spousal sponsorship Canada

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sponsor spouse to Canada

Canadian immigration lawyer helping with spousal sponsorship inside Canada as well as spousal sponsorship outside Canada. We offer free consultations!

How Much Money Do I Need to Sponsor My Spouse to Canada?

A Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is at least 18 years of age can often sponsor their spouse or partner for permanent residency. Unlike other family sponsorship programs, there is no minimum income requirement for spousal sponsorship. This being said, the sponsor must sign an agreement promising to take care of their partner's basic financial needs and immigration authorities may assess whether or not they believe the person has sufficient funds to do so.

The undertaking agreement that must be signed when sponsoring a foreign national for a Canadian Spouse Visa holds you responsible for financially supporting their basic needs for three years. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) considers basic needs to be food, clothing, shelter, and other everyday necessities. You are also responsible for any basic health needs that are not covered by public health services such as dental care and eye care.

How Much Money Does IRCC Expect?

Since IRCC does not officially require a minimum income or a minimum net worth, it is not always obvious what level of income or savings will satisfy them. This is because the ability to provide for your spouse can depend on a wide variety of factors. For example: if someone is low income but has cheap rent and some money in the bank, IRCC may be satisfied. On the other hand, if someone has a decent income but has high living expenses and substantial debt such as car loans, student loans, and maxed out credit cards it is possible that immigration officers may be concerned.

There are many factors that could be considered by IRCC. Do you own your home or do you rent? How much are your monthly bills on average including mortgage payment or rent? Are you unemployed, underemployed (part-time hours), or retired without a pension? How much money is in your bank account, and how much debt do you have? Ultimately, Immigration Canada wants to ensure your spouse will not need to ask the Government for financial help. According to the terms of the undertaking agreement, the sponsor is legally responsible for their partner's financial wellbeing and must pay back any social assistance they are given by the Government during the 3-year period.

Interested in sponsoring your spouse for PR but concerned you might not have the income or money to satisfy IRCC? Contact our Canadian immigration law firm for a free evaluation.

Can I Sponsor My Spouse If I Don't Have a Job?

Canadians can still sponsor their spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner for permanent residency even if they do not currently have a job. This is because there is no minimum necessary income required for spousal sponsorship. Even without a job, if a sponsor can convince the immigration officer that they are capable of supporting their spouse in Canada they can qualify.

Legal Basis for No Minimum Income

Many Canadians are surprised to learn that there is no minimum necessary income requirement when sponsoring a spouse for PR. While other types of family sponsorship do require a specific amount of money, spousal sponsorship is an exception. This policy is laid out in Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations 133 (3) - Exception to minimum necessary income. This regulation states that the minimum income requirement "does not apply if the sponsored person is the sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner".

Is There Ever a Minimum Necessary Income?

While spousal sponsorship to Canada does not usually have a minimum necessary income (MNI), there is one scenario in which the sponsor must meet MNI requirements. If your spouse has a dependent child who has a dependent child of their own, you will need to prove to IRCC you make enough money. Minimum income requirements are determined by Statistics Canada's annual Low-income Cut-Off (LICO) which changes each year. If you work with a Spouse Visa lawyer they should be able to tell you the exact amount of income that will be required for your application.

Does My Spouse Need a Job in Canada?

In order to be sponsored for PR, your spouse or partner does not need to have a job in Canada. Even if they do not plan to ever work, they can still be sponsored for Canadian PR. The person sponsoring their spouse does not need to demonstrate a minimum amount of income, but will need to commit to providing financial support for their family member's basic needs in Canada.

How Do I Prove My Income If Required

There are several ways a Canadian citizen or PR can prove to IRCC that they have enough money or income to support their husband or wife. A copy of your notice of assessment (NOA) from the CRA is one of the more common ways a person can prove sufficient income. A copy of pay stubs or an employment contract can also help prove the amount of money a person is being paid at their job. Bank statements are the most popular way to prove to immigration authorities you have sufficient savings to cover your spouse's financial needs in Canada.

How Long Does the Financial Obligation Last?

When you sponsor your spouse in Canada, your monetary obligations began as soon as you sign the undertaking. The agreement is then in effect for three years beginning on the day your spouse or partner is granted permanent residency. Due to the processing time of a spousal sponsorship application, the agreement can end up being active for more than three years. This financial obligation will stay in effect even if your relationship ends or you experience financial problems or job loss.

Questions about proof of income for Canada spousal sponsorship? Contact our Canadian immigration law firm now.

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Please call us or fill out this form if you plan to sponsor a spouse to Canada and are interested in professional help. 24h Response Time!