Parental and Grandparental Sponsorship New Requirements

Amendments have been made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), which are basically the legal rules when it comes to immigration matters, to include the recent re-opening of the parental and grandparental sponsorship program. These changes received approval on December 12, 2013 and came into effect on January 1, 2014.

The changes include unique amendments to sponsorship regulation that normally exist when sponsoring a family member. These amendments, however, only pertain to sponsoring a parent or grandparent. They include:

  • An extended undertaking period for sponsors to twenty (20) years
  • An increase to the minimum necessary income (MNI) plus 30%
  • Limitations on financial documentary evidence
  • Lengthened period of demonstrating the MNI to three (3) years

In practical terms, this has serious consequences that you should be aware of when considering to sponsor your parent or grandparent. As the sponsor, you will need to:

  • Demonstrate that for three consecutive taxation years preceding the date of your application, your income (and the income of your co-signer, if applicable) is greater than or equal to the appropriate minimum necessary income (according to family size) plus 30% for each of the three years
  • You may only use documents provided by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) and calculations of the sponsor, and applicable co-signer, will be based on the amount recorded in your Notice of Assessment (or other such CRA documentation; like the Option C printout). Earnings from social programs like Employment Insurance, Social Assistance, Federal Income Supplements etc. will be deducted
  • The duration of undertaking has also been set at 20 years, meaning you (as the sponsor) will be financially, and otherwise responsible, for your parents or grandparents for this time period once they obtain their permanent status

Further, under new provisions in the IRPR, an immigration officer reviewing an application has the right to request updated evidence of income if:

  • The officer receives information that indicates that the sponsor is no longer able to fulfill their obligations
  • More than 12 months have elapsed since receipt of the application


If at any time throughout the process an officer feels that you no longer qualify, regardless if you qualified at the time of submission, they have the right to refuse your application.

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