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HomeFamily newsWhat does it mean to sign a Family Class Sponsorship Commitment?

What does it mean to sign a Family Class Sponsorship Commitment?

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Published on November 6, 2022 at 07:00 AM EST



Canada strives to reunify families as part of its immigration policy and welcomes over 100,000 family-class immigrants per year. All family class immigration programs involve a sponsor.

One of the main requirements for family sponsorship is a company. Basically, an undertaking is a binding contract, signed by the sponsor, stating that you take on financial responsibility for your spouse, partner, dependent child/children, parent or grandparent.

What does financial responsibility mean?

When you sign an undertaking, it means that you are legally responsible for providing food, shelter, clothing and daily necessities for the person you are sponsoring. This does not end until the end of the legal commitment period, even if the person becomes a Canadian citizen.

Sponsor your family for Canadian immigration

Anyone coming to Canada through family sponsorship have no access to government-provided support such as welfare, disability or any provincial benefits. If the person you sponsor applies for, and receives, money from the provincial or federal government, you will be responsible for paying it back.

All permanent residents are entitled to health care provided under the provincial health care system, but if your family member does not have their own private insurance, you are responsible for health care not covered by the province such as prescription medications, dental care or eye exams.

Also, once you sign an undertaking, there are no circumstances under which you can end your obligation early. If you separate or divorce your partner or spouse or become estranged from the person you signed an undertaking for, you are still considered responsible for them until the undertaking expires. You are also still responsible if you lose your job or run into financial problems.

How long is a commitment?

Commitments vary in length depending on the program. A spouse or partner requires a three-year commitment while sponsoring parents or grandparents through Program for parents and grandparents (PGP) is 20 years, unless you are in Quebec which is 10 years.

Dependent children under the age of 22 require a commitment of 10 years, or until they turn 25. Children over the age of 22 have a commitment of three years.

Cancel a commitment

Commitments cannot be canceled after the final decision on your application has been made Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If you change your mind before receiving IRCC’s decision, you can send a letter to the institution withdrawing your application.

Are you eligible to be a sponsor?

The eligibility requirements for sponsorship programs are quite simple, and there are slightly different requirements in each program, but in all cases, potential sponsors must be:

  • at least 18 years old
  • a Canadian citizen, a person who is registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or a permanent resident,
  • live in Canada:
    • if you are a Canadian citizen living outside of Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada when your sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident.
    • You cannot sponsor someone if you are a permanent resident outside of Canada.
  • be able to prove that you do not receive social benefits for reasons other than disability, and;
  • You must also be able to demonstrate that you can provide basic needs of:
    • self,
    • your spouse or partner,
    • your spouse or partner’s dependent children (if applicable)
    • your dependent child(ren) (if you only sponsor your dependent child).

Minimum required income

Part of your eligibility to sponsor under PGP is minimum necessary income (MNI). This is proof that you have an income high enough to support yourself, your spouse and all other dependent family members apart from your parents or grandparents. MNI increases with each dependent family member, and you must be able to prove that you have made MNI for the previous three tax years to be eligible.

Sponsor your family for Canadian immigration

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