eligible to sponsor someone. The immigration professionals at Akrami and Associates will also be able to help you move forward with your application.
With Akrami and Associates, there is always a way!