Financial Requirements of the Sponsor The Low Income Cut Off

Though there is no financial requirement that would preclude or bar a sponsor from sponsoring, your financial situation will still be assessed as to whether or not you will be capable of fulfilling your financial agreement or undertaking.

Officers have what they call a financial test when determining this and refer to the low income cut off.

When considering these facts they will look at various financial resources which may include:

  • The resources of the sponsor’s spouse or common-law partner if the sponsor’s financial resources are not enough
  • This cannot include pooled finances from other relatives to meet the income test
  • Unfortunately any employment income abroad is not considered a reliable indicator of future or stable employment in Canada
  • Officers will also not consider foreign income or finances as it is not exact nor is it a clear indicator that the sponsor will be able to maintain their undertaking

There are however exceptions to this:

  • Sponsors who commute from Canada to work in the U.S.A. can use their U.S. employment income provided it is declared as income on their Canadian income tax return
  • Sponsors living in Canada who declare income from foreign sources on their Canadian tax returns, can use this foreign income to meet the financial requirements

Note that an officer cannot make discretionary approval of financial requirements. In this way it is very “black and white.” You either meet the requirement or you do not.

The sponsor’s income must meet the minimum necessary income requirement to support all members of a their own family and all the people they intends to sponsor which also includes family members who are not accompanying. The applicable Low Income Cut Off level is based on urban areas of 500,000 people or more, regardless of where the sponsor might live.

Size of Family Unit

Minimum necessary income

1 person (the sponsor)


2 persons


3 persons


4 persons


5 persons


6 persons


7 persons


More than 7 persons, for each additional person, add


Sponsors should also provide their latest Notice of Assessment from their Income Tax

Return provided by Canada Revenue Agency or the Option C printout as well as copies of their T4s etc. to help demonstrate financial capabilities.

The officer will consider your total income as the total income shown on the Notice of Assessment. If a sponsor cannot provide a Notice of Assessment/Option C printout or your income on the Notice of Assessment is insufficient, you must provide evidence that you meet the applicable minimum necessary income by any other means otherwise you will most likely be refused on these grounds.

Contact Akrami & Associates Immigration Law firm


For further information with respect to your Canadian immigration, we invite you to contact our experienced immigration representatives.

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