Am I Eligible to Sponsor My Parents/Grandparents?

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Am I Eligible to Sponsor My Parents/Grandparents?

  • You have to be 18 years of age or older
  • You have to be living in Canada
  • You have to be one of the following:
    • A Canadian citizen,
    • A permanent resident of Canada, or
    • A registered Indian under the Canadian Indian Act – go here for more information.

There are also disqualifying factors. You cannot sponsor a parent or grandparent if:

  • You’re under 18 years of age.
  • You are not living in Canada when you apply to sponsor your parents/grandparents until when a decision is reached on their permanent residence status. Ideally you should live in Canada continually but the minimum necessary is to have a Canadian primary residence from the time you first submit your application until they receive (or are denied) their permanent resident visa.
  • You’re neither a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a Registered Indian i.e. you’re a temporary resident of Canada (visitor, work, or study permits)
  • Your permanent resident application is still being processed, in other words, you cannot sponsor someone until you receive your permanent resident card/visa.


What other factors can make You Ineligible to Sponsor Your Parents or Grandparents?

The following factors may also disqualify you:

  • You’re in jail.
  • You haven’t paid back:
    • An immigration loan
    • A performance bond
    • A court-ordered family support payment.
  • You haven’t complied with previous sponsorship undertakings and didn’t give financial support to those you previously sponsored. Until the full amount of social assistance or any government debt owed by any family member you have sponsored in the past is repaid, you cannot sponsor someone.
  • You have declared bankruptcy and are still not discharged – which means you are released from the obligation to pay back debts due on the date bankruptcy was declared. For first bankruptcies this is automatically 9 months after bankruptcy is declared.
  • You received social assistance for something other than a disability.
  • You have agreed to a performance bond to ensure an immigrant fulfills their obligations and you haven’t paid the amounts owing under than performance bond.
  • If you have missed payments on an immigration loan, a right of permanent residence fee loan (formerly a landing right fee loan) you cannot sponsor someone until they are paid back. To find out how to pay back these government loans, call Collection Services at 1-800-667-7301 (only for calls made in the USA or Canada).
  • You were convicted of:
    • a violent criminal offence
    • an offence against a relative
    • a sexual offence in or outside of Canada
  • You are under a Removal Order and must leave Canada

Here’s a list of phone numbers for Provincial and Territorial Governments for information on how to pay back money owed by sponsored family members from provincial support programs. Remember, until you pay back this money, you cannot sponsor anyone, including your parents or grandparents.

Province Office Contact
Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services
Overpayment Recovery Unit
Toll free: 1-888-346-5184
See website for more information
Quebec Centre du recouvrement
1415 Jarry St. Est, Suite 400
Montréal, QC H2E 3B4
Telephone: 1-514-873-4362
Fax: 1-514-352-2395
British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Sponsorship Default Line
Alberta Alberta Human Services Income Support Contact Centre
Telephone: 1-866-644-5135
Edmonton: 1-780-644-9992
Manitoba Family Services
Employment and Income Assistance
Telephone: 1-877-812-0014
Saskatchewan Department of Community Resources and
Saskatchewan Social Services
Nova Scotia Department of Community Services See website for contact information
New Brunswick Department of Social Development Telephone: 1-866-444-8838
Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Events, Education, Skills and Labour Income Support Section
Telephone: 1-877-729-7888
[email protected]
Prince Edward Island Family and Human Services Telephone: 1-902-368-6440
See website for more information


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