Canadian Spousal Sponsorship Wedding

Spousal Sponsorship Income Requirement

It is a common misconception that there is a specific income requirement to be able to sponsor your spouse to Canada.

While you must meet a concrete requirement to sponsor almost any other family member, there is no such income requirement at all for spousal sponsorship applications.

The financial requirements for spousal sponsorship include:

  • You must not be receiving welfare benefits from any province.
  • You must not be in bankruptcy proceedings, and previous bankruptcy claim must have been discharged

Both of these requirements must be met at the time you submit your spousal sponsorship application, but there is no specific length of time you need to wait before you can send the application in. In other words, you can submit your spousal sponsorship application the day after you stop receiving welfare benefits or your bankruptcy is discharged.

However, if you are receiving Employment Insurance benefits (unemployment) or disability benefits, you may still sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner as these benefits do not count as welfare.

In order to make the ability to sponsor your spouse accessible to people at all income levels, IRCC does not require that applicants earn any certain amount of money. They are also comparatively lenient about this requirement, as previous bankruptcy or receipt of welfare benefits do not normally reflect poorly on an application.


Parental Sponsorship Income Requirement

Parental and Grandparental sponsorship applications do carry a Minimum Income Requirement based upon the number of people in your family. This includes

  • Yourself and your family members, even if they do not live with you
  • The person you are sponsoring and his/her family members who will be living with you
  • Anyone you have sponsored in the past and their family members
  • Anyone you have co-signed a sponsorship financial obligation for in the past
  • Anyone the person you are sponsoring has sponsored or has co-signed a sponsorship financial obligation for in the past

For parental and grandparental sponsorship applications there is a Low Income Cutoff (LICO) to ensure that you will be able to financially support your family members after they arrive in Canada. The LICO is as follows as of March 2019:

Low Income Cutoff for Sponsorship Applications
Size of Family Minimum Necessary Income 2018 Minimum Necessary Income 2017 Minimum Necessary Income 2016 Minimum Necessary Income 2015
2 people $40,379 $39,813 $39,372 $38,618
3 people $49,641 $48,945 $48,404 $47,476
4 people $60,271 $59,426 $58,768 $57,642
5 people $68,358 $67,400 $66,654 $65,377
6 people $77,095 $76,015 $75,174 $73,733
7 people $85,835 $84,631 $83,695 $82,091
More than 7 persons, for each additional person, add $8,740 $8,616 $8,521 $8,358


Child Sponsorship Income Requirement

If you are sponsoring your child who has no children of their own, there is no income requirement to sponsor them.

However, if your child has children of their own, you must meet the income requirement above to sponsor them.


Sponsorship Application Financial Obligation

As a sponsor, you are undertaking certain obligations for the welfare of the person you are sponsoring. This includes caring for them financially for the necessary period of time as directed by the government. This period of time depends on the type of sponsorship application you are filing:

Financial Obligation Length of Time
Relative Sponsored Financial Obligation
Spouse 3 years
Parent 20 years
Grandparent 20 years
Child 10 years or until child is 22 years old
Dependent Child 22 or Older 3 years

If you sponsor someone and they receive welfare benefits from the government, you as the sponsor are financially liable for paying back those benefits.

Have you been affected by the financial obligations of a sponsorship application?

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